||Name:Red-crowned Crane; Tancho Tsuru|
|Scientific name: Grus japonensis|
|Range: Amur River basin in eastern Russia and in southeastern Asia, including China and Japan.|
|Habitat: Marshes with deep waters and in croplands|
|Diet in the wild: insects, aquatic invertebrates, fish, amphibians, rodents, reeds, grasses, heath berries, corn, and other plants|
|Diet in the zoo: crane pellets, 500 grams of silversides fish (per day), and occational insects|
|Location in the zoo: Lower walkway near the waterfowl areas.|
cranes are very communal and live in flocks. They are the second rarest
species of crane, the whooping crane of North America being the rarest.
There are between 1700 to 2000 red-crowned cranes in all of Eastern
Asia. It is one of the world's largest birds, and also one of the largest
cranes. These cranes are migratory which explains their various types
of food they eat. During the spring and summer the cranes fly east
to the wetlands in temperate East Asia. This is where they breed.
The cranes winter along rivers and in salt and freshwater marshes in
Japan, China, and the Korean Peninsula. The red-crowned cranes are
generally monogamous, that is, mated birds stay together throughout
the year, and even until one bird dies. Both the male and female build
the nest. The female usually lays two eggs that hatch at the same time.
Once the eggs hatch, the female is more involved with the domestic affairs
while the male is responsible for defense. These cranes are considered
to be sacred to the Japanese people, and were declared the national
Japanese bird in 1952.
Special anatomical, physiological
The red-crowned crane is named for the red "cap" on top of its head, whch is exposed red skin. The crane's large size help it resist many different predators. It can also outrun the predators with its speed. The bill of the red-crowned crane is very pointed and sharp, the crane uses it like a spear. The shape of its bill makes it easier to gather food.
The crane uses very elaborate dances for courting
and other cummunication between each other. This dance consists of series
of bows, head bobbing, leaps, and various other gestures. They also
have a "unison call" between the male and the female before getting
into other dance elements.
Comments about the Red-crowned Cranes of the Fort Worth Zoo:
are two red-crowned cranes in the Fort Worth Zoo: one male and one female,
who are potential breeders. In 2005 the cranes produced one chick.
Crane chicks are well developed at birth and grow fast. The chick seen
here will reach the size of its parents in about four months. These
particular cranes are not on loan and are owned by the zoo. They came
from a reserve in Japan, and have been on display at the zoo for about
The red-crowned cranes at the zoo walk proudly and gracfully. They are peaceful and serene animals. But, they are curious, and if you were to stand at their cage for a period of time they will stretch their long necks and come to you to see what you are about.
Source Materials and Related Links:
WhoZoo Animal Index
Birds at the Fort Worth Zoo