Family GRUIDAE

The true Cranes are birds of large size with long necks and legs, 19 or 20 cervical vertebras, the bill as long as the head or longer, and a depression which extends on each side half or more than half the length of the upper mandible, and contains the nostril shut in by a large membrane on the posterior side. Tail-feathers 12, primaries 11. Aftershaft present, but small; no fifth secondary; the lateral bare tracts extend some distance up the neck. Trachea passing into a hollow space between the bony walls of the sternal keel, and more or less convoluted ; furcula anchylosed to keel of sternum.

Cranes are generally grey or white in colour. They are in the main vegetable feeders, though they occasionally eat insects, reptiles, or fish. All have a loud trumpet-like call, the production of which is probably connected with the tracheal convolutions. The majority are migratory and gregarious. They breed on the ground, usually in marshy places, and lay two eggs, as a rule, in a rough nest of grass and rushes. They generally appear to pair for life, and indulge in most extraordinary dances during the nuptial season.

The Cranes have been divided into a large number of genera, some of which, distinguished solely by differences in the extent to which the head is feathered, are not here adopted.

Key to the Genera.

a. Crown naked or scantily clad with black hairs; feathers of fore neck not lengthened. ……………………Gnus, p. 185.
b. Head feathered throughout, feathers of fore neck lengthened ……………………ANTHROPOIDES, p. 190.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds
Reference: 
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol. 4. 1898.
Title in Book: 
Family GRUIDAE
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1898
Page No: 
185
M_ID: 
3793
M_SN: 
Gruidae
Volume: 
Vol. 4
Term name: 
id: 
2010

Add new comment

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith