These magnificient birds are also known as Japanese Cranes. Their wingspan can be up to about 2.5 meters or 8 feet and mature adults are over a meter and a half tall. Red-crowed cranes have large pointy beaks. As their name suggests they have a red circle on their head which is an exposed patch of skin. Red-crowned cranes are monogamous, meaning they are very loyal to their partner and mate for life. The male and female both do dancing displays during courtship including bows, head bobs and leaps. They will also call in unison during this behaviour.
Red-crowned cranes breed in the spring and summer. Two eggs are laid which hatch at the same time however, usually only 1 chick survives. Both the male and female help build the nest as well as incubate the eggs.
Endangered. These are the second rarest crane species in the world after the whooping crane. Total population is estimated at about 2750 individuals.
Industrial and economic development in Russia and China, especially agricultural expansion and deforestation is resulting in loss of their wetland habitats. Fortunately, measures have been taken to protect the species such as international agreements and cooperative research on this migratory bird. Protected areas have also been designated.