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East African crowned crane

Balearica regulorum gibbericeps

East African crowned crane at Paignton Zoo
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Birds
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Gruiformes

We are currently home to a pair of East African crowned cranes, one male and one female, who live near the maned wolves.

The East African crowned crane is endemic to marshes, cultivated lands and grassy flatlands near rivers and lakes, in Uganda, Kenya and South Africa.

The bird is an omnivore, eating plants, insects, frogs, seeds and grain.

Interesting facts!

  • East African crowned cranes stomp on the ground as they walk to make insects scurry out for them to eat!
  • These fabulous birds have an elaborate breeding display involving dancing, bowing and jumping.
  • During the breeding season the female lays between 2 to 3 eggs, which both parents incubate for approximately 4 weeks. Both parents feed and care for the young until they leave the nest.


A significant threat to crowned cranes in the wild is the loss of suitable wetland habitat due to human encroachment and development for agriculture.

The East African crowned crane is an Endangered species and is currently protected by law in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Conservation projects are being carried out in these areas.