Sarus crane

Grus antigone

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

Sarus cranes are endemic to wetlands, grasslands and marshes in pockets of south-east Asia, northern India and northern Australia.

These large birds are omnivores and have a varied diet of aquatic plants, seeds, rice, crustaceans and large insects such as grasshoppers.

Interesting facts!

  • The sarus crane is the world’s tallest flying bird – when standing it can be as tall as 180cms!
  • Unlike other crane species, sarus cranes are not overly social and can be very territorial.
  • After a monogamous pair has performed their courtship ritual, females typically lay two eggs, which are incubated for around 30 days. Chicks are able to walk from when they hatch and fledge by 100 days old.


The population of sarus cranes is decreasing, predominantly due to the threat of destruction of wetland habitats. Many Asian countries are working to protect wetlands, which are critical to the survival of sarus cranes and many other endangered species.