The crane is a bird about the size of a stork. He also strides along just as elegantly, which is why both are also called striding birds. Cranes live in northern Europe, for example in northeastern Germany, Poland, and Scandinavia. They spend the winter in Spain or on the north coast of Africa. Other crane species also live in Africa, Asia, and North America.
The crane has red or orange eyes. There is a red spot on top of the head called the “Headstock”. It’s just skin, no feathers grow there. The crane has a black and white stripe on the neck, a gray body, long legs, and feathers that are bushy behind.
The crane grows up to 120 centimeters tall and can weigh up to six kilograms. A special feature is its large wingspan: from one tip to the other it is over two meters. Its cry is very loud and sounds like a trumpet.
Cranes live in wet areas with shallow, open water, such as marshlands and bogs. These birds rest in open meadows and fields. They also look for their food there, and they are omnivores: They eat small animals such as insects, earthworms, and frogs, but also plants such as potatoes, beans, peas, berries, cereals, and many more.
The cranes can lay eggs from the age of five or six, and only once a year. It’s usually one to three eggs. The breeding season lasts almost exactly a month. The crane chicks leave the nest after just one day. But then they are not yet able to fly but walk away from the nest with their parents. The parents then help them find the food.