The Demoiselle Crane (Grus virgo) is a large bird.
The Demoiselle Crane has a long white neck stripe. The black parts on its front neck stretch down over its chest. It also has long, black tail feathers. It has two long grey legs, a pinkish-grey beak, and large yellow eyes.
It grows to 85-100 centimetres (33-40 inches) in height. It has a wingspan of 155-180 centimetres (61-71 inches). It is the smallest species of crane.
The Demoiselle Crane is native to central Eurasia, from the Black Sea in the Caucasus to Mongolia and China. It can live in a variety of habitats, including deserts, grasslands, and wetlands.
It eats fish, insects, and small lizards.
It is a migratory bird, travelling south to warmer weather in winter – usually to Africa or India. It takes a long and difficult migration route, travelling with up to 400 individuals. It flies with its head and neck outstretched, keeping its body in a straight horizontal line.
During courtship, it dances and leaps. It makes a nest on the ground amongst tall vegetation.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM