Sunday, October 30

Black-necked crane

   ›      ›   Black-necked crane - Grus nigricollis

The black-necked crane (Grus nigricollis) is a medium-sized crane belonging to the family, Gruidae. The black-necked crane is distributed in Asia. It breeds on the Tibetan Plateau, Bhutan and the north most parts of India. It is the State bird of the Jammu and Kashmir state in India. These crane species are monotypic species and are considered "Vulnerable". It is listed on Appendix I of CITES.

Taxonomy of Black-necked crane

  • Scientific Name: Grus nigricollis
  • Common Name: Black-necked crane
  • French: Grue à cou noir; German: Schwarzhalskranich; Spanish: Grulla cuellinegra;
  • Other names: -
  • Family: Rallidae › Gruiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: Przhevalsky, 1876
Grus nigricollis is closely related to Grus monacha (hooded crane).

Description

The black-necked crane is a medium-sized crane, measuring 120 to 140 cm in height and weighing 5,000 to 7,000 grams. The wingspan is 200 to 235 cm. Both male and female look similar.
The overall plumage is whitish gray. It has dark blackish primaries and secondaries. The head, upper neck, tail and legs are black. The lores and the crown are bare and reddish. In breeding pair, this area becomes bright red. There is a white patch of feathers behind the eye. The iris is pale yellow. Their call is a loud high-pitched and penetrating trumpeting sound.
Birds of India - Black-necked crane - Grus nigricollis
Indian birds - Black-necked crane - Grus nigricollis
Indian birds - Black-necked crane - Grus nigricollis
Birds of India - Black-necked crane - Grus nigricollis
Birds of India - Black-necked crane - Grus nigricollis
Indian birds - Black-necked crane - Grus nigricollis
Indian birds - Black-necked crane - Grus nigricollis
Birds of India - Black-necked crane - Grus nigricollis

Habitat

These crane species inhabit alpine bog meadows, riverine marshes, wetland habitats associated with lakes and reservoirs, grassy wetlands and barley and wheat fields.

Diet and feeding habits

These black-necked crane species are omnivorous. The primary diet of these crane species is plant matter like rhizomes, seeds, sprouts, roots, tubers, stems, shoots and leaves. They are known to feed on agricultural crops like barley and also fallen grains of barley, oats and buckwheat. Sometimes they dig up and feed on potatoes, carrots and turnips. Their diet includes insects, frogs, crabs, rodents.

Breeding

These black-necked crane species usually breed during May. They form long-lasting pair-bonds and are highly territorial during the breeding season. The pair construct nest with grass, rushes and weeds on raised ground. Normally one or two eggs are laid in May-June. The chicks are able to forage independently and they follow the parents in foraging.

Distribution

These black-necked crane species breeds on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau in China and adjacent Ladakh in India. Wintering populations inhabit Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh (India) and Tibet (China).

Movement and migration Patterns

The black-necked crane move to breeding grounds in high altitudes in Tibetan plateau and Ladakh during Summer. The wintering movement occurs during early September to December and they move to lower altitudes in Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh (India) and Tibet (China).

Conservation status and concerns

The global population of these black-necked crane species is estimated to be around 10,000-11,000 individual birds. The overall population trend is on the decline. The degradation and loss of wetlands and marshes due to human activities, degradation of grasslands, disturbance from tourism and recreation, pesticide poisoning, hunting and collisions with power lines are the major threats to the survival of these crane species.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these black-necked crane species and has listed them as "Vulnerable".

Biological classification of Grus nigricollis
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Gruiformes
Family:Gruidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Grus
Species:G. nigricollis
Binomial name:Grus nigricollis
Distribution:Ladakh (Northwest India), Sikkim and Tibet, Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan in West & Central China; winters in Tibet–Qinghai Plateau (China), Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh (India) and Vietnam
Diet and feeding habits:omnivorous diet; primarily plant matter like rhizomes, seeds, sprouts, roots, tubers, stems, shoots, leaves; agricultural crops like peas, potatoes and pods of peanuts; also insects, frogs, crabs, rodents and small birds;
IUCN status listing:
Vulnerable

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