Demoiselle Crane

Anthropoides virgo

In the picture you can see a Demoiselle Crane standing in a green bush. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Least concern
  • Family
    Cranes (Gruidae)
  • Weight
    2 – 3 kg
  • Habitat
    Steppes and Savannahs

Partners for life

When a male and female demoiselle crane find each other, they often stay together for the rest of their lives. With a life expectancy of up to 50 years, this is a considerable period of time. During the breeding season between April and May, females lay a clutch of 1-2 eggs, which is incubated by both parents. The nests are simple, made of grass on the ground, which the cranes aggressively defend.

The picture shows a demoiselle crane standing in profile.

Historical reputation

Queen Marie Antoinette of France named this bird “demoiselle”, which means damsel, due to its graceful appearance. In ancient Egypt, China and India, cranes were considered "birds of the first rank" or "most distinguished of all feathered birds". Demoiselle cranes are also depicted in hieroglyphs on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs.

The graceful movements of the demoiselle crane’s courtship dance are reminiscent of a ballet.