Staring grey crowned crane

Staring grey crowned crane - Birds of the world
The Grey Crowned Crane is the most abundant of the resident African cranes. Although precise population numbers are not available, recent estimates place the total population at 85,000-95,000. Two subspecies are recognized. B. r. gibbericeps (the East African Crowned Crane) comprises the majority of the total population. It occurs in East Africa from northern Uganda and Kenya south to Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia. B. r. regulorum (the South African Crowned Crane) is found in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Although the species remains relatively abundant, the total estimated population has declined from more than 100,000 over the last decade. It no longer occurs in certain portions of its historic range (especially the drier areas). The species is classified as Vulnerable under the revised IUCN Red List Categories. B. r. regulorum is classified Endangered, and B. r. gibbericeps Vulnerable.
Grey Crowned Cranes use mixed wetland-grassland habitats for nesting and foraging, and along with Black Crowned Cranes are the only cranes able to roost in trees. The species’ generalist feeding strategy has allowed it to adjust to human settlement and activity; most populations in East Africa now live in human-modified habitats. The abundance and distribution of food and nest sites are the key ecological factors determining the size of the home range. These, in turn, are largely influenced by local rainfall regimes. Grey Crowned Cranes are non-migratory, but undertake local and seasonal movements in response to changing moisture levels and food availability.

The subspecies are most easily distinguished by their facial features: The eastern species has a larger area of bare red skin above the white cheek patch than the southern.

There are only about 10,000 of the southern species left.

The range of the Grey Crowned Crane in eastern and southern Africa stretches from eastern Zaire, Uganda, and Kenya to southeastern South Africa. Grey Crowned Cranes are non-migratory, but undertake variable local and seasonal movements in response to the abundance and distribution of food and nest sites. The range of the Eastern grey crowned crane meets its southern cousin in northern Uganda and northwest Kenya. The species’ range extends south to Zimbabwe and Botswana, and west along the Okavango River into Namibia.
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