Blue Crane | Anthropoides paradiseus

Robert's Birding Information: The Blue Crane, The South African National Bird

The Blue Crane is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Gruidae bird family group which includes birds such as Cranes. The Blue Crane is South Africa's national bird. The Blue Crane is South Africa's National Bird.

National Bird Of South Africa Blue CraneThe description for the Blue Crane (Latin name Anthropoides paradiseus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Anthropoides paradiseus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 208 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 309. You will find a picture of the Blue Crane on page 304.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Blue Crane between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Blue Crane is known in Afrikaans as Bloukraanvoel.

The Blue Crane is Endemic to the Southern African Region which means that this bird is only found in this region and nowhere else in the world.

The Blue Crane has a height of 100 cms and weighs around 5090 gms. The head is coloured white while the bill is coloured pink. The Anthropoides paradiseus has a white coloured throat, grey, black legs and a blue, grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is white.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is pink.

Legs are grey, black.

Throat is white.

Back is blue, grey.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult Male Adult Blue Crane - South Africa's National Bird
Female Adult Same as above.
Juvenile Similar to above.
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Blue Crane Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Blue Crane is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

The Anthropoides paradiseus forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Blue Crane Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Blue Crane is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 2 eggs and they are coloured brown.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The Blue Crane is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

It is seen singly in pairs or in flocks.