Red Crown Cranes are found in areas like Japan, north China, and Siberia. They thrive on marshy places.
These cranes can reach up to 56 inches (140cm) tall and weigh about 30 pounds (14kg). When they spread their wings, the wings can stretch across 96 inches (240cm). Red Crown Cranes have 4 toes, 3 of those are large and a small toe that can't reach the ground. They have long legs and bill. This species of cranes has black and white forehead. One distinct mark of the Red Crown Cranes is the red crown on its head. This red patch of skin turns bright when the cranes are excited or angry.
Some distinctive habits of the Red Crown Cranes are their loud "trumpet-like" cry. This shout can be heard more than 2 miles (3.2km) away. They have a special dance. The cranes bow, turn around, arch their necks, and kick up their legs. Red Crown Cranes sleep with one leg up close to the body.
These birds feed on small fish, tadpole, frogs, snakes, and small mammals like mice and moles. Sometimes they have a taste for baby birds, snails, worms, and insects. Red Crown Cranes eat plants also, such as roots, corn, and wheat.
The average life span of the cranes is about 30 years. However, there are some that lived to their 80s. During these years the adults would mate and stay together with the female for life. Around April or early May, the female would lay about 2 eggs. One of them usually hatches in 4 weeks. Both parents share their duties in taking care of their young. The babies would remain with their parents for approximately 10 months.
Unfortunately, now there are only a small number of them left in the wild. With the growth of human population, their marshy habitat is decreasing. Many of the cranes die with the lost of habitat. Luckily, some people do care about the world around them. In 1973 a few college students founded the International Crane Foundation (ICF). They started programs to restore the cranes' habitat. Also, they tried to inform the public of this endangered species.