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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Wattled Crane

Afrikaans name: Lelkraanvoël

Wattled Crane

Above - Wattled Crane

Photo © Steven Herbert

Grus carunculata

The Wattled Crane is not a common species but when it is in an area you are sure to spot it. It is around 120 cm in length. They are normally seen on the ground where they forage in grassland or in the shallow water on the edge of a dam or vlei.

In South Africa they are found inland on grassland or vleis. They only occur in a band from the Eastern Cape, through KwaZulu-Natal to Mpumalanga but they are not found near the coast.

They feed on a wide variety of foods including frogs, reptiles, insects and grain. They will also take small mammals if they can catch them.

It is unusual to see the Wattled Crane in bigger flocks. Most often you will find a pair or small flock.

Wattled Cranes may breed at any time during the year. The nest is a large heap of vegetation normally surrounded by water. Either one or two eggs are laid. Although two eggs are laid they only raise one chick.

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 102

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1959 - Page: 181

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 181

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 29

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 74

Caravan & Outdoor Life - Issue 632 - Author: - Year Published: 2014 - Page: 48

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 26

Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 110

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 138

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 138

Questions and Answers - Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Year Published: 1990 - Page: 30

Rare Birds of the World - Author: Guy Mountford & Norman Arlott - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 109

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 89

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 143

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 152

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 186

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 183

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 150

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 152

Southern Africa's Threatened Wildlife - Author: John Ledger - Year Published: 1990 - Page: 38

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Year Published: 1979 - Page: 14

The Rare Birds of Southern Africa - Author: P.A. Clancey - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 147

Wading Birds of the World - Revised edition - Author: Eric and Richard Soothill - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 124

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 72

List of South African Birds

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