Demoiselle crane

The Demoiselle crane, a graceful creature of the skies, glides effortlessly through the crisp air with its long, slender wings. Its feathery coat is a striking blend of soft greys and blues, as if brushed by a master painter’s hand.

This regal bird has been revered in many cultures throughout history, known for its elegance and beauty. With its slender neck held high and delicate movements, it exudes a sense of tranquillity and calm.

Serial NumberCharacteristicsDescription
1Common nameDemoiselle crane
2Scientific nameAnthropoides virgo
3ColourBluish-grey body with black and white head, neck, and wings
4Average length85-100 cm
5Average height85-100 cm
6Type of birdWetland bird
7Found in India in statesJammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, and Rajasthan
8HabitatWetlands, grasslands, and agricultural fields
9StatusLeast Concern


The Demoiselle crane (Grus virgo) is a species of crane that is characterized by several distinct physical features. The Demoiselle crane has a long, slender body that is adapted for its graceful movements. It has a long, thin neck that allows it to reach vegetation in shallow water and on land. The crane has a long, pointed beak that is used to probe the ground for food.

The Demoiselle crane has a beautiful plumage of soft, pale grey feathers on its body and wings, with black-tipped feathers on the tail. It has a small, thin crest of black feathers on the top of its head. The crane has long, slender legs that are covered in black feathers. Its wingspan ranges from 155-180 cm (61-71 inches). The body length of the crane ranges from 85-100 cm (33-39 inches). 

The plumage of the Demoiselle crane is mostly pale grey, with black tips on the feathers of the tail. The head is mostly black, with a small crest of black feathers. The eyes are bright yellow, and the legs and feet are black.

Habitat and Food

Demoiselle cranes are migratory birds found in a wide range of habitats across Central Asia, Mongolia, and China. During the winter months, they migrate south to India, Pakistan, and parts of Africa. They prefer to nest in open grasslands, steppes, and deserts with nearby water sources.

Demoiselle cranes are omnivorous birds and feed on a wide variety of foods, including grains, seeds, insects, small rodents, and lizards. During the breeding season, they tend to focus on animal protein, such as insects and small rodents, to provide nutrition for their young. They also feed on agricultural crops such as wheat and barley, which can sometimes lead to conflicts with farmers.

Nesting and Nurturing

Demoiselle cranes typically breed in the spring and summer months, and they lay their eggs in nests on the ground. The nest is usually a simple scrape in the ground that is lined with grass and other plant materials. The female crane will lay 2 eggs, and both parents will take turns incubating the eggs.

The eggs are a pale brown color with dark brown speckles and are about 7.5 cm in length and 5 cm in width. The eggs take about 28 to 31 days to hatch, and the chicks are born covered in down and are able to walk and feed themselves shortly after hatching.

Both parents will care for the chicks, and they will defend them from predators and other threats. The chicks will stay with their parents for several months and will learn important skills such as foraging and social behavior. Demoiselle cranes are very protective of their young and will aggressively defend them if they feel threatened.

Once the eggs hatch, the chicks are born with a covering of down feathers, and are completely dependent on their parents for food and protection. The parents feed the chicks a diet of insects and other small invertebrates, which they gather from the surrounding desert environment. The chicks grow rapidly, and are able to leave the nest within 9-12 days of hatching.

After leaving the nest, the young Desert larks continue to be cared for by their parents for several weeks, as they learn to fly and develop the skills they will need to survive on their own. During this time, the parents continue to provide food and protection, and may even teach the chicks how to find water and other resources in the harsh desert environment.

IUCN Status

The Demoiselle crane (Grus virgo) is listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This is the lowest level of concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating that the species is not currently facing a significant risk of extinction. However, the population of Demoiselle cranes is declining in some regions, and it is still threatened by habitat loss, hunting, and other human activities. Therefore, conservation efforts are needed to maintain the population of this species.

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