White Crane (Siberian Crane)


Today there are a lot of different species, not only animals, but also birds, which are endangered. In conservation areas and zoos, conservationists take many different measures so that endangered species retain their populations. Sterh - one of these birds. In the people it is called the white crane.

Description of Siberian Crane

The bird is majestic and beautiful, is a long-liver, as it can live up to 70 years. The Siberian Crane cannot be called a little bird, since its body size can reach up to 150 cm, and the length of its wings during its span - up to 2.5 meters. The adult crane weighs 8-8.5 kg.

This bird has a beautiful snow-white plumage, but it does not apply to the head and wings. The eyes and beak of a crane have a fiery red color. If the bird is encountered for the first time, then it may seem that it has an aggressive look. Long beak, eye color red or light yellow. Paws straight, long, color is pale pink.

If the crane is young, then the color of its plumage will be light brown. Males differ from females in size and height, they are larger and taller.

Habitat of Siberian Crane

Cranes are protected by law and measures are regularly taken to combat its disappearance. In the spring the birds return to their homeland. They nest in places that people can not get it. Swamps, impassable forests and tundra are chosen for this. The bird lives in its place, until frost and cold begin.

The white crane population is divided into two groups - it is the western and eastern. Their difference is only in the nesting place. Around the world today there are about 3,000 Siberian Cranes. It is difficult enough to survive in the natural environment. The population does not cope with weather and natural conditions.

The bird from the family of cranes is not picky about food, and one can say that it is omnivorous. Her diet contains plant and animal foods. When there is no cold and it is still warm, the white crane gathers on berries, seeds, catches frogs and insects, can fish, eats small birds and their eggs.

When the cold comes and birds migrate to a warmer place for wintering, the basis of their diet are underwater rhizomes, sedges and small rodents living in the water.

Breeding Siberian Crane

White Crane - monogamous bird. The male chooses a female during the mating season and stays with her until its end. In late spring, they begin to nest. Watching the Siberian Crane during the mating games is very interesting, the individual performs movements similar to dance and sings songs. Having chosen a female, the crane picks up its head towards the sky and starts making lingering sounds, after that it flaps its wings and jumps, it can throw up branches. So to say, these are courtship from the side of the male, at this time the female is standing and watching what is happening, pressing her wings to her torso.

Cranes nest in places well viewed. Before that, birds stock up on food and water. The construction of the nest occurs together, most often the place is in a shallow reservoir. Thus, they protect their chicks from hunters and other animals.

At one time, the Siberian Crane may lay one or two eggs. They are gray, have dark dots on the shell. Hatching lasts an average of 29 days, and after chicks appear. The first six months of the chicks have blue eyes, but over time their color changes. Chicks from the very first day of life should be able to defend themselves. Usually only one chick remains of the brood, and the weaker one dies. After 70 days the bird acquires a light brownish tint, and only after three years the young eaves turns into a white crane.

In order to reduce the extinction of these representatives, people try as much as possible to domesticate the birds in order to preserve them. In zoos, Siberian cranes are held in pairs - it is believed that the two of them will get used more quickly and will be able to better adapt.

Bird conditions should be as close to natural as possible. Often, the settlement of a pair of cranes occurs on the shores of artificial ponds, where thick bushes and a lot of vegetation are planted.

The White Crane is such a bird that will not immediately be friends with a person and once again it will not suit him. They will not be fed from the human hand.

What is being done to protect the Siberian Cranes?

In addition, according to the project The Flight of Hope, which is controlled by the president himself, also grow small Siberian Cranes in captivity. Experts are engaged in preparing chicks for independent adulthood. To make it easier for the chick to perceive the environment, the workers of this kennel wear a costume in the form of a stork, he has specially made one sleeve like a crane head. So you need to be able to stroke the chick (parents of cranes stroke their chicks with their heads).

A man fully educates the chick, from the search for food and ending with the flight, so that it is easier for him to survive in the natural environment. Using a special flying device, young Siberian cranes are lifted into the air, they are controlled below by people. To the place where the first white cranes accumulate, people accompany the young chicks, and then they settle down on their own with their relatives.

Interesting facts from the life of Siberian Cranes

  1. In India, white cranes are called lily birds. Another Gandhi order was issued, which said to create a park for wintering Siberian Cranes with a special regime and special habitats of these birds.
  2. Of all the types of cranes, the Siberian Crane can cover the greatest distance - it is about 5.5 thousand km. Twice a year, Siberian Cranes fly over 9 countries.
  3. In Dagestan, white cranes have come up with a legend: during migration they cross this country and people say that these are the souls of warriors. The poet Rasul Gamzatov has poems based on this legend.
  4. When the Siberian Cranes begin the mating season, they sleep two hours a day.
  5. The White Crane for Khanty and Mansi is a sacred bird that is present in every ritual and generic totem.
  6. The people of the Khanty will not disturb the bird - there is a certain ban for visiting the nesting sites of Siberian Cranes in spring and summer.

What does a Siberian Crane look like? Description and photos.

The bird Sterkh in height reaches about 140-160 centimeters, the wingspan is 210-230 centimeters, and the weight of a crane is from 5 to 8.5 kilograms. The front part of the head of the white crane lacks plumage. In adult cranes, this place is colored red. The beak of Siberian Crane is very long, it is longer than in other species, red and jagged in a sawtooth pattern. The plumage is almost completely white, except for black wing feathers on the wings. Young Siberian Cranes have brownish-red plumage. The cornea of ​​cranes is red or pale yellow. Paws are long pink-red. The lifetime of a bird is about 70 years.

Where does the Siberian Crane (White Crane) live?

Birds such as the white crane are very demanding to the habitat. Two separate crane populations were found. One population lives in the Arkhangelsk region of Russia, and the second lives in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District. The white crane Siberian Crane, nesting only in Russia, winters in India, Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and Kazakhstan. The bird Sterkh is larger than all other species of cranes and leads a water way of life. This makes the rescue of this species from extinction difficult mission. Their beak and legs are for wetlands. Long legs make it easy to move over bumps and viscous soil. The white crane is wary of man: if he sees a man on the horizon, he leaves the nest. In such a situation, Siberian Crane can even throw eggs or already hatched chicks.

What eats white crane Sterkh?

Bird Siberian Crane eats animal and vegetable food. White cranes are omnivores and can eat almost anything. In summer, they eat seeds and berries, cranberries, fish, eggs and chicks of other birds, insects, underwater parts of cotton grass and sedges, small vertebrates and rodents, as well as frogs and small birds. In winter, during migration, the Siberian crane consumes plant food, such as tubers and rhizomes of aquatic plants.

Reproduction of white cranes.

Cranes are monogamous birds. In late May, a pair of Siberian Cranes arrives at the site of the future nesting. Like other types of cranes, the couple marks their connection by singing a duet. Scream of white cranes tall, long and clean, it stands out from the rest of the species. Individuals throw back their heads and make a series of melodic sounds, complex and drawn out. During the song, the male spreads its wings, and the female keeps them folded all the time. In this case, Siberian Cranes perform a dance, which includes bows, bouncing, throwing twigs and flapping wings.

The white cranes nest is arranged in a well-viewed area, with a supply of fresh water, in the tundra or taiga, in water with a depth of 30-40 centimeters. At the same time the nest of Siberian Cranes rises 15-20 cm above the water level. Nest build both parents. Usually two gray eggs with dark specks are laid. In a bad year one can do without. The female white crane incubates the offspring for about 29 days, and the male protects them. Hatching chicks are involved in a difficult struggle for survival, only the strongest chick survives. After 70-75 days, he acquires feathers of brown-red color. White plumage in Siberian bark appears only by 3 years.

The White Crane Sterkh is listed in the Red Book.

In the wild, white cranes are a maximum of 3,000. Several thousand of these birds are kept in captivity. White cranes Siberian cranes are on the verge of extinction, therefore many ornithologists are concerned about this problem and help with all their strength. The issue of the protection of Siberian Cranes began to engage in activity since 1970. Since that time, reserve funds were created, many nurseries, where scientists grow cranes from eggs. Ornithologists even teach chicks how to fly long distances.

Hunting for white cranes is prohibited, as the Siberian crane is listed in the Red Book of Russia, in the Red Book and in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

"Flight of Hope."

Since the mid-1990s, over 100 white cranes have been released into their natural habitat. Unfortunately, the survival rate of Siberian Siberian Chicks grown in artificial media does not exceed 20%. The reason for such a high mortality is the lack of flight training and navigation orientation. This problem was solved by American scientists, they invented to lead the chicks along the route with the help of a hang glider. Subsequently, a similar program called “Flight of Hope” was developed in Russia. In 2006, 5 motor-hang gliders were built, with the help of which the young Siberian cranes took the long route. The birds were brought to the habitat of the gray cranes, and together with them the Siberian Cranes went for the winter. In 2012, Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin personally participated in this program. But, unfortunately, this time the gray cranes did not take the creepers, and therefore seven cranes were led back to the Belozersky federal nature reserve in Tyumen.

Appearance of Siberian Crane

Sterkh - large crane. The height of these birds reaches 135-140 centimeters. Wings in scope are 2.1-2.3 meters.

Weigh feathered in the range of 5-8.5 pounds. The maximum recorded weight of the male was 15 kilograms.

Sterh - a bird of considerable size.

Sterh has a pure white plumage. Only primary primary wings are black. There is no plumage on the front of the head, there is a bare skin of brick-red color. Siberian Cranes have the longest red beak among congeners. At the end of the beak there are small notches. The limbs are long, pink in color.

Juveniles have dark brown plumage. The non-penile part of the head has a pale yellow color.

In the mating season, females and males soil their beaks in the dirt and smear their feathers. Differences in appearance between the sexes of these birds are absent, but males are slightly larger than females.

Behavior and nutrition of Siberian Crane

Couples build nests at a considerable distance from each other. At the same time, birds protect their territory from other representatives of the species. In winter, Siberian Cranes join together in large flocks.

Birds feed throughout the day. If the vegetation is under water, then the crane completely immerses its head in it. Consume plant food and animal food. Preference is given to underwater plants, rhizomes, tubers and berries. From animal food, they eat rodents, various insects, bird eggs and small birds. Fish eat in extremely rare cases.

These cranes avoid contact with people, so they do not fly into agricultural fields. Like other members of the family, Siberian Cranes make lingering high sounds.

Cranes with offspring resting on the lawn.

Preservation of the form

Ornithologists were engaged in the artificial breeding of these unique birds. There are several thousand Siberian Cranes in enclosures on the territory of Russia and China. But these birds are poorly adapted in the wild, when they are released, only 20% survive. This is due to the fact that sterkhi bred under artificial conditions do not know how to migrate.

American ornithologists thought up to show the way to the birds with the help of a hang glider, young individuals perceive him as a leader and fly after him. In addition, Siberian Cranes are combined with gray cranes and together they go to wintering grounds, and in springtime they return to nesting sites again. But the negative point is the fact that gray cranes do not always accept newcomers to their flock.

In any case, people are working hard to preserve this unique species of birds. It is hoped that they will still bring positive fruits, and the Siberian Cranes will not disappear from the face of our planet, but on the contrary, the population will stabilize.

Sterh: external features

Sterh belongs to the genus Crane, family Crane. The bird is large - its height varies from one hundred and forty to one hundred and sixty centimeters, its weight is about eight kilograms. The wingspan of a crane varies from two hundred and ten to two hundred and thirty centimeters, depending on the population.

Only during the winter migrations long-distance flights makes a white crane. Sterkh in Russia breeds and breeds. These birds are closely monitored by ornithologists.

The white crane (Siberian Crane) has a characteristic feature, due to which it is difficult to confuse it with another bird - a red long beak that has sharp notches at its ends. There are no feathers around the eyes and at the beak, and the skin is colored in a rich red color and is visible from afar.

On the hull, feathers arranged in two rows are white, on the inner side of the wings there are two rows on the ends black. Legs are long, pinkish. They are excellent assistants of Siberian Cranes in the marshy areas: they allow them to climb over the bumps in the viscous quagmire.

At first, the eyes of the chicks are blue, then they become yellow. The White Crane (Siberian Crane) lives for about seventy years, without forming subspecies.


To date, there are two populations of cranes of this species. One lives in the Arkhangelsk region, and the second - in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District. This is a very careful bird - Siberian Crane. The White Crane, a brief description of which is given in the article, tries in every way to avoid meeting people, and this is not in vain: for poachers in many areas feel themselves with impunity.

If a bird notices a person, it will leave the nest. Sterkh can throw not only the clutch, but already hatched chicks. Therefore, it is not recommended to disturb the birds during this period. The White Crane (Siberian Crane), which breeds only in Russia, can winter in Azerbaijan and India, Afghanistan and Mongolia, China and Pakistan. In early March, the cranes return to their homeland.

In Yakutia, the Siberian Crane goes to remote areas of the tundra and chooses swamps and impenetrable forests to house. Here he lives before the winter migration.

Many naturalists are interested in the question: “What feeds on the white crane (Siberian Crane)?” The plant and animal foods are included in the diet of this beautiful bird. Along with aquatic plants: tubers, cotton grass, cranberries and sedge, which the Siberian Cherry likes very much, they will not refuse to eat large insects, eggs of other birds, rodents, alien chicks, invertebrates and fish. In winter, during migration, Siberian Cranes are limited to only plant food. It should be noted that these birds never harm agricultural land.

Red Data Book of Russia: White Crane (Siberian Crane)

Sterh - the largest bird of its family. It predominantly leads the aquatic way of life, which makes it difficult to save this species from extinction. Now the number of the Yakut population does not exceed three thousand individuals. For the West Siberian Siberian Cranes, the situation is critical: there are no more than twenty individuals left.

In 1970, the protection of white cranes was taken seriously. Numerous nurseries and reserve funds were created, where ornithologists grow these birds from eggs. They train chicks to fly long distances. Nevertheless, the threat remains that the White Crane (Siberian Crane) will completely disappear. The Red Book (international) also filled its lists with this endangered species. Охота на этих птиц полностью запрещена.

Надежда на возрождение

С середины девяностых годов прошлого столетия в естественную среду было выпущено более ста белых журавлей, выращенных в питомниках. К сожалению, такие птенцы плохо приживаются (не более 20 %). Причина столь высокой смертности заключается в отсутствии навигационной ориентации, а также полетной подготовки, которая дается родителями в естественных условиях.

This problem was tried to be corrected by American scientists. They set up an experiment, the essence of which was to conduct chicks along the route, using trikes. Russia has developed a similar program, which was called “Flight of Hope”.

Five motor-hang gliders were built in 2006, and with their help the young Siberian cranes took the long route from Yamal to Uzbekistan, where gray cranes lived, and the Siberian cranes went with them to winter. In 2012, President V. Putin participated in such a program. But for some reason, this time the gray cranes did not accept Siberian Cranes, and ornithologists were forced to bring seven chicks to the Belozersky sanctuary in Tyumen.