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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Grey Crowned Crane

Afrikaans name: Mahem

Grey Crowned Crane

Grey Crowned Crane

Photo © Steven Herbert

Balearica regulorum

The Grey Crowned Crane, often referred to as the Mahem in South Africa, is a really beautiful bird and I think that it is the best looking of the cranes found in South Africa. Male and female have a similar colouration.

These elegant birds have an elaborate courtship display. They dance and jump around as well as bow down.

They breed in wetland areas where it makes its nest among tall vegetation. The nest is large and up to 5 eggs may be laid.

These cranes eat a wide variety of foods including grain, seeds, insects, frogs, snakes and even fish if it can catch them.

Grey Crowned Crane

Above - A crane resting

Photo © Steven Herbert


References and further reading

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: 30

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

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 36

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

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 409

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 188

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 184

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

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

List of South African Birds

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