Afrikaans name: Lelkraanvoël
Above - Wattled Crane
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.
References and further readingA 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
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
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 - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 152