Common Crane

About the Common Crane
Also known as: Crane, Eurasian Crane, European Crane, Grey Crane, Gray Crane
Common Crane

The Common Crane is a medium-sized species of Old World crane. They are migratory, with a large breeding range that spans across much of Eastern Europe through Asia. They winter in northern and eastern Africa, southern Europe, parts of the Middle East, and far eastern Asia.

While breeding season will find these birds in solitary pairs, they are fairly gregarious outside of breeding, with flocks of up to 400 birds staying together during migration and flocks of thousands of cranes congregating on staging grounds.

Though the Common Crane is now extirpated from Ireland (they are no longer found in the wild there), the species figures in Irish folklore and culture. The bird has been absent from Ireland for more than 200 years. Despite this and other local extirpations, the species is not globally threatened.

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Details & Statistics


The Common Crane is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2015 by BirdLife International. This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (extent of occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend is not known, but the population is not believed to be decreasing sufficiently rapidly to approach the thresholds under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

International Names