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 Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 101

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 181

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 181

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 101

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Published: 1992 - Page: 30

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 53

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 75

Caravan & Outdoor Life - Issue 632 - Author: - Published: 2014 - Page: 48

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 26

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 31

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

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 110

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 409

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 138

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

Questions and Answers - Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 6

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 113

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 143

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 151

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

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

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 150

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

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 19

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 111

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1979 - Page: 13

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 88

Wading Birds of the World - Revised edition - Author: Eric and Richard Soothill - Published: 1989 - Page: 134

Wild Issue 41 - Author: - Published: 2017 - Page: 79

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

BirdLife South Africa


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