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Crane - Bird of the World

The year 2020 has been declared the World Year of Cranes by the International Crane Foundation and the Workgroup on cranes in Eurasia. The Union for the protection of birds of Russia has chosen the crane as the Bird of the year 2020 in Russia.

The Amur-Heilong river basin has the largest species diversity of cranes in the world. 6 out of 15 species of cranes that live in the world nest here or meet on the flyway, including some of the rarest ones: the Red-Crowned and Siberian white cranes. Thus, the Southern of the Far East regions are key for the conservation of these rare birds.

Therefore in the regions of the Amur river basin, within the framework of the World Year of Cranes, the Amur branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Amur coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations, Far-East nature reserves and national parks are holding an interregional campaign "Crane-bird of the world".

The purpose of the campaign is to attract the attention of the population and public authorities to the problems of conservation of cranes in North-East Asia, to involve the population in the study of cranes and protection of their habitats. As part of the campaign, it is planned to hold a series of environmental and educational events dedicated to the conservation of Asian cranes: an international contest for children's drawings, a photo exhibition, various festivals of cranes, lectures and classes for students, seminars for teachers, etc.

The Year of Crane has successfully ended!

International contest of children drawings "Crane - bird of the world"

Crane drawings
The International competition of children's drawings "Crane - Bird of the World" has ended. The children sent their drawings depicting various cranes of Eurasia. You can always get acquainted with the works of young artists on this page of our website.

view the artworks

You can see here different types of cranes: Red-crowned crane, Demoiselle crane, Eurasian crane, Hooded crane, Siberian white crane and White-naped crane.

A.Serdyuk, I.Ischenko, V. Tyacht, V. Kogan Michael, O. Prosicky

Red-crowned crane

   The rarest of the Amur cranes and the second largest in the world is the Red-crowned crane. Its global population is only about 2800-3000 individuals, and 1500 of them live permanently on the Japanese Islands, never flying to the continent.
   The rest of the population is continental, nesting almost exclusively in the Amur-Heilong basin and migrating to southern China and the Korean Peninsula for the winter. It is a largest, most massive and rare species of cranes found in Russia: the weight of the individual reaches 11 kg, height up to 160 cm, wingspan up to 2.5 meters.
   The combination of white and black feathers, a thin neck and legs and a natural ability to move gracefully make this bird one of the most beautiful in the world. A distinctive feature is the presence of a red "cap" on the head and a dark "mask" without plumage in the front of the head.

Siberian white crane

   The Siberian white crane is found in the Amur-Heilong basin only during migration. It lives in the North of Russia and belongs to a rare species. The number of the Ob's river ("Western") population does not exceed 20 individuals, and the Yakutia ("Eastern") population - 3000 individuals. In the Amur river basin, the Yakut (Eastern) population occurs during the spring and autumn migration. The bird has an impressive wingspan (large individuals can have more than 2 m), and the weight of some exceeds 8 kg.
   This type of crane is easily recognized by its white plumage, bright red "mask" on the front of its head, and long red beak. The sitting crane appears to be completely white, but in flight the black flight feathers on the ends of the wings are clearly visible.

White-naped crane

   The White-naped crane is a large bird, reaching a height of 135 cm and weighing up to 5.6 kg. Its plumage is ash-grey, except for the light back of the neck and head and the bright red plumage area near the eyes. This is the only crane whose legs are pink colored. Endemic to East Asia, it lives in the Amur-Heilong basin - North-East of China and Mongolia, South-East of Russia. The number of species is 4900-5300 individuals. One of the most tolerant species to human presence, nesting in swampy areas among fields, near settlements and places frequented by people. Unlike the Red-crowned crane, it is able to nest in burnt areas.

Eurasian crane


   The Eurasian crane is the most common crane in Russia. It lives in most of the russian territory up to the Kolyma river basin and Zabaykal'ya region, as well in Northern Mongolia and China, and in Eastern and Northern Europe. It is a large bird: wingspan reaches 200 cm, adult male can weigh 6 kg. Plumage is bluish-gray. It is the second largest population of crane species in the world, with a total population of up to half a million individuals. This is a "taiga" crane that prefers to nest in the forest zone.

Hooded crane


   According to various estimates, the total world population of hooded cranes is from 5 to 15 thousand individuals. It lives in Eastern Russia and China, nesting in swampy river valleys in the taiga zone. The remoteness of the habitats made the biology and ecology of the species insufficiently studied. The bird is small and weighs just over 3 kg. the plumage is black, except for the neck and part of the head, which are painted white. During migrations, it forms large clusters (up to 3000 individuals) on the territory of the Amur region.

Demoiselle crane


   Demoiselle smallest and lightest of all cranes, their weight is about 2 kg, and the height is no more than 89 cm. It has beautiful plumage: bluish-gray and gray-ash. The legs are dark, and the feathers on the head and neck are black. Additionaly, there is a kind of "braid" of elongated white feathers on the demoiselle head, and an "apron" of dark feathers on the chest, which is why in Latin this crane is called "maiden". They are found in many areas of Eurasia and Africa, unlike other cranes, they nest in semi-deserts, high mountains, salt marshes and cultivated fields.

Let's save the cranes together!