Family Cranes (Gruidae)


Blue Crane (Anthropoides paradiseus)


French: Grue de paradis German: Paradieskranich Spanish: Grulla del Paraíso

Ardea paradisea

A. A. H. Lichtenstein

, 1793,

inner South Africa




E & S South Africa and W Swaziland#R; small population in Etosha Pan area of Namibia.

Descriptive notes

110–120 cm; 4900–5300 g; wingspan 180–200 cm; male larger than female. Present species and A. virgo are the only cranes with entirely feathered... read more


Calls are low-pitched, raspy and broken, similar to those of A. virgo.


Primarily dry upland natural grassland dominated by grasses and sedges. Also roosts and nests in... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes seeds of sedges and grasses, roots and tubers; also insects, especially locusts and grasshoppers, and worms, crabs, fish,... read more


Mainly Oct–Dec, but on occasion as late as Mar. Nests primarily in grasslands near water, but also in pastures, crop fields, and... read more


Non-migratory. Local seasonal movements occur within South Africa. Vagrant elsewhere in S Africa, e... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. CITES II. Declining. Global population estimated in 2005 at over 25,580 individuals, nearly all in South Africa, with 2616 of these in eastern grasslands, 10,822... read more

Recommended citation

Archibald, G.W., Meine, C.D. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Blue Crane (Anthropoides paradiseus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 January 2020).