Family Cranes (Gruidae)

Least Concern

Demoiselle Crane (Anthropoides virgo)


French: Grue demoiselle German: Jungfernkranich Spanish: Grulla damisela

Ardea Virgo


, 1758,





C Eurasia from Black Sea E to Mongolia and NE China. Winters in Indian Subcontinent and in sub-Saharan Africa (from L Chad to Ethiopia). Small, disjunct breeding population in Turkey, but another population in NW Africa (Atlas Mts) recently extirpated#R.

Descriptive notes

c. 90–100 cm; 2000–3000 g; wingspan c. 150–185 cm. Smallest crane; male slightly larger than female. Present species and A. paradiseus are the only... read more


Contact and flight calls are very similar to Grus grus. Courtship calls are lower-pitched... read more


Primarily savanna, steppe and other grassland types, often in close proximity to streams, shallow... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly seeds (especially of grasses) and other plant materials; also insects, especially beetles (Coleoptera) in summer; worms, lizards and... read more


Spring breeder, mainly Apr–May, but as late as Jun in north. Nest is minimally prepared in open patches of grass, in cultivated areas... read more


Migratory. Birds from W Eurasia winter in eastern sub-Saharan Africa, principally E of the Nile in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Global population estimated to number 230,000-261,000 individuals. The overall trend is increasing, although some... read more

Recommended citation

Archibald, G.W., Meine, C.D., Garcia, E.F.J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Demoiselle Crane (Anthropoides virgo). 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).