Family Cranes (Gruidae)

Critically Endangered

Siberian Crane (Leucogeranus leucogeranus)


French: Grue de Sibérie German: Schneekranich Spanish: Grulla siberiana

Grus Leucogeranus


, 1773,

central Siberia along Ischim, Irtysh and Ob Rivers


Formerly placed in genus Grus; or in Bugeranus together with B. carunculatus on basis of morphological and behavioural similarities, but molecular evidence has revealed deep distinctiveness of present species#R; alternatively, placed in separate monospecific genus, Sarcogeranus, but present monotypic genus (Leucogeranus) has priority. Three wintering subpopulations identified, but no evidence as yet of geographical variation. Monotypic.


Arctic EC Siberia (Yakutia) and W Siberia (basin of R Kunovat, but may be now extinct there; also basins of R Konda and R Alymka). Three wintering areas: middle R Yangtze (mainly Poyang L) in China; Keoladeo (Bharatpur) in India, but not recorded since 2002#R; and S Caspian Sea in Iran.

Descriptive notes

125–140 cm; 4900–8620 g; wingspan 210–260 cm; male slightly larger than female. Distinguished from other white cranes, G. americana and G. japonensis... read more


Calls flute-like and musical, quite different from those of other cranes.


Most aquatic member of family, using wetlands for nesting, feeding and roosting almost exclusively... read more

Food and feeding

Omnivorous. Summer diet is broader, consisting primarily of roots, rhizomes, seeds, sprouts of sedges, and other plant materials, but also... read more


Spring breeder, with start of laying varying with weather conditions: eggs generally laid from late May to mid-Jun, peaking in first week... read more


Three wintering populations. Birds from main, “eastern” population migrate between... read more

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. CITES I. Although probably never common in historical times, species has suffered dramatic contraction of range and decline in numbers since 1800s.... read more

Recommended citation

Archibald, G.W., Meine, C.D., Sharpe, C.J. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Siberian Crane (Leucogeranus leucogeranus). 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 26 January 2020).