The grey-crowned crane (Balearica regulorum) is a bird in the crane family Gruidae. It occurs in dry savannah in Africa south of the Sahara, although it nests in somewhat wetter habitats. They can also be found in marshes, cultivated lands and grassy flatlands near rivers and lakes in eastern areas from the Uganda and Kenya, south to South Africa. This animal does not migrate.
The grey-crowned crane has a breeding display involving dancing, bowing, and jumping. It has a booming call which involves inflation of the red gular sac. It also makes a honking sound quite different from the trumpeting of other crane species. Both sexes dance, and immature birds join the adults. Dancing is an integral part of courtship, but also may be done at any time of the year.
Flocks of 30-150 birds are not uncommon.
The grey-crowned crane is about 3.3 ft tall and weighs 7.7 lbs and a wingspan of 6.5 ft. Its body plumage is mainly grey. The wings are also predominantly white, but contain feathers with a range of colours. The head has a crown of stiff golden feathers. The sides of the face are white, and there is a bright red inflatable throat pouch. The bill is relatively short and grey, and the legs are black. They have long legs for wading through the grasses. The feet are large, yet slender, adapted for balance rather than defense or grasping. The sexes are similar, although males tend to be slightly larger. Young birds are greyer than adults, with a feathered buff face.