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Crane, Red-Crowned

The red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis), also known as the Japanese crane is sacred and seen as a symbol of fidelity, good luck, love and long life in the Orient. It is also the second rarest crane species in the world. These tall, graceful birds are mainly white in color with black lower wings. In male red-crowned cranes, the cheeks, throat, and neck are also black, whilst in females, they are a pearly-grey. Adults have a bare patch of skin on the crown of the head, which is bright red in color. The bill is an olive-green color and the legs are black. Juvenile Japanese cranes are similar in appearance, although they lack the red crown and have black-tipped outer flight feathers. The wingspan of the red-crowned crane measures up to 2.5 meters! Red-crowned cranes are the most aquatic species of crane and prefer to forage in deep water. Red-crowned cranes usually pair for life and perform an elaborate, synchronized courtship dance to reinforce this bond.

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