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(Gruidae), a family of birds of the order Gruiformes. They are large birds with a long neck and long legs. Their standing height varies from 90 cm (hooded crane) to 155 cm (sarus crane). The lower part of the tibia has no feathers. The fore toes are joined at the base by a small membrane. The tail is short. The males and females have similar plumage.

Most cranes have a loud, trumpeting cry. They inhabit primarily open places, such as the steppe, broad marshes, or tundra. The northern species migrate. They settle in separate pairs, but during migration and wintering periods join into flocks. The nest is built on the ground, and each clutch contains two eggs or, more rarely, one or three. The young abandon the nest soon after hatching; both parents care for them. Their food consists of vegetable matter (seeds, berries, shoots, and plant rhizomes) and animal matter (insects, mollusks, and small rodents). Migrating flocks often damage crops. The numbers of many species of Gruidae have sharply declined because of the drying up of swamps and the cultivation of virgin lands; some species are on the verge of complete extinction.

The family contains 15 species in five genera. Three genera—the Stanley crane (Tetrapteryx; one species), the crowned crane (Balearica\ one species), and the wattled crane (Bugeranus) —are found only in Africa. The demoiselle crane (Anthropoides) is found in the steppes of Africa, Europe, and Asia (including the USSR). The genus Grus is represented by ten species; they are distributed in Europe, Asia, North America, Australia, and New Guinea. There are five species in the USSR: the common crane (G. grus), widely distributed in the central and northern belts of the USSR; the sandhill crane (G. canadensis), in northeastern Siberia; the white crane, or Siberian crane (G. leucogeranus), in the tundra of northeastern Yakutiia; the hooded crane (G. monachus), in eastern Siberia; and the white-naped crane (G. vipio), in the Amur basin. The Manchurian crane (G. japonensis), which nested in the Ussuri basin, is practically extinct today.


Ptitsy Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 2. Edited by G. P. Dement’ev and ‘ N. A. Gladkov. Moscow, 1951.


References in classic literature ?
Happily, Ichabod Crane was not in so great a hurry as his historian, but did ample justice to every dainty.
It is true, an old farmer, who had been down to New York on a visit several years after, and from whom this account of the ghostly adventure was received, brought home the intelligence that Ichabod Crane was still alive; that he had left the neighborhood partly through fear of the goblin and Hans Van Ripper, and partly in mortification at having been suddenly dismissed by the heiress; that he had changed his quarters to a distant part of the country; had kept school and studied law at the same time; had been admitted to the bar; turned politician; electioneered; written for the newspapers; and finally had been made a justice of the ten pound court.
Leonard Crane turned his pale face round the circle of faces till he came to Juliet's; then he compressed his lips a little and said:
He appeared exceedingly well," replied Crane, with a curious intonation.
asked the investigator; and Leonard Crane made no reply.
Crane, and when we told my brother he did not approve of it; that is all.
Crane mislaid his sword, not to mention his companion.
And may I ask," inquired Crane, with a certain flicker of mockery passing over his pallid features, "what I am supposed to have done with either of them?
And as they reconciled themselves to their ridiculous trappings, a curious sensation had come over some of them, notably over the more sensitive, like Crane and Fisher and Juliet, but in some degree over everybody except the practical Mr.
That night, at the close of a stormy twilight and under a strong west wind that followed the breaking of the frost, Leonard Crane was wending his way in a wild rotatory walk round and round the high, continuous wall that inclosed the little wood.
Nevertheless, he looked up at Leonard Crane and smiled, almost as if he had expected him.
Look here," said Crane, planting himself in front of him, "can you tell me anything about this business?