Demoiselle Crane

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Related to Anthropoides virgo: demoiselle crane, Grus virgo
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Demoiselle Crane

 

(Anthropoides virgo), or demoiselle, a bird of the family Gruidae. It measures about 90 cm long and weighs 2-2.7 kg. The plumage is bluish gray; the head and neck are black. The crop has long black feathers, and there are tufts of white feathers along the sides of the head.

The demoiselle crane is distributed in the dry steppes and semideserts of Europe, Asia, and northwestern Africa. In the USSR it is found from the southwestern borders to Tuva and Transbaikalia. It winters in Africa and southern Asia. The number of demoiselle cranes and their area of distribution have diminished sharply as a result of the plowing of virgin lands and the use of chemical fertilizers. The bird lays one to three eggs on the ground, often without any nesting material. The eggs are primarily incubated by the female for about one month. The demoiselle crane feeds on plant shoots, on seeds, and, less frequently, on insects.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.