Sarus Crane – The Tallest Flying Bird

Sarus_CraneConservation status: VULNERABLE
Common name: Sarus crane
Scientific name: Antigone antigone
Type: bird
Diet: Insects, aquatic plants, fish, frogs, crustaceans, seeds
Length: 1.8 m
Weight: 5 – 12 kg

This 1.8-meter tall giant is one of the tallest flying birds in the world. It can be easily spotted in wetlands of India, Austrailia, and Southeast Asia. The Sarus crane derives its name from the Sanskrit word “Sarasa”, which can be translated to “lake bird.”

As the Sarus crane is considered to be a sacred bird in India, it has the greatest population in the Indian region. Moreover, viewed as symbols of martial value, the habitat of these birds is a popular destination for newly-wed couples.

Although there were about an estimated number of 20,000 mature Sarus cranes left in the wild in 2009(with the Indian population accounting for half of it), the current population is on a declining trend.

Unfortunately, due to factors such as habitat destruction, hunting, and environmental pollution, the decline in the total population is expected to continue.



  1. “Sarus Crane | International Crane Foundation”. Savingcranes.Org,
  2. Archibald GW, Sundar KSG, Barzen J. 2003. A review of three species of Sarus Crane Grus antigone. J. of Ecological Soc. 16:5-15.
  3. Johnsgard PA. 1983. Cranes of the world. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  4. Meine CD, Archibald GW. 1996. The cranes: status survey and conservation action plan. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.



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