basic information

Common Crane

Grus grus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Серый журавль | Сұр тырна

Kostanay region, Fedorovskiy district, Ozernoe.
© Yuriy Malkov


Irregularly breeds in almost all regions of Kazakhstan, on migrations occurs everywhere except Mangyshlak. Please see detailed distribution in the section Subspecies.


Rare breeding migrant, more common during spring and autumn migrations. Inhabits the reed-beds of lakes, wet meadows, hummock marshes among birch groves both on plains and in mountains at altitudes up to 2000 m in Altai and 1950 m in Tien Shan (Tuzkol lake). In spring appears in the end of February - early March to April. Migrates both by day and by night in flocks of 30-40 to one hundred birds, or rare in groups of 3-10 birds. Latest spring migrants observed in end of May. Breeds in separate pairs, at distance several kilometers one from another. Nest is located on patch of dry land among the water, or on shallow water among the reed-bed near the dry shore; nest is built from reed and grass stems, and is lined with grass. Clutch of 2-3 eggs is laid in April – May. Mostly female incubates clutch for about one month, male standing guard nearby. Chicks hatch in May – June and begin to fly in mid July – August. In end of May – June non-breeding Cranes gather in thousands to wing moulting on vast shallow salt lakes (Selety-Teniz, for example), where they rest on island or in shallow water and feed in nearby steppe. Autumn migration begins in August, most birds fly off in mid-September – early October, odd birds linger until end of November.


Grus grus grus (Linnaeus, 1758)

    Description. General colour is darker, black on tertials tips spans more space than lilfordi. Size is larger than lilfordi. Male wing length 600-660 (641), female 570-640 (594) mm.
    Distribution. Probably this subspecies lives in Western Kazakhstan where nests and broods were recorded on floods of Chizhinsko-Balyktinskiye system and in area adjacent to Kushum river.

Grus grus lilfordi (Sharpe, 1894)

    Description. General colour is lighter, black on tertials tips spans less space than grus. Size is less than grus. Male wing length 580-640 (600), female 560-610 (582) mm.
    Distribution. Irregularly breeds in Northern Kazakhstan, on lakes in Naurzum steppe, in Tengiz-Kurgaldzhino depression, on Southern Altai, separate pairs live in Kalbinskiy Altai, on Zaysan lake, in Alakol depression, in Ile valley and in lower reaches of Chu river. Everywhere occurs on migration.

Grus grus korelovi (Ilyashenko et Belyalov, 2011)

    Description. In particular the plumage of the head and of the neck's front part of this subspecies is more contrasting then in others subspecies. The red crown is broader then in G. g. lilfordi. Black spots on tertials are as in G. g. archibaldi and the population of G. g. grus in Eastern Europe, less than populations from Western Europe, but more than in G. g. lilfordi. The inside part of vane feathers that form the top of the wing is 5 mm wider, and the inside part of vane of the central rectrices are 10 mm wider than the maximal width of these feathers of other subspecies of Common Crane.
    Distribution. Breeds in the highlands of Central and Eastern Tien Shan.


Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург. Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000. В.Ю.Ильяшенко, О.В.Белялов "Новый подвид серого журавля Grus grus korelovi ssp. из Центрального и Восточного Тянь-Шаня."



Grus grus grus
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Grus grus lilfordi
(Sharpe, 1894)
Grus grus korelovi
(Ilyashenko et Belyalov, 2011)

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unidentified birds


Андрей Коваленко: Я за камышовую.


Alexandr Mesiats: Да, безусловно, согласен с Вами, но следует ли из этого, что чернушке, как "скальнику" (и практически "чистому" синатропу) легче приспособится [....]


Игорь Фефелов: На мой взгляд, перепелятник и есть, форма крыльев вполне похожа в этой позиции.

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