Grus grus
English: Common Crane.
German: Kranich.
French: Grue cendrée.
Order: Gruiformes.
Family: Gruidae.
96-119 cm.
180-220 cm.
The Common Crane cannot be confused with any other Iberian species.
The plumage is so similar in males and females that it is not a relevant variable for sexing.
It is possible to recognize 3 different ages:

1st / 2nd year specimen: the head is presented with black naked skin and reddish tinges. The head and top of the neck in ochre-lion tones with the ear area slightly lighter. The body feathers are grayish and usually have a visible brown edge on the top.

3rd year specimen: individuals are similar to adults. They do not have the featherless head like adults. They still retain some old feathers from the juvenile generation (brown) in the scapular area, wing coverts, tertials, and infra-coverts. Most of these individuals usually maintain the primaries and secondaries from the same juvenile generation, being narrower and pointed than those of adults.

Adult specimen: at this age the characteristic head with intense red tones is observed. The head and neck have vertical stripes that are tinted with dark gray, white, and black tones. A white band can be seen behind the eye on each side of the head. On the other hand, the body feathers are light gray, free of brown tones. The primaries and secondaries are wider and rounder than those of juveniles.
The Common Crane performs a complete postnuptial molt. This process is not repeated every year as flight feathers are changed all at once every two years or even every four years in some cases. In the case of juvenile individuals, they perform a partial post-juvenile molt in which they change some body feathers. This process usually ends in October.
Primaries: 10 per wing.
Secundaries: 23-30 per wing.
Rectrices: 12.


Adult specimen:
Beak tip to pupil center:

Adult female specimen (Aldara).


1.- Left wing primaries. 2.- Primaries. 3.- Tips of the primaries details. 4.- Secondaries (S23-S18). 5.- Secondaries (S17-S12). 6.- Secondaries (S11-S1). 7.- Left wing secondaries and tertials. 8.- Details of the tips of the last secondaries. 9.- Details of the tips of the secondaries. 10.- Details of the outer vane of the outer secondaries. 11.- Details of the tertials. 12.- Details of the tertials. 13.- Primaries, secondaries, and tertials. 14.- Primaries, secondaries, and tertials. 15.- Primaries, secondaries, tertials. Primary coverts and greater coverts. 16.- Primaries, secondaries, tertials. Primary coverts and secondary coverts (G, M, and L). Alulas. 17.- Details of the primary coverts. 18.- Details of the secondary coverts. 19.- Details of the secondary coverts. 20.- Details of the tertiary coverts. 21.- Details of the tertiary coverts. 22.- Primary coverts. 23.- Secondary coverts. 24.- Alulas. 25.- Rectrices. 26.- Rectrices. 27.- Details of the tips of the rectrices. 28.- Details of the rectrices. 29.- Rectrices + uppertail coverts. 30.- Rectrices + undertail coverts. 31.- Details of the undertail coverts. 32.- Chest feathers. 33.- Details of the tips of the chest feathers. 34.- Primaries (P9, P7, and P6) of the same specimen. Feathers from the previous natural molt. 35.- Details of the natural molt P9. 36.- Difference between the same feather from the same specimen in two different stages.

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