Cranes, with their long legs and long necks, are the largest members of the Gruiformes; the sarus crane stands over five feet tall and has a wingspan of up to seven feet. Most cranes are pale grey or white in color, with accents of red and black feathers on their faces. The black-crowned crane is the most ornate member of the breed, with a tuft of golden plumes atop its head.
Rails are smaller than cranes, and include crakes, coots, and gallinules. Although some rails engage in seasonal migrations, most are weak fliers and prefer to run along the ground. Some of the rails that colonized islands with few or no predators have lost their ability to fly, which makes them vulnerable to invasive predators like snakes, rats, and feral cats.
Did you know?
Cranes are opportunistic feeders. That means that they will eat whatever they can find in their habitat. Amphibians, fish, insects and small rodents, along with seed, berries and different plants, are often on their menu.