The large size, white neck and upper breast separate the Wattled Crane from other cranes. These beautiful, uncommon birds are described as “birds of concern”, but are more common in Botswana than elsewhere. They are found singly, in pairs or in flocks of up to 100 birds in the Okavango Delta.
Their call is a synchronised duet; deep kah-eee repeated a number of times.
Behaviour and habitat
They favour shallow wetlands with extensive short emergent vegetation. They also occur alongside marshes and pans and to a lesser extent in natural grassland and agricultural fields.
They feed mainly on vegetable matter, mainly plant tubers and grass seeds that are stripped off stems. Animal foods include small aquatic snails, fish and frogs.
The nest is a mound of aquatic vegetation usually placed in shallow water with the surrounding vegetation well trampled to create the effect of a moat.