Endangered Grey Crowned-crane Makes Public Debut at National Aviary

Endangered Grey Crowned-crane Chick Makes Public Debut at National Aviary

The fluffy chick will stretch its long legs for visitors during daily walks in the Rose Garden


Photos and video available for media use: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xj81s7szt4ugzaz/AACCw9FF7qQsTa_GPRwWX9sia?dl=0


August 8, 2019 (Pittsburgh, PA) – A Grey Crowned-crane, which hatched at the National Aviary on July 27 made its public debut today. The fluffy chick strutted around the historic National Aviary Rose Garden for visitors, stretching its long legs during one of its multiple daily walks. The chick, which hatched on July 27, will be hand-raised at the National Aviary. Visitors to the National Aviary can see the adorable chick up close as it stretches its legs and exercises in the Rose Garden multiple times per day. The daily walks provide the chick with opportunities to stretch its growing legs and prepare it for its role as an educational ambassador for its species.

“The hatching of our new Grey Crowned-crane chick is an exciting opportunity for visitors to experience what we at the National Aviary see every day: birds growing and thriving. Visitors can watch this chick grow up right before their eyes!” said Cathy Schlott, Curator of Behavioral Management and Education at the National Aviary. “The fact that Grey Crowned-cranes are endangered makes this little one even more special.”

Grey Crowned-cranes are one of the most recognizable crane species, noted for their elaborate golden-yellow plumage resembling a crown on their heads. Cranes are precocial birds, and begin walking and exploring their world within hours of hatching. The chick weighed 87 grams when it hatched, and was about the size of a large pear, and is growing rapidly. Today it weighs 183 grams, about a half a pound. In just three months, the downy tan chick will reach its full adult size of over three feet tall, with a wingspan of 6.5 feet. In about 18 months, the chick will have full adult plumage, and will be a striking gray with red, black, and white features. The sex of the chick will be determined by a feather DNA test.

The crane chick is being hand-raised by experts at the National Aviary, where it will live behind the scenes and become an educational ambassador for its species. Visitors to the National Aviary will be able to meet the crane and learn about the species. Grey Crowned-cranes are listed as Endangered on The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM, with fewer than 25,000 individuals remaining in the wild.  Native the wetlands and grasslands of Eastern and Southern Africa, the species faces declining numbers due to habitat loss and overuse of pesticides.



About the National Aviary:

The National Aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated to birds. Located in West Park on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, the National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises 500 birds representing more than 150 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild. The National Aviary’s large walk-through habitats create an intimate, up-close interaction between visitors and free-flying birds, including opportunities to hand-feed and to meet many species rarely found in zoos anywhere else in the world. For more information, visit www.aviary.org.

The National Aviary inspires respect for nature through an appreciation of birds.



Molly Toth, Communications Specialist

Office: 412-258-9456 /  Mobile: 412-508-2727 / molly.toth@aviary.org

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