Gruiformes – Cranes & allies

Big or small, you’ve got to impress your (to be) partner with a dance!

Even though the term ‘Grui’ means crane-like, this order is an odd mixture of birds that includes 14 species of large cranes and many other birds like the little crakes, coots, and rails.

Their qualities and features are quite different from each other. Amongst them are the miniature rails, the tiny button quails, and the 1.5m (5 ft.) tall, stately Sarus crane of India. Many species in this order from the North Temperate Zone have spectacular migratory journeys that have fascinated humans for centuries.

While they may look like a nonhomogeneous order, the one thing most of them have in common is their elaborate courtship displays.