What Do Cranes Eat?

Some cranes eat tubers, roots, small crustaceans and insects. Other cranes eat grasses, grains, berries and acorns. Yet other types of cranes eat snakes, other reptiles and even other birds. What a crane prefers to eat depends largely on its habitat and its anatomy.

The sandhill crane is a large bird that lives mostly in the western and northern areas of North America. Usually, it’s found in grasslands and wetlands and moves to more aquatic environments during the breeding season. The sandhill mostly eats grain.

The whooping crane is also native to North America. It lives and breeds in environments of shallow water such as lagoons and marshes. It also eats grain, but eats snails, crustaceans, frogs, fish and insects as well.

A symbol of Japan, the red-crowned crane eats water plants such as rice and the buds of reeds. It also eat animals such as goldfish, reptiles, amphibians, crabs and snails; it’s known to eat other water birds as well.

The common crane, which is found in Eurasia, is also omnivorous but has more plant material in its diet than the red-crowned crane. It eats everything from cereal grains to blueberries, the roots of grasses, potatoes, olives, groundnuts and acorns. It also eats amphibians, woodlice, spiders and the eggs and nestlings of smaller birds.