Difference Between Stork and Crane

Stork vs Crane

Strok and Crane are both large birds with long beaks, legs, and necks. However, they are different in their appearance as well as in some other aspects in biology. This article intends to talk about the distinctions between these two beautiful birds. Although, both stork and crane sound singular, they represent more than 35 species of the glorious avian fauna.


Storks are as stated above; long-legged and long-necked birds belong to Order: Ciconiiformes. Storks represent 19 species under six genera including Black-necked stork, Painted Stork, Asian openbill, Marabou stork… etc. Unlike their relatives (spoonbills and ibises), storks like to live in both dry and wet habitats. They are migratory birds more often than not. Storks have strong, long, and broad wings as adaptations for long distance flying. Marabou stork has a wingspan of over 3 metres. The interesting characteristic about storks is that the absence of syrinx muscles (poorly developed vocal gland), which has made them to be mute. However, they can produce sounds by snapping their strong bills. Food habits are carnivorous, and their diet could include frogs, fish, earthworms, and even small mammals. Storks often use soaring and gliding flight to conserve their energy while flying long distances. Nesting is also interesting, as they build large platform nests (2 metres wide and 3 metres deep) on the trees, or on rock ledges, and they use those for many years. That means storks are homebound birds. A female, after mating with her partner, incubates the eggs with the help of the male.


Cranes also have long legs and necks, but belong to the Order: Gruiformes. There are 15 cranes species in four genera. The speciality about cranes is that they can change their diet according to the availability, energy and nutrient requirements, and the climate. That is undoubtedly a wonderful adaptation for their survival in any condition. Not all the cranes migrate long distances. Their foraging adaptability has helped them from risking their lives in migrating long distances. Cranes prefer aquatic habitats mostly, than drier environments. Cranes range in all over the world except Antarctica and there are no records from South America as well. They have a developed vocal communication system, which is rich with a large vocabulary. Cranes are an important group of animals, as the tallest flying bird being a crane. They are seasonal breeders and the partners are pair-bonded. They build up platform nests in shallow water, the female usually lays two eggs in one season, and both parents help each other to nourish and raise their young.

What is the difference between Stork and Crane?

Except from their taxonomic divergence, other differences between cranes and storks are as follows.

• Diversity of both cranes and storks do not differ much, but there are 19 species of storks, while cranes include 15 species.

• Storks are carnivores, but cranes are more adaptive with omnivorous feeding habits.

• Storks build up large platform nests on the trees and rock ledges, but cranes build their nests on shallow waters.

• Female stork lays three to six eggs in one breeding season, while female crane lays only two eggs in one season.

• Storks prefer more dry areas, whereas cranes like to inhabit wet lands.

• Storks are mute, but cranes are highly vocal.

• Most of the storks are migratory and travel long distances, while cranes could be either migratory or non-migratory.

  • Infiyaz Khalid

    Nice and interesting. But your opening word is spelled wrongly as “strok” instead of “stork”.