The black-necked crane feeds on a wide range of food including roots and tubers, invertebrates such as grasshoppers, earthworms, shrimps, beetles and flies and small vertebrates including lizards and frogs (5). Whilst feeding in water, they either sweep their bill through the water or stand still, like herons, and stab at prey when it passes by. Whatever the technique used, they typically carry the prey to land before it is eaten. When feeding on land they use the bill to probe the ground to extract plant matter. In winter they feed on grain in stubble fields (5).
Little is known of the migratory behaviour of this crane, but individuals tend to arrive in the breeding areas from late March to mid-May, depending on the area and will have departed by November (5). The nests, which vary from a scratching in the ground with a few reeds as a lining to piles of mud, grasses, rushes and other weeds, are constructed on existing grassy islands or actually in the water. In all cases the position of the nest provides the pair with an undisturbed view of the area (5). Two eggs are usually laid per clutch, with chicks hatching after around 30 to 34 days (7). The incubation duties are carried out by both members of the pair, and the nest is never left unless the adult bird is threatened. After the chicks have hatched, the adults break the shells into small pieces and hide them amongst the nesting material. It is thought that this avoids attracting the unwelcome attention of predators, although in some cases the parents have been observed feeding small pieces of shell to the young. The helpless chick is unable to stand until two days after hatching, and it will fly after three months. Whilst in the nest, the young are fed insects and other invertebrates as well as tubers. Individuals reach maturity at two to three years of age and are known to live up to 30 years in the wild (5).