A crane is an elegant white bird with a very long neck. You're most likely to see cranes wading near shorelines and in marshy areas.
There are fifteen species of cranes, and almost all of them are endangered. Cranes are known for their odd mating dances and for the fact that they typically mate for life. When you crane your neck, you stretch it in order to get a better view of something — like a crane might do. The tall machine also known as a crane is clearly named for the long-necked bird as well.