Large elegant birds 1.0 - 1.2 m, adults +/- 5 kg (although they are one of the smaller crane species), plain blue-grey in overall colour with very long slate-grey tertials (resembling long tail streamers). Long black legs and feet. Eyes dark brown. Brown to pink bill. Forehead and crown very light grey to white. Feathers of cheeks and ears are long and loose - are raised during courting displays.
Voice: Distinctive rolling croak, high pitched and loud.