The cranefish is black and white in coloration, with a red patch on top of the head. It is streamlined, with a long neck, long legs, and large wings. Although feathers primarily cover the entirety of its body, the cranefish also has scales running along its back.
As suggested by its name, the cranefish bears resemblance to the crane and exhibits most of the bird's physical appearance, apart from its scales, which are attributable to many species of fish.
- Cranefish are noisy.
- The Air Nomads fashioned kites in the likeness of cranefish for use after the celebration of Yangchen's Festival.
- The original name for Republic City was Cranefish Town, named for the cranefish in the area.
- DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). The Rift Part One (March 5, 2014), Dark Horse Comics.
- DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Hicks, Faith Erin (writer), Wartman, Peter (artist), Hill, Ryan (colorist). Imbalance Part One (December 18, 2018), Dark Horse Comics.