Surprise, A Trifecta of Cranes

What will he post about next…. hmmmm.. maybe a collection of observations at buffets including the lady at Jumer’s Casino who takes her bare hands, puts it on the top plate of a stack and pushes them out closer to the customers and then repeats with the remaining stack of plates next to it leaving me stunned.  I took the top plate off one of the stacks put it on the now empty spot behind them and took the plate below it – making sure she noticed.  As fun a topic as that might be it really doesn’t stick with this month’s theme.  Idiots that throw trash on the ground at State Parks…nah, last year’s trek to get a rare bird (Ron wishes)… I know, how about some more CRANES!!!

What a great idea.  The bad news is these pictures are not gallery quality, but it does feature one of the coolest Cranes (my personal opinion of course).

This regal looking Crane is called a Demoiselle.  Every time I see it at the International Crane Foundation images of Roman Senators leap to mind with their leaf crowns.  According to the ICF website, these Demoiselles occupy the low end of the Crane stature scale – 3ft, 4-7lbs and once again rockin’ Wikipedia nets me their wingspan of 61 to 71″ for a wingspan.  Note to ICF, wingspan is a common birder attribute so highly recommend adding it to your descriptions.  What they lack in stature, they make up in quantity.  They are in the 200 to 240K range with a stable average population – yeah!  As a result, they are listed as Least Concern Conservation Status.

Thought the composition of the  shot above was cute.  It was definitely taking an interest in the shape it had spotted in the grass – sorry, not sure what it was but let’s simply refer to it as “food”.  Don’t be worried, I do have a shot that shows their entire profile

Admittedly, not a stellar shot since it lacks that faux in the wild feeling seeing their little man made hut. Did I mention these birds are cool looking!   Pretty sure I have a better picture of them from a more recent visit so stay tuned and hopefully I’ll get caught up enough to get them on the Blog. Oh, reminded by the next shot, the Demoiselle is on of the few cranes that don’t sport the red patch on the head (which for those researching day and night does not match the red palette clue for my prize hunt).

Hit the jump to view two other Cranes we visited at the ICF

This next bird was a little difficult to identify thanks to not having too many shots of it to get a good feel for the colors and features.  Using process of elimination, the best choice (at the moment) is an Eurasian Crane.  I can be convinced it is another species, but used all the references on the ICF and this was the closest match.  Sorry for the harsh lighting.

Like the previous Crane, the Eurasian sports a Least Concern Conservation status and inhabits over 80 countries (the latter being the ICF fun fact by the way).  Not a lot of other interesting info on this Crane there other than the dimensions which range in the 4ft and 12lb range.  Looks like the ICF took my advice and provided their wingspan or they have friends at the NSA and are getting direct feeds on my Internet activity – wingspan is 7ft by the way.  Sorry, no other pictures good enough to grace these pages – meaning they really sucked since my blog standards are pretty low.

On to the third participant in our Crane trifecta.  Now we start getting heavy fencing in the shots.  These dudes or dudettes are large and almost impossible to get then in a position that doesn’t have some form of fence or building in it so going with the best I could pull off.  Also shooting through a fence her so that added some pain trying to get the beast lined up with a gap in the links.

This would be the Sarus Crane checking in at whopping 6 feet high, 14 pounds and an 8 foot wingspan (yes, ICF had that for this bird as well).  Their population is declining and have a Conservation Status of Vulnerable (how sad).  The ICF fun fact for this bird is that the 6 feet mark puts it as the tallest flying bird.  Species of this bird are found in India, China and small numbers in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar.  Per Wikipedia, in India they are considered  marital fidelity symbols believed to mate for life and pine the loss of their mates even to the point of starving to death – <goingforpoints> Oh, I have something in common with these birds </goingforpoints>

These particular birds also have another aspect to them you might find interesting… they hate me!  That may be a little too restrictive, they just might hate everyone that comes to see them.  If they are hanging out at the back of their cage (near their hut) and notice you come near their cage, they will fold out their wings, raise up their 6 foot frame and aggressively run towards you squawking up a storm the whole time.  The first time we witnessed this it scared the crap out of me – did I mention it is a 6 FOOT TALL BIRD – like a damn Ostrich with an attitude.  Seeing this bird actually fly in the wild must be a thorough treat – probably looks like a dragon or Pterodactyl flying overhead (question, do they still have Pterodactyls  or did some idiot misplace the head on that one as well?)

Going to call it a wrap for this point – hope you enjoyed a few more Cranes!

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