Cranes

Cranes are tall long-legged birds found on all continents except South America and Antarctica.  There are 15 species of cranes with 2, whooping and sandhill, found in the United States.

Cranes


Sandhill Cranes

Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge

Alaska


Sandhill Cranes

Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge

Alaska


Sandhill Crane

Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge

Alaska


Whooping Cranes

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Texas


Whooping Crane

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Texas


Sandhill Cranes

Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge

Alaska


Whooping Crane

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Texas


Whooping Cranes

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Texas


The Tallest Flying Bird!!


The sarus crane is tallest of the flying birds, standing at a height of up to 5 feet 11 inches (1.8 meters) and is a non-migratory crane found in parts of the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australia. Their favorite habitat is open wetlands in south Asia.


Sarus cranes have loud trumpeting calls. These calls are, as in other cranes, produced by the elongated trachea that form coils within the sternal region.  Pairs may indulge in spectacular displays of calling in unison and posturing.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarus_crane


Sarus cranes forage in shallow water (usually with less 1-foot depth of water) or in fields, frequently probing in mud with their long bills.  They are omnivorous, eating insects (especially grasshoppers), aquatic plants, fish, frogs, crustaceans and seeds.



A Vulnerable Species!


There were about an estimated 15–20,000 mature sarus cranes left in the wild in 2009. The Indian population is less than 10,000, but of the three subspecies, is the healthiest in terms of numbers. They are considered sacred and the birds are traditionally left unharmed, and in many areas they are unafraid of humans.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarus_crane


Whooping Cranes


Short Run into the Wind Needed for Flight!


Whooping cranes are the tallest bird native to North America and are anywhere from the third to the fifth heaviest species there, depending on which figures are used. The species can reportedly stand anywhere from 1.24 to 1.6 m (4 ft 1 in to 5 ft 3 in) in height. Wingspan, at least typically, is from 2 to 2.3 m (6 ft 7 in to 7 ft 7 in). Widely reported averages put males at a mean mass of 7.3 kg (16 lb), while females weigh 6.2 kg (14 lb) on average. 


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whooping_crane


Still Running!


Photographs were taken on April 19, 2019 in Burleigh County, North Dakota


Running Faster!


Almost There!


Take Off!


Mates for Life!


Whooping cranes live to be 22 to 24 years in the wild.  They become sexually mature between 4 and 7 years old.  They migrate from their nesting grounds in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada in the Fall and winter in Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas before returning in the Spring.



Back from the Brink!


After being pushed to the brink of extinction by unregulated hunting and loss of habitat to just 21 wild and two captive whooping cranes by 1941, conservation efforts have led to a limited recovery.[2] The total number of cranes in the surviving migratory population, plus three reintroduced flocks and in captivity, now exceeds 800 birds.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whooping_crane


A Sight I will Probably Never See Again!


Perfect morning light, blue sky, the rare whooping crane and a south wind resulted in this whooping crane running towards me before taking off and flying.  I doubt that I will ever experience this again!


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