Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Crested (Gray Crowned) Crane

The crested crane is one of two subspecies  of the gray crowned crane. It is found from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo through Uganda and from Kenya to South Africa. It is the national bird of Uganda. The other subspecies, the South African crowned crane, is found from Angola south to South Africa.  
Crested crane, a subspecies of the gray crowned crane. This gives a good view of most of the colors. Photo by Esmee Tooke.
A view of the red wattle on the neck. Photo by Michael Lewin.
A view of the back. A jackal trots by in the background. Photo by John Mirau.
Beautiful chestnut back feathers. Photo by Mark Edwards.
The crested crane is one of the more beautiful birds I've ever seen. It has a large, golden yellow bonnet on its crown which fans out, muppet-like, over the top of its head. A large patch of white bare skin dominates the back of the head with a red spot above it. A black bill, fore-crown and chin counter-balance the white patch and they intersect at the eye. The slate gray neck has a red wattle at the top front. The back and underparts are sooty gray with large white, gold and chestnut colored patches and the feet and legs are black.
A beautiful pair. Photo by John Mirau.
Photo by Esmee Tooke.
Photo by Esmee Tooke.
Flying. Photo by Steven Shuel.
We saw several of them in Ngorongoro Crate in Tanzania.   

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful birds. Seeing the photos makes me realize how defined the coloration is. I'm always so focused on the funky hairdo that I don't pay attention to the body.