Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Cranes of Africa

When we were in Baraboo, Wisconsin earlier this month, we visited the International Crane Foundation, where pairs of the world's 15 species of cranes could be viewed during a short walk along a paved trail. It was a fascinating experience.

I'll admit my ignorance here and tell you that I'd always thought "crane" was sort of a general term that included herons. I've learned that a key difference is that cranes fly with outstretched necks, while herons tuck their necks in flight.

During our visit, we were privileged to view 13 of the 15 species of cranes. Two remained hidden while we were there: the Hooded Crane and the Demoiselle Crane.

Although we had open views of a few of the cranes, many were behind chain link fences because they are territorial and potentially aggressive. As a result of having to shoot through the fences, some of the photos will have a shadow or may look a bit distorted.

The four species of cranes featured in this post are all from Africa. I've included two pictures of each. 

Wattled Crane

Wattled Crane

Black Crowned Crane

Black Crowned Crane

Grey Cowned Crane

Grey Crowned Crane

Blue Cranes
(The background is a mural painted on a wall of their pen.)

Blue Crane

I'll have more from this visit to the International Crane Foundation in future posts. 


  1. What gorgeous birds, amazing to get close. I have heard of a couple who get mean. Sounds bizarre since all of us want to be the closest we can when birding.

  2. Dearest Linda, what glorious, beautiful birds! Perhaps at least one of them is my height or taller? They certainly look tall and majestic! Thanks so much for sharing these amazing photos! I have only see blue herons in Montreal and have gotten some photos, but these birds usually stay well hidden and in many cases distant, so it isn't easy to capture them in photos. :)

  3. Fascinating and beautiful creatures.

  4. all beautiful birds. I saw the Blue Crane in S. Africa

  5. i've never seen the blue crane before! that's a beauty! well, they all are.

  6. I think you did a great job shooting through chain-linked fences. Your photos are beautiful -- as are the cranes.

  7. It's so interesting Linda! I didn't have any idea there is such variety of cranes and would be able to identify just the crowned crane... which is probably the best known. The blue cranes in front of the mural painting look like part of the painting, it's beautiful. :)

  8. Steve - It truly WAS amazing to be able to be so close to these birds, even if separated by a fence.

    Thank you, Linda. I don't know how these birds would compare to you in height, since I don't know how tall you are. :) I, too, love the Great Blue Herons. Such majestic birds.

    Thanks, Ruth. It was such a treat to see them.

    Margaret - How special that must have been to see the Blue Crane in Africa. They are so beautiful.

    Tex - I know what you mean. Each has its own beauty, but the Blue is special.

    Thanks kindly, George.

    Petra - This was a learning experience for me, too. I also thought that the Blue Cranes looked like part of that painted mural. So I was glad to get the second picture, without the mural.


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