Southern African Birds

 

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  Blue Crane

 

Anthropoides paradiseus

(208) 110 cm; 4.9 kg

SEXES  Alike, M > F. Overall grey appearance (except for white crown) should eliminate confusion with other species including Wattled Crane, which has a white neck. The elongated feathers that hang almost to the ground are tertials (inner wing feathers). Known to hybrid­ise with Wattled Crane in the wild.

JUV  Paler than ad. Lacks bulbous head-shape, elongated tertials develop at about 1 year.

STATUS  Locally common in a few areas but with a drastically reduced population from a historical estimate of about 100 000 birds to approximately 20 000 at end of 1990s. Endemic, and listed as Vulnerable. Some populations thought to be migratory, some locally nomadic and others largely resident. Out of br season forms large flocks up to 1 000 birds. Roosts in shallow waters at night.

HABITAT  Mostly natural grassland but also in wetlands, cultivated pastures and croplands.

FOOD  Omnivorous and probably primarily vegetarian. Eats small bulbs, seeds and roots. Invertebrates include bollworm, caterpillars, grasshoppers, termites and worms. Animal prey includes fish, frogs, reptiles and small mammals.

CALL  Loud, guttur­al, rattling kraaaarrrk, often in duet with M lower-pitched than F.

BR  Monogamous. On wet ground, nest is pad of vegetation; on dry ground, eggs may be encircled with pebbles, dry vegeta­tion or mammal dung. Usual clutch 2 eggs; incubation period 29-30 days.

 

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Crb001

Etosha

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk III

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

Crb002

Etosha

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk III

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

Crb003

Etosha

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk III

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This web page was last updated on: 22 August, 2016