Cranes are magnificent birds to see in flight. They come in a range of sizes and weights, and they all have distinctive characteristics. Cranes come in fifteen different species. Six of the fifteen are on the endangered species list. Unfortunately, while natural predators are to blame for many cranes’ deaths, humans are by far the most threatening. Cranes are hunted for sport as well as food. Crane habitats, unfortunately, are also in jeopardy; if left alone, cranes will live for up to 30 years in the wild and 80 years in captivity.
Cranes are increasingly being saved and protected by conservation efforts. Since 1973, the International Crane Foundation has protected crane species, protects habitats, and educates the public about these incredible birds.
Here Are Some Examples Of Crane Birds In More Detail:
Mycteria Americana (Wood Stork):
Wood Storks are uncommon, but as colonial nesting birds, you may see many at once in some parts of the southeast United States. Wood Storks are large birds with a white body and black flight feathers that mimic Whooping Cranes on the surface; however, the black feathers on Wood Storks’ wings run the entire length of the wing.
Pelecanus Erythrorhynchos (American White Pelican):
The northern part of the United States is home to pelicans. The black of a pelican’s wing extends the wing’s length while it’s flying, and its legs don’t stretch beyond the stocky frame.
Cygnus Buccinator (Trumpeter Swan):
These three swans are among the largest flying birds in North America. Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus); Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) The short legs trailing behind their tails and the absence of black wing feathers differentiate them from Whooping Cranes at a distance.
Blue cranes are among the tiniest crane species, standing about 4-feet tall and weighing around 11 pounds. They have blue-silver feathers and are only two cranes that do not have red, bare skin on their heads. It’s difficult to tell the difference between males and females. The blue crane is South Africa’s national bird, and it can only be found in the southern part of the country.
Dry grasslands and shallow water are preferred habitats for these species. They lay their eggs on dry ground or in the grass at higher elevations in grasslands. Females normally only lay two eggs, with a 30-33 day incubation period. Waste grains, sedge seeds, birds, and small vertebrates are all eaten by blue cranes.
Wattled Cranes achieve a maximum height of six feet and weigh just fourteen pounds. The color of their back and wings is ash gray. Slate gray is used above the eyes and on the crown. Their wattles are almost fully covered in feathers. They are present in eleven sub-Saharan African countries, including an isolated population in Ethiopia’s highlands.
Cranes in Europe and Asia can fly up to 32,800 feet in altitude, which no other bird can match. Every day, cranes will fly up to 500 miles in search of food. The Demoiselle crane was named after the French queen Marie Antoinette because of its ladylike look.