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Grey Crowned Crane

Grey Crowned Crane
Photo Information
Copyright: Thijs van Balen jr (Pentaxfriend) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 514 W: 24 N: 1888] (8048)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-10-11
Categories: Birds
Camera: Pentax K10D, Sigma 400mm/ 5.6 APO Tele Macro, Digital ISO 200, 77mm Tokina ATX MC Skylight 1b
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/50 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-11-12 17:26
Viewed: 3561
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Gruidae
Genus: Balearica
Species: B. regulorum
Binomial name: Balearica regulorum

The Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum) is a bird in the crane family Gruidae. It occurs in dry savannah in Africa south of the Sahara, although it nests in somewhat wetter habitats.

There are two subspecies. The East African B. r. gibbericeps (Crested Crane) occurs from eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo through Uganda, of which it is the national bird, and Kenya to eastern South Africa. It has a larger area of bare red facial skin above the white patch than the smaller Balearica regulorum regulorum (South African Crowned Crane) which breeds from Angola south to South Africa.

This species and the closely related Black Crowned Crane are the only cranes that can roost in trees, because of a long hind toe that can grasp branches. This habit, amongst other things, is a reason why the relatively small Balearica cranes are believed to closely resemble the ancestral members of the Gruidae.

The Grey Crowned Crane has a breeding display involving dancing, bowing, and jumping. It has a booming call which involves inflation of the red gular sac. It also makes a honking sound quite different from the trumpeting of other crane species.

The nest is a platform of grass and other plants in tall wetland vegetation. The Grey Crowned Crane lays a clutch of 2-5 eggs. Incubation is performed by both sexes and lasts 28-31 days. Chicks fledge at 56-100 days.

The Grey Crowned Crane is about 1 m (3.3 ft) tall and weighs 3.5 kg (7.7 lbs). Its body plumage is mainly grey. The wings are also predominantly white, but contain feathers with a range of colours. The head has a crown of stiff golden feathers. The sides of the face are white, and there is a bright red inflatable throat pouch. The bill is relatively short and grey, and the legs are black. The sexes are similar, although males tend to be slightly larger. Young birds are greyer than adults, with a feathered buff face. Like all cranes, it feeds on insects, reptiles and small mammals.

Although the Grey Crowned Crane remains common over much of its range, it faces threats to its habitat due to drainage, overgrazing, and pesticide pollution.

The Grey Crowned Crane is the national bird of Uganda and features in the country's flag and coat of arms.


Focal lenght : 400mm
Shutter speed : 1/50sec
Sensitivity : iso 200
shake reduction : on

PP in CS3
Level set, Cropped, rezise for web, USM
framed in Paintshop pro 8

coasties, earthtraveler, LordPotty, dejo, marhowie, rajpalnavalkar, horia, vanderschelden has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Thijs

A very good shot. Nicely composed with clear, sharp details. Nice saturation of colours too. :-)

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-11-12 18:41]

Hello Thijs, what a great bird shot ! It is posing just for you ! Perfect portrait with great qualities ! Well done,


Hello Thijs,
Amazing crane and a beautiful portrait
Very nice crop/composition and framing
Great POV, focus details, and color
Well done

Hello Thijs,
An excellent portrait of this impressive bird.
Great composition with very good detail and colour. Very good DOF too.
Excellent work!

  • Great 
  • dejo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 344 W: 51 N: 520] (2242)
  • [2007-11-13 1:48]

Hello Thijs,
Beautifu portrait with very good details and colors
like the background and framing
Regards, Dejan


This bird has strange pink cheeks, which I haven't seen before on a crowned crane. Very well photographed. Sharp and well exposed.

Beautiful profile portrait Thijs.
Sharp details, great color, and well exposed. That green bokeh really makes the shot great :)

Fantastic shot!

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-11-14 10:32]

Hi again Thijs

Another splendid portrait from you, my friend!
This, too is very well composed as well as exposed, presenting this majestic Grey Crowned Crane for a terrific side POV and in impressive colors.
The contrast here plays an important part and really enhances the elements of the birs, while the details are again pin-sharp.
Wonderful BG and framing, too.

Bravo and TFS

Hallo Thijs,
Wederom mooie close up...
Ik heb geen verhaal.

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