|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Photo taken at the Tree Haven Waterfowl Trust near Vereeniging|
The Blue Crane (Anthropoides paradiseus), also known as the Stanley Crane and the Paradise Crane, is the national bird of South Africa. It is a tall, ground-dwelling bird, but is fairly small by the standards of the crane family. It is 100–120 cm (40–47 in) tall and weighs from 4 to 6.2 kg (8.8-13.6 lbs). This crane is pale blue-gray in colour with a white crown, a pink bill, and long, dark gray wingtip feathers which trail to the ground.
Blue Cranes are birds of the dry, grassy uplands which feed on seeds and insects and spend little time in wetlands. They are altitudinal migrants, generally nesting in the upper grasslands and moving down to lower altitudes for winter. Many occupy agricultural areas.
While it remains common in parts of its historic range, and approx. 25,700 individuals remain, it began a sudden population decline from around 1980 and is now classified as vulnerable.
In the last two decades, the Blue Crane has largely disappeared from the Eastern Cape, Lesotho, and Swaziland. The population in the northern Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West Province has declined by up to 90%. The majority of the remaining population is in eastern and southern South Africa, with a small and separate population in the Etosha Pan of northern Namibia. Occasionally, isolated breeding pairs are found in five neighboring countries.
The primary causes of the sudden decline of the Blue Crane are human population growth, the conversion of grasslands into commercial tree plantations, and poisoning: deliberate (to protect crops) or accidental (baits intended for other species, and as a side-effect of crop dusting).
The South African government has stepped up legal protection for the Blue Crane. Other conservation measures are focusing on research, habitat management, education, and recruiting the help of private landowners.
The Blue Crane is a bird very special to the amaXhosa, who call it indwe. When a man distinguished himself by deeds of valour, or any form of meritorious conduct, he was often decorated by a chief by being presented with the feathers of this bird. After a battle, the chief would organise a ceremony called ukundzabela – a ceremony for the heroes, at which feathers would be presented. Men so honoured – they wore the feathers sticking out of their hair – were known as men of ugaba (trouble) - the implication being that if trouble arose, these men would reinstate peace and order.
vijeeshbabu, PaulLees, paolo49, bungbing, mikou, aruntp, Pitoncle, siggi, Mamagolo2, Jakkals has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
|You must be logged in to start a discussion.|
Very colorful, good viewpoint and contrasting background. Great sharp details on this photo.
Best regards vijeesh
Very nice capture of his Blue crane Peter, wonder what happened to this poor fella's beak?, superb sharp details with a nice catch-lighted eye, love the out of focus background with the pleasing bokeh, good work here and well done,
Hello Peter , very nice on this spectacular composition and the general sharpness of the shot. All the best, Paolo
Great shot of the The Blue Crane, very nice clarity, great eye-contact and beautiful natural colours,
Thanks for sharing and have a nice afternoon,
- [2011-07-28 6:07]
Beautiful portrait of this Blue Crane. Very detailed view, good eye contact, very good exposure and sharp details on plumage. Also nice "bokeh".
Thanks and regards
- [2011-07-28 6:11]
great closeup. wonderful lighting. tfs.
Remarquable portrait très finement détaillé dans une belle lumière et sous une excellente profondeur de champ.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.
- [2011-07-28 10:26]
Nice, sharp and good focused portrait of this crane with fine POV and composition. Colors look very good.Best regards Siggi
What a beautiful portrate of this Blue Crane. Strange way the beak is, almost like a scissors.
Fantastic clarity and detail. Very well done my friend and thanks for sharing.
Wonderful portrait of this Blue Crane captured with excellent sharpness and details. Perfect exposure management, great composition and POV. Well done!
A Great shot with detail, clarity and DOF. I like the eye shine and feather sharpness.