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Grey Crowned Crane

Grey Crowned Crane
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-08-27
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital JPEG
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-10-31 8:05
Viewed: 2998
Points: 84
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Two months ago I placed a portrait of this bird in profile, now in front. I’ve seen and photographed this bird several times in many countries in Africa, but I only got it on slides or a bit far away. Here in the bird park Avifauna it can freely walk through the whole park. So this gave me the chance to photograph it real close.

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 eats grass seeds and insects, along with other invertebrates.

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

horias, cknara, goatman04, CeltickRanger, Heaven, nglen, siggi, marianas, xTauruSx, bahadir, nasokoun, marius-secan, maurydv, matatur, Luis52, parasbhalla, eqshannon, Noisette, boreocypriensis, Dis. Ac., marhowie, Argus, anel, jmirah, Alex99, goldyrs, ppmiranda, ferranjlloret has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Heaven: Grey Crowned CranePeterZ 1 10-31 09:59
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Critiques [Translate]

Ciao Peter, fantastic portrait of beautiful crane against wonderful blurry BG, splendid colors, excellent sharpness and fine details, very well done, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2009-10-31 8:36]


What a lovely face!!!
Great colors and details.

Hi Peter,

A portrait that surpasses expectations, the color is impressive, there is warmth in the whole plane photo, the bird has collaborated with a dramatic pose and eye gaze meeting with the lens is perfect.

Happy WE! & TFS


Prachtige foto Peter. Het detail in de veren is echt van een hoge kwaliteit. De blik vam de vogel is best eng, maar ook wel weer mooi. Het stukje smeer aan de punt van de snavel geeft de foto een leuk geheel. De scherpte diepte is prachtig en geeft daardoor de volle aandacht aan de mooie vogel.

Lovely composition.Starring Eyes are beautiful.

Hello Peter,

An impressive portrait with such lovely colors, sharpness & details. Excellent POV, pose & composition. Very well taken & TFS.



hello Peter

beautiful portrait photo of the Grey Crowned Crane
with his funny and expressive looking, fine frontal POV,
fine focus excellent sharpness and details, TFS


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2009-10-31 9:11]

Hi Peter,
I love the POV on this one!
And the close-up is fantastic. So sharp!
Well-saturated colors.
A very comical look.
TFS. : )

Hi Peter,
A most fascinating bird! Excellent close-up

Hi Peter!

This picture really is a portrait! One of the best kind! The bird's look is very impressive and the dark colour tones highlight this very well. Maybe the crown could be a bit sharper, but I imagine how difficult it is to get the bird's face in front of the camera.

Your well elaborated notes are very interesting and instructive.

Kind regards


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-10-31 9:30]

Hi Peter. The wife has gone to have her hair cut this has just made me laugh . What a fantastic close up of this beauty. We can see every detail and feather with fine detail . I like the way the eye are looking at you. All with bright colours. well taken TFS.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-10-31 9:33]

Hello Peter.
Perfect portrait of this beauty and amazing scenery as a BG. Great combination of excellent sharp, bright and perfect coloured image of the bird.
Best regards Siggi

Wonderful cute face to this lovely Grey Crowned Crane!
Great details and colors.

Hello Peter, very beautiful shot of this crane.
TFS and regards,

Hello Peter, great shot of this beauty with nice composition, details and colours.
TFS and regards,

hello Peter
your beloved great portraits, fascinating subject and scene with the plume opened and his expression,very fine output in colors and details!
TFS thanks for sharing

Hello Peter,
Excellent close up with sharp details and superb colours.

hallo Peter
deze kop blijft leuk
super scherp en goede details
erg mooie kleuren
hij kijkt je aan om bang van te worden
great shot
groetjes lou

  • Great 
  • Arjun Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 358 W: 7 N: 1237] (7593)
  • [2009-10-31 11:13]

hello sir,
excellent portrait of this crane !!!
superb colors and details !!
nice moment captured

Hi Peter,
this portrait is so cute - this face with the crown is lovely, I love the shot very much, thanks
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-10-31 11:26]

Hello Peter
Wonderful portrait of this cute crane.

Hi Peter,
I thought I saw you on the front page and here you are with a really cool shot of the African crowned crane. You have to love the perspective on this one as it is really exciting with all those wonderful attribute this bird has to display. Well done,
Paul :)

Hello Peter,
another fantastic portrait of the Grey Crowned Crane taken from an interesting frontal POV with very good sharpness and impressive details of the eyes, splendid colours, well composed.
Best regards

ciao Peter!
good portrait of this "primadonna" with great details and curious expression

have nice w.end sERGIO

The composition is a little too central Peter, but those staring eyes make one forget anything else in this wonderful frontal portrait of a startling bird against a pleasantly OOF BG.
TFS and cheers MF.

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2009-10-31 15:19]

Hola Peter.
Just beautiful. Great work. Love the way he is looking at You.

Hi Peter,

A lovely closeup capture of the beautiful Greay Crowned Crane with nice sharpness and from a well chosen POV. Indeed, a great show of natural colors. Nice contrast can be seen between the colors of the crane and the surroundings.

Very well done!

best regards,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-10-31 16:26]

Hi Peter,the point of view and the light position was decisive for the beauty of this pic,impressive sharpness and colors too,a very elegant portrait!!My best compliments,have a nice Sunday,Luciano.

Splendid mix of colours and fine work as if needlepoint:--) You have certainly caught the essence of teh bird well Peter. Not too old either..the image I mean of course.

Hello Peter
a very great face to face ! his look is very impessive
a superb portrait of this Grey Crowned Crane, the details are pin sharp and the colors very natural
Have a great sunday

Hi and Good Morning Peter,

A fine portrait capture of this pretty crested beuty from nice POV with excellent clarity, nice DOF and delightful composition
TFS and have a nice Sunday!


Hallo Peter,
alweer zo'n mooi portret.
Ik zie ze in dierentuinen maar nog nooit een echt mooi portret kunnen maken.
Mooie detailering en prachtige kleuren.


Great impact, this image makes one smile..
I've seen these birds posted many times, always wished I could have a go at em'
Nice colors & details, well done & have a good Sunday!

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-11-01 4:03]

Hello Peter,
A superb close-up of a Grey Crowned Crane. The frontal POV of the head gives excellent eye contact taken with superb sharpness against an ideal BG that reall makes this a great head portrait.
Thanks and enjoy your Sunday,

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-11-01 4:13]

Hello Peter,
That's really a funny shot. We have seen the Grey Crowned Crane several times on TN, but never a portrait like this. Amazing the way you caught the expression of the beautiful blue eyes! Original shot, indeed.
Have a nice Sunday
Kind regards

Hi Peter
A fantastic portrait suitable for framing...Very well done...TFS

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2009-11-01 6:52]

Merhaba Peter,
çok güzel bir kompozisyon, göz teması çok hoş, renkler ve netlik çok başarılı.
Tebrik ederim, sevgilerle..

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-11-01 7:43]

Hi Peter.
Outstanding 3D-image of a beautiful bird. Terrific POV, eye-contact and DOF. Details are awesome and BG is also amazing. High end portrait of the charming photo model I hope it is happy seeing your work :). Perfect job.

Impresinante retrato que destaca por su gran fuerza. Preciosos colores y unos ojos muy bien captados.
Saludos Peter: J. Ignasi.

Simply astonishing!
I love the frame which helps bring out the beauty of this cranes' head!

Wonderful !!!

Hi Peter,
Excellent portrait of the Grey Crowned Crane, good POV.
TFS. Regards. Ferran

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