Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wild Bird Wednesday

Wild Bird Wednesday 15

The Wattled Crane

The Wattled Crane is from Zambia, Africa.  There are only 8000 of them left and like most of the Cranes they face many threats to their existence.  In the large floodplain systems the breeding and feeding cycles of the Wattled Cranes are linked to the natural flood cycles of the rivers.  They are triggered to nest as flood waters begin receding after peak flooding.  Nesting in shallow open water ensures that nests will be protected from predators and wildfires but will not be drowned by further rising flood waters.  Their food source is also located in these floodplains ... the underground tubers of the Spike Rush.  Destruction, alteration and degradation of wetland habitats constitutes the most significant threat to these birds.  They raise only one chick and the chick is slow to gain independence.   Factors which also lend to the species vulnerability.  

The Wattled Crane is larger than other African Cranes with a high pitched squeaky call resembling a boy struggling through the voice changes of adolescence.  They get their name from the two partially feathered wattles on their necks that shrink when the bird is afraid.

I don't think we can appreciate the magnificence of these birds with pictures ... at least not my pictures.  You have to be standing next to them and feel their size and regal posture.  I wish all of you could visit the International Crane Foundation Center and though I know that is not possible, I hope I have been able to open your eyes to the urgency of man's need to protect these beautiful birds and it's connection to all life on earth.

"Only when the last tree has died
and the last river has been poisoned
and the last fish has been caught
will we realize
we cannot eat money."
                                          ... Unknown


  1. Such a beautiful bird and incredible captures, Andrea!! I love the detail you can see and the eyes!! Wonderful!

  2. what unique looking creatures! the wattles are so odd. i liked your description of their call. :)

  3. Very interesting bird & great photos as always.

  4. What a magnificent creature, and such beautiful colors.

  5. the quote that ends your post is scary but I believe is what it's happening to our civilization.

    the Wattled Crane looks magnificent on your photos, you do them justice with your words. looks like a beautiful bird, never thought it could be so fragile. thank you to teach me to look these creatures with my heart.

    happy Tuesday sweetie :) xxo

  6. My goodness...I've never seen one this close [only in photos before, but yours are fantabulous]....amazing!!!

    Hootin' Anni @ Hootin' Anni's - Egret taking to flight
    I'd Rather B Birdin - Cooper's Hawk

  7. Great photos of very interesting birds.

  8. What a cool looking crane! Awesome photos, Andrea!

  9. Beautiful!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  10. A cool looking crane and wonderful post. Your photos are great. Thanks for sharing!

  11. What elegant birds they are! Your photographs are beautiful - especially the second down with the purple flowers and that lovely wispy purple grass. I would also like to see it tightly cropped so that the grass is more important. But then, i have a thing about grass and also about cropping into squares...
    I like the warmth of the one underneath. And the next i think is so elegant:)

  12. These cranes are gorgeous. I am so thankful that you do have these photos, because I have not seen the cranes in person. It's so sad to see such a treasure fading away. Let's hope that Man wakes up in time. You have a wonderful night, hugs, Edna B.

  13. Much will be wasted, lost, before Mankind actually get a wake-up call...
    Nice pics!!

  14. I think anybody who goes into politics should have that quote written on their forehead!! Nice pictures.

    Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW

    Stewart M - Australia

  15. Even in a photo or series of photos the beauty and majestic of these birds is evident. Just the same, unknown had right on his side. I so wish he/she was wrong, and equally firmly believe he was right. It is quite often difficult to be proud of being a human.

  16. Marvellous captures of this spectacular bird. Love the close-ups of the wattles from different sides.
    An informative and beautiful post indeed.