Wild Bird Wednesday 17
The African Crowned Cranes
As the map shows the Black and Gray Crowned Cranes live only in the central and southern part of Africa. They are revered by the people there, but still face the same dangers of extinction because their wetland habitats are being altered for agriculture. The Crowned Cranes are believed to have existed on earth for 33 to 50 million years. As the earth cooled many of them died off. The only remaining flocks are in the warm climate of Africa. The body of the Crowned Cranes still carries evidence of it's primitive beginnings. They are the only modern Cranes that still have a usable long, grasping hind toe (halux) that allows them to roost in trees.
(picture from International Crane Foundation Publication)
The Grey Crowned Crane:
The Grey Crowned Cranes are more common that the Black Crowned Cranes. Their population is declining though they are not yet officially listed as threatened.
The Black Crowned Crane:
The Black Crowned Crane is larger and has a darker body then the Grey Crowned Crane. They have smaller wattles and pink and white on their cheek patches.
(pictures taken at the International Crane Foundation)
Happy WBW Day ...