Pictures of Cranes, Crane Facts

Pictures of cranes... the birds, not the construction tools.

The Black Crowned Crane (say that 5 times fast) is about 3 feet tall and natively found in Africa.  They have black bodies with white wing coverts. They have white cheeks, a black cap and a red patch right under the cap. They have long legs which bend in at the knees in the opposite direction of human legs! Most exquisitely and distinctively, they have a poof of gold feathers on top of their heads.

The Black Crowned Crane is currently listed as 'near threatened' on the conversation status list.  They are often caught illegally to be traded in the pet industry. The other factor that endangers it is the loss and/or transformation of its natural habitat.  The nomadic Turkana pastoralists in northwest Kenya view the cranes as messengers of peace.

The Black-necked Crane, also known as the Tibetan Crane, has a white-gray body and is the same coloring about halfway up its neck. The upper part of its neck and its head are black. It has a red patch on the top of its head, yellow eyes and a small white patch behind its eyes. It also has a long orangey beak and long reverse-bending black legs. Male and female black-necked cranes have similar coloring, however males are larger than females.

Black-necked cranes are native to Asia and winters in lower altitudes of China. They are currently listed as Vulnerable on the conversation status list. Their main threat is us humans who continue to destroy their environment while building dams and irrigating and draining wetlands where they make their homes. One of the saving graces for these cranes is the belief in much of the areas they habitat is the bird is a spirit and believed to bring good luck and happiness.