Grey Crowned Cranes, International Crane Foundation: Save the Cranes

The International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin is dedicated to the preservation of cranes. It has all the species of cranes, globally, on its property.

It’s a great place to watch and photograph the birds.  It’s also a fantastic place to take the kids for a weekend trip.

The Whooping Crane exhibit is the largest and most popular exhibit. In May, you can watch mating and nesting rituals in a huge penned-in natural marsh area.

I covered Whooping Cranes, Blue Cranes, and Wattled Cranes in five previous articles. This article features the Grey Crowned Crane, native to South Africa. Grey Crowned Cranes are about 3 feet tall and weigh about 8 pounds.

Feature Image Details

I took this particular image many years ago. It is a scan from film. I cannot tell you the camera model but the make is Canon. I believe I used an 80-200 MM lens at F4.0.

I can tell you I was right up against a wire fence. With a long lens, if you get close enough and the target subject is far enough away, the wires dissolve.

I was at 200MM. The image is not as sharp as one could get otherwise, but the results still came out OK.

Bad Feather Day

The feathers are rather amusing. The crane was alarmed by something, possibly me, and ruffled its feathers.

Fun Facts

The crowned crane is the most primitive of the living Gruidae. Primitive species of crowned cranes date back in the fossil record to the Eocene period. Archaeologists discovered that at least eleven species of crowned cranes once existed in Europe and North America. Because crowned cranes are not cold hardy, it is believed they died out in these areas as the earth cooled, and only survived in warmer Africa.

Hurricane Harvey

I sadly announce that Hurricane Harvey devasted the International Crane Foundation Houston program.

You can help.

Message from the ICF

During this challenging time, our hearts go out to the people of coastal Texas and all areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. We also are deeply saddened by the devastating flooding that continues to impact Houston and surrounding areas. We at the International Crane Foundation have staff and offices in Rockport and other Texas Gulf coastal areas that suffered a direct hit by the Category 4 hurricane.

We are thankful our staff are safe. Our office, unfortunately, was destroyed. As members of the Rockport and broader Texas Gulf coastal community, we are committed to ensuring that our Texas program continues to support the people, landscape and wildlife of the area, especially Endangered Whooping Cranes. We’ve established a donation site specifically to help with cleanup and site renovation in this hard-hit area.

You can help by donating today.

In case you missed them please see my other articles taken in Baraboo.

Save the cranes!

The ICF is rebuilding its Texas office. It’s about 75% to its very modest goal of $80,000.

The staff is rebuilding and expanding the Texas Program, to study the water quality, habitat and food supply for the biggest wild Whooping Crane flock in modern history.

In a few short weeks, the last remaining wild flock of Whooping Cranes will fly back to Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Returning with them are 63 Whooping Crane fledglings born this spring in Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park. What will they find upon arrival?

The ICF staff is touring this area this week, and they will provide updates of how Aransas was affected by the hurricane.

Pictured is one of 63 Whooping Crane chicks that hatched this spring in Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada. This crane will fly back to Texas this fall with the last remaining wild flock of Whooping Cranes on the planet.

Please help the ICF reach its campaign goal of $80,000 so they can prepare for the biggest Whooping Crane flock in modern history when it returns to Texas this fall!

Please consider a Donation to the International Crane Foundation.

This is the last of my crane series. I will move on to Death Valley or perhaps something close by in Illinois. One does not need to travel far to get great images. They are everywhere for those willing to take the effort.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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