A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife
The Common Crane is a large, stately bird and a medium-sized crane. It is 100–130 cm (40–52 in) tall with a 180–240 cm (71–96 in) wingspan. The body weight can range from 3 to 6.1 kg (6.6 to 13 lb), with the nominate subspecies averaging around 5.4 kg (12 lb) and the eastern subspecies (G. g. lilfordi) averaging 4.6 kg (10 lb). Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 50.7–60.8 cm (20.0–23.9 in) long, the tarsus is 20.1–25.2 cm (7.9–9.9 in) and the exposed culmen is 9.5–11.6 cm (3.7–4.6 in). This species is slate-grey overall. The forehead and lores are blackish with a bare red crown and a white streak extending from behind the eyes to the upper back. The overall colour is darkest on the back and rump and palest on the breast and wings. The primaries, the tips of secondaries, the alula, the tip of the tail, and the edges of upper tail coverts are all black and the greater coverts droop into explosive plumes. This combination of colouration ultimately distinguishes it from similar species in Asia, like the Hooded and Black-necked Cranes. The juvenile has yellowish-brown tips to its body feathers and lacks the drooping wing feathers and the bright neck pattern of the adult, and has a fully feathered crown. Every two years, before migration, the adult Common Crane undergoes a complete moult, remaining flightless for six weeks, until the new feathers grow. It has a loud trumpeting call, given in flight and display. The call is piercing and can be heard from a considerable distance. It has a dancing display, leaping with wings uplifted, described in detail below.
This week I traveled to the nord of France to shoot the migration of the common crane. It was overwhelming as a130000 cranes land near the lakes of Lac-du-Duc. As these birds are very shy it is dificult to get up close. When you drive your car next to a field where they are they will take off. If you would like to see more pictures: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=...