While vociferousness is typically associated with cranes – “the trumpet in the orchestra of evolution” to quote Aldo Leopold – one of the largest of the 15 species, the Wattled Crane of Africa, is usually silent. Occasionally one might hear a piercing high-pitched Guard Call or Flight Call and on extremely rare occasions a short duet or Unison Call by a mated pair that lasts but a few seconds. If you are close to a pair or family of Wattled Cranes, one can frequently hear the low burr-like Contact Call, perhaps an expression of proximity and assurance.Read more..
Travels with George
Forty-two years have rapidly passed since I enjoyed two months on Queensland’s Atherton Tablelands with Sarus Cranes, Brolgas and a new crane I discovered, the Sarolga (a hybrid). This October, crane country looked much the same, but the town of Atherton had tripled in size, and Sarus had increased from about 150, to more than a thousand.Read more..
On a wide plain beside the town of Binder in northeast Mongolia, the nation’s first Crane Festival was held on June 13, 2014. Our group and other guests sat comfortably under a large colorful tent with one side open to a field surrounded by other tents, exhibits, games, vehicles, and horses. A sequence of activities unfolded for six hours, including ethnic dancing, singing, dramas, and dances about cranes, along with the three big traditional crowd pleasers — wrestling, horse racing, and archery.Read more..