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Photo Information
Copyright: Jan Hendrik van Rooyen (janhendrik) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 363 W: 58 N: 667] (2392)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-07-24
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM
Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of Southern Africa II, Great Portraits Part Two, Gruiformes (Turnalar, Crane-like) [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-08-19 6:26
Viewed: 6293
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Grey-Crowned Crane - Balearica regulorum

The claim to fame of the Grey-Crowned Crane is that it is one of the only cranes to roost in trees and the most primitive crane – it is thought to resemble the many pre-Pliocene fossils from North America and central Asia. "The first crane-like birds, which appeared in the age of dinosaurs, were somewhat similar in body dimensions to a modern crowned crane or its smaller and more aquatic relative, the limpkin" (Matthiessen 2003).
The Grey-Crowned Crane is globally restricted to Africa where the South African population, and the populations of Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia, make up the smaller population of the two subspecies. Within South Africa, this ancient crane has been sighted in the moist, higher rainfall regions of the country. They require a mixture of wetlands and grasslands for summer breeding and foraging although they are increasingly found in man-modified habitats (agricultural lands). The overriding conservation challenge is therefore to develop sustainable management alternatives for their co-existence with agriculture on privately-owned land.

Biological needs
Grey-Crowned Cranes nest within or on the edges of wetlands where they build a strong nest from the tall wetland plants, cleverly concealed from predators and the prying eyes of people. They like to forage in open grasslands adjacent to wetlands where they eat grass seeds, insects and other invertebrates. This generalist feeding strategy has allowed this species to adapt to human settlement better than the Wattled or Blue Cranes and it is regularly now found in this transformed habitat. Unlike other crane species, this crane roosts in trees. Non-migratory, they do move around locally and in the winter months, large flocks of non-breeding Grey-Crowned Cranes can be found dancing and calling before the onset of the summer breeding period. Intensification of agriculture, tourism development and industrialisation are threatening grasslands at a terrifying rate and indigenous species like cranes are being forced into smaller territories. Wetlands also are alarmingly threatened by human impacts and forcing the Grey-Crowned Crane into populated areas where danger lurks.

Grey-Crowned Cranes also reach maturity at the age of three to four years and once they have found a mate, they usually lay 2 – 3 large smooth eggs in a wetland nest surrounded by tall reeds, secluded from predators. These spring and summer breeders incubate their eggs for about 30 days and take their chicks out onto a nursery area of flattened reeds before they venture into the real world to forage. Chicks fledge at 3 – 4 months and leave their parents when almost a year old to join one of the non-breeding flocks where they look for a mate.

Source: Grey-Crowned Crane


                Camera: Canon 20D
           Camera mode: Program
           Time of day: 09H44
                  Date: 24 July 2005
                  Lens: Canon 100-400mm IS USM
          Focal Length: 375mm
         Shutter Speed: 1/500 sec
                F-Stop: F/8
               Support: Hand Held
                   ISO: 100
    Original file type: Raw (CR2)

martic, marhowie, Kathleen, pirate, Proframe, Argus, jaycee, smitha, elefantino, rousettus, Janice, vanderschelden, JoseMiguel, SelenE has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Argus: Captive vs wildjanhendrik 1 08-19 08:05
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Jan Hendrik,

Very nice shot with great colors and sharpness, well composed, TFS

Morning Jan,
Perhaps one of the best Grey-Crowned Cranes I've seen on TN, excellent quality & PP. Now if I say "Perfect", please don't let it go your head OK ;}
Very Well Done!

Hi Jan.
Stunning image. Exposure, sharpness, lighting, colour and detail are superb.
Excellent portrait and he looks very proud and posed for you.


  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2007-08-19 7:15]

Nice shot with great colors and detail

hello jan,
excellent portrait shot, sharp image with good details, lovely colours, nice pov, good dof, very good eye contact, nice framing,
excellent work,
tfs & regards

Hi Jan
just perfect!
and lovely

Hello Jan Hendrik,
What a beauty, and with that I do mean the bird and the image you've made of it.
Technically flawless with perfect sharpness, exposure and composition.
Most wonderful clarity in the eye, colors, color contrast and details.
The soft brown and green color tones in the background, against wich the bird does stand out greatly, are very pleasing.
Thanks for sharing and the excellent note.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-08-19 8:02]
  • [+]

Hello Jan-Hendrik,
This is a technically extraordinary close-up portrait of a Grey-crowned Crane. It is the sort of short that can be achieved when the bird is captive. However I assume that somehow you managed to get close to this bird in the wild, perhaps from a hide, as to me a bird sanctuary is a nature reserve.
It would be interesting to know.
Thanks for sharing,
Regards, Ivan

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-08-19 8:37]

Hi Jan,

A magnificent photo of this beautiful Crane. You captured him in all his majesty. The colors are perfect - sharp sharp details - wonderful background. Really picture perfect.


Notevoli i dettagli di questa foto, bella luce nell'occhio.

Hello Jan hendrik,
WOW!! great portrait.
It's good to see you back after a long time. Your picture is a real beauty with good sharpness, details and colours. Excellent POV and DOF. The bird stands out from the blurred background.I liked it so much that I am going to add it to my favourites.
Thanks for sharing this hot and also for the informative notes,

Hi Jan Hendrik,
Great portraite of this beautifula and elegans crane with great sharpness, details and coloration. Nicely composed. Thanks. best wishes

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-08-19 12:14]

Hello Jan Hendrik,
What a fantastic light in this photo. Colours and sharpness are perfect. Very good composition, POV and DOF.

amazing portrait, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-08-20 4:11]

Oh yes - my most favourite TN bird.
And you show him well Jan Hendrik - good capture. The notes are interesting too.

  • Great 
  • ridfa Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 89 W: 0 N: 376] (4111)
  • [2007-08-20 4:40]

Excellent !

Another superb one, Jan Hendrik.
I do like the BG...
Great model too of course...
Well done

Hi Jan,
This is a magnificent portrait!
I like so much the elegant pose of this bird, with that amazing "hairdo", that looks great in this vertical composition.
You had a very good light and managed it pretty well in the exposure.
The blurred background looks great to enhance all the beauty of the bird.
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

What a beautiful crane this is and a wonderful sharp photo of it. It is a superb portrait. Nice work!

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-08-21 11:11]

Hi Jan,
Good to see you back after such a long time. And what a comeback! Outstanding shot of the Grey crowned Crane with an awesome crest and a majestic pose. Very sharp details on its plumage and lovely colours. Superb natural lighting and against the BG it really stands out. Excellent POV and DOF. Very nicely composed. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-08-22 0:38]

Hi Jan Hendrik,
It's been a while since your last post, nice to see another photo from you again. It's a very good portrait of Grey-Crowned Crane with fine light, focus, sharpness, colors, POV and composition.
Best wishes,

Nice shot, great DOF, detail and colour.

Bonsoir Jan Hendrick
Magnifique!!... c'est tout ce que je vois à dire.
Je n'ai vu cet oiseau qu'en photo, et là, ta photo est très réussie.

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