Here’s Looking at You / From Of the Wild
African Crowned Crane, 2010
In appreciation of significant, continuing interest in my popular series: OF THE WILD, I will post some previously unpublished images from the portfolio. An adult African (Grey) Crowned Crane, as shown above, is approximately 3 1/2 feet (1 m) tall and weighs 7-8 lbs (3.5 kg). It has a wingspan of about six 1/2 feet (2m), and a bright red inflatable throat pouch that stands out from its grey feathers. The crown of stiff golden feathers and beautiful blue eyes clearly make these one of the most beautiful of all the crane species and it is also the only one that roosts in trees. The additional red markings at the top of the face seen here are predominantly found in the birds of East Africa.
They have recently been elevated from threatened to endangered in most parts of their habitat due to drainage, overgrazing and pesticide pollution. On a positive note, the seductive dances performed by the adult birds are part of their courting/reproductive ritual and also an expression of joy (I’d say that we humans can relate to the connection between these activites and emotions, as well:)
Here’s looking at you.