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Crane, Blue

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Jay
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Crane, Blue

Unread postby Jay » Thu Dec 08, 2005 8:27 pm

WTM, it's time to pick your bird brain again :D

Do all Blue Crane pairs have two chicks?
At what age do they get those lovely long secondary feathers?
How old where the approx.30cm high chicks I saw?
How on earth does such a tall bird feed those tiny chicks? :shock:
Last edited by Jay on Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Snoobab
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Unread postby Snoobab » Thu Dec 08, 2005 10:41 pm

Hi Jay
Blue cranes on the norm lay two eggs, every now and then 3 are laid but very seldom are 3 born. Normally 2 are laid and very often only 1 survives.
As far as the age of the secondaries and how old the 30cm chicks are I can't help you there.
As far as feeding goes Cranes have the the ability to bend their knees 90 degree the opposite way to us humans can and can therefore get down very low (Normally only when resting), they also simply bend their long necks down and feed cicks that way.

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri Dec 09, 2005 6:21 am

Taken recently...
Image

My friend Snoobab have answered many of the questions.

Hereis some interesting reading material for those wanting to read more about this endagered species.

I do unfortunately not have all ther answers to your questions, but I have emailed A blue crane specialist in the Overberg to ask his help on your questions. And will let you know as soon as I hear something from him.

Something interesting I read...
Two young are often reared together, which is surprising. In captivity, recently hatched crane chicks show an astonishing level of aggression that will lead to mortality if they are not separated. This behaviour dissipates after a week or so and is similar to the siblicide (or 'Cainism') shown by some of the larger birds of prey. In the wild, keeping the small chicks mobile may circumvent the problem: the young are led away from the nest virtually immediately after hatching. 'Brood-splitting', another feature of some rallids, whereby each parent takes responsibility for one of the young, may also be involved as a solution. But why this innate killer instinct is present at all still requires explanation. Blue Cranes will protect their young with startling distraction displays, spreading their wings and feigning injury, like giant plovers. They are apparently also fearless in attacking medium-sized predators, such as dogs, that threaten their families, and their rapier-sharp bills are not to be trifled with.


Kind regardsWTM
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Unread postby deefstes » Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:44 am

Those long feathers are actually tertial feathers and not secondaries. They develop at 1 year.

Here's how tall the young birds are:
3 weeks: 350 mm
4 weeks: 550 mm
5 weeks: 700 mm
5-6 weeks: 66% of adult height
Full adult height at 10 weeks

So the chicks you saw could have been no older than 3 weeks.

An interesting fact about Blue Crane chicks is that they atually call from within the egg up to 24 hours before they break through the shell. I don't know how they manage this but it is a well documented fact.

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Unread postby Jay » Fri Dec 09, 2005 7:53 pm

Thanx everyone :D you've shed some lotsa light on the subject.
Ofcourse I am going to look out for the little chicks(3wks old) and the bigger ones(5-6wks old), but will most likely not see them again as the wheat fields are huge areas :( , but reckon I was very lucky to see the two lots within a few days of one another!

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Unread postby Stoffel » Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:34 pm

It may sounds like bragging - but I was fortunate enough to see two (wild) blue cranes walking among the fynbos behind our house this morning. I've heard them on numerous occasion when flying over (and saw them in the air). But this morning was the first time that we actually saw them in the veld behind our house.
Chris Boucher

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Jay
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Unread postby Jay » Sat Dec 17, 2005 6:05 pm

You are supposed to brag about seeing birds Stoffel :wink:
I've kept a look out for those chicks but hav'n't seen them again, but I did see the pair of secretary birds, also in the fields behind my house :D

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Unread postby naomi c » Thu May 08, 2008 9:04 am

Was very exited to spot my first wild Blue Cranes on Monday on returing from the North Coast.

Between Utrecht and Newcastle I spotted the birds in a mealie-field. My husband had to make a U-turn on a very narrow and busy road and was of course not at all impressed, but it was all worth it! They were quite a long way off, but through the binoculars we counted 15 birds!

Nice, hey!?

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu May 08, 2008 10:53 am

naomi c wrote:Nice, hey!?


Very nice! Did you perhaps come across any of the other cranes as well?

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Unread postby cybeR@NGER » Thu May 08, 2008 11:02 am

My closest Blue Cranes are the ones at Austin Roberts. :lol:

But, I've also seen some real wild ones on that road that leads to Cape Agulhas, quite far away.
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Unread postby naomi c » Thu May 08, 2008 12:01 pm

@ WTM

Unfortunately not!! Have not seen either of the other two in the wild.

How about you?

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu May 08, 2008 12:06 pm

My SO and I went out looking intensely for them in the Midlands Meander(a very good pozzie to find them at) earlier this year, but to no avail. I only have the crowned crane and the blue crane. The wattled crane still eludes me. :(

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Unread postby DuQues » Thu May 08, 2008 1:43 pm

Jay wrote:You are supposed to brag about seeing birds Stoffel :wink:

Ah! With the current weather here there are tons of birds enjoying a drink at the terraces, and me enjoying the eh... sights! :lol: The Dutch girls are the most beautifull in the world!

But I can also brag about seeing the Blue crane in the wild. :dance: Unfortunately I was at the time taking panoramic photos, so did not have my long lens with me. :cry: But even with 105 mm they are easy to see in my photos, and IDable. (New word, 11 times wordvalue.)
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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Unread postby strychnos » Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:00 pm

The first time a saw our national bird in the wild was in Etosha National Park in Namibia; a bit disturbing that thought - but a nice citing anyway. The Blue Crane population there is isolated (i.e. its the only place in Namibia where they are resident) and consist of 60 to 80 birds. [/img]

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Re: Crane, Blue

Unread postby arks » Sun Nov 08, 2009 2:56 am

Darling Hills Road, October 2007

My first sighting of these lovely birds. Since then, I've been fortunate enough to see them several more times, but never so close to and relaxed.

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