Saturday, August 8, 2009


Stunning isn't he?? This is an African Grey-crowned Crane. One of the 15 species one will see if you visit..the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin..

This is a 225 acre preserve and the only place in the world one can view all 15 species of cranes.
We spent a few hours here during our trip to Wisconsin.
The Grey-crowned crane below is showing off his stuff...notice the clipped feathers on his left wing..obviously to keep him from flying the coop...but oh, what a coop it is! Acres and acres of marshs, woodlands, wildflowers, keep these birds protected and happy!

This young man was really playing the crowd the day we were there..he knew he was being watched and gave us all quite a dance and a grand show of his beautiful plumage!!

In another area of the preserve we saw the Sarus Crane..This is the tallest of all flying birds, 6 FEET TALL, and is usually seen in South East Asia and some times in India.

This pair of Sarus Cranes was being kept in a smaller confine..and as you all know taking pictures through a wire fence can be tricky with the light and the patterns of the fence showing up on their plumage!! It's the new white checker board look!! :(

I am only featuring a few of the cranes we saw. Of course, they were ALL very nice and sharp looking creatures! Such height and such color!! I learned some amazing facts about cranes and even remember seeing the snippets on the news about the ultralights that were helping the Whooping cranes migrate from Fl. The Whooping Crane is the tallest bird in North America and of course, is so named for its whooping sound. They live to be 22-24 yrs old!! One can also visit the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wis. to witness the return of the cranes in March.
All of the returning Whooping cranes are now offspring of the ones who were lead here by the ultralights between 2001 and 2005... Pretty cool story.. pilots and their airplanes helping birds!!

It was fun and educational to see all the cranes at ICF in Baraboo, but I still love seeing birds in the wild..away from all the wire, fences and crowds of people late the next day as we were returning from the airshow in Oshkosh, we happened to come across these Sandhill Cranes feeding in a front yard along the road....
The lighting wasn't in my favor for seeing all those neat colors or facial details..but knowing their wings weren't clipped and they could come and go as they pleased was satisfying enough.
...and a little new knowledge for this Pennsylvanian...Parsnip..does what??? Aren't they the "other" carrot-type veggie we used to pull out of the ground and eat? lol!! Thank goodness we read this before we went off trail....didn't want to walk on that wild side!!


Gail said...

What a wonderful way to spend a day!

Bird Girl said...

Hi Tina - What a GORGEOUS face that Grey-crowned crane had when I made it large! And the show they put on for you was quite impressive ;-)
What color and detail you lost out on while shooting the Sandhill certainly made up for with the Sarus Cranes - the have lovely faces! (you just can pick and choose the light ya get stuck with ;-)
You sure had a good day at the International Crane place!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

This place sounds wondeful and your pictures tell the same.

JKoenig said...

I clicked on that first picture to make it larger.....How Awesome! Sounds like a neat place to go.

We bumped into some people we know last weekend who had just returned from the Oshkosh Air show. My youngest son flew there once quite a few years ago with some friends for the air show. Looks like you had beautiful weather.

Chris Petrak said...

Getting caught from a busy week - especially like your series of the wren - tough little birds to get to cooperate for photos, but yours did - and the fledgling - they are out of the nest and gone - your timing was just right!

Jann E. said...

Most excellent! I really enjoyed seeing your pics and reading about the crane found. Jeez, the wild parsnip sounds like stinging nettle! Eek!

Leeloo's mum said...

What a great place to go visit! The grey-crowned crane is such a stunning bird!! And WOW! That sarus crane is pretty cool too with that blood red head! And I learned something today; which is the tallest flying bird :) I would LOVE to visit the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge to see the cranes! That would be so nice.
I know what you mean about captive birds. I hate to see birds of prey in zoos and such, they look so miserable in their cage :( I guess it all depends on the type of bird. As for parrots, I think they are healthier when we take care of them than in the wild (assuming they have an owner who knows what they're doing, of course) but that's just my opinion ;)
Thanks so much for sharing your stories and photos! Sounds like a great day to me!

dAwN said...

Wow those are some gorgeous Cranes! have never ever seen pics of some of those until now! Thanks.
What a very cool place to vist1
Glad u didnt tangle with those wild parsnips!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow Tina, Those cranes are gorgeous. I had no idea there were so many varieties of cranes... Gee--I learn something every single day. Thanks!!!!

And your pictures of that wren feeding the baby are amazing. I'd be GAGGING.... ha ha

Hope you all have a wonderful trip.

George said...

What a wonderful place to visit. I had heard about the cranes and the ultralight, but it's nice to see the results and to know the project was a success. I'm glad your wrens are sticking around -- our bluebirds are still here and we saw Dad helping a little one at one of the feeders today.

Anonymous said...

I guess I didn't know about wild parsnip. I do get in weeds and grasses sometimes and end up with itching skin. I love your bird photography.

HANNIBAL said...

That crane place looks amazing! I just knew you were going to Oshkosh! Lucky you, I have never been....Thanks for the parsnip warning...Who knew?

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Tina: That was a neat show of big birds.

Shelley said...

I want to take all those cranes home and play with them! LOL!! And who knew that parsnips could be so dangerous! Wow!!

P.S. Can you please resend me your address? I think I accidentally deleted it - so sorry!!!
shelleyupnorth at gmail dot com.

Dave's Bird Watching Blog said...

If you had just given us a close-up picture of the "Beware of" part of that sign, I don't think anyone could have ever guessed the answer would be "wild parsnip." Beware of bears. Beware of alligators perhaps. Beware of meteors possibly. But wild parsnip? :-)

Marsha said...

Tina, I am trying to catch up on blogs and was excited to see this post about the cranes. I am definitely marking this area on my "must go" list - we haven't been to that area since we took the kids to WI Dells many years ago. This is such a wonderful sounding place and I am so happy you blogged about it as I have never heard of it before.

Thanks for sharing and I look forward to a less busy life so I can be back commenting daily!

Eve said...

These are beautiful birds Tina! You did a very wonderful job bring them to us. Watch out for that parsnip!

Leedra said...

Lovely photos. Did not know that about the parsnip.

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Jack said...

I love the first picture..its really wonderful..ur photography also sounds good..

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