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, etc..to 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 staring...so 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!!
weekend with family
1 year ago