Monday, 23 February 2015

191. Common Crane (Grus grus)

Common Cranes are still a rare sight in most of the UK, having formerly been more widely distributed here before their decline and extinction due to habitat loss and hunting. Now they are on the increase again, slowly, and there are resident populations in several parts of England. Some originated from continental Europe, and one colony was bred in captivity and released as part of the Great Crane Project. Although the UK's population is resident, across much of their range Common Cranes are migratory, breeding in swamps, marshes and bogs and along rivers in boreal forests across central and northern Europe, central Asia and Russia. They winter in parts of southern Europe, north Africa, the Middle East, India, Pakistan and the Far East. In the UK they are generally associated with reedbeds and wet meadows. Common Cranes are large and graceful birds which can appear similar to Grey Herons in flight, but are easily told apart by their outstretched head and neck - Herons tuck theirs in. They have an excellent trumpeting call and perform spectacular dancing displays, which strengthens the lifelong bond between pairs, but is also carried out by lone Cranes and flocks.

Common Crane, ©Comfortably Numb, via Flickr Creative Commons.
Common Crane painting.

Haha I got overexcited about starting painting again and chose a slightly ambitious image to work from, with mixed success!

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