Skip to content
September 18, 2008 / Bo Mackison

Wired! Black Crowned Crane

The International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, WI maintains a collection of captive cranes, including several black crowned cranes, which helps their work in crane preservation: captive breeding and reintroduction into the wild. Their work also demonstrates endangered species management for the public, and facilitates breeding and education information elsewhere in the United States and abroad. It is the only place in the world where you can see all 15 crane species.

Black Crowned Crane

Black Crowned Crane

When I visited the Crane Foundation earlier this month, this crane was especially interested in my camera, and made several attempts to get a little too close. Maybe I didn’t ask for the appropriate model release!

The Black Crowned Crane is indigenous to the Sahel region of Africa. The ICF in coordination with Wetlands International has coordinated a conservation plan for these birds. There are approximately 40,000 Black Crowned Cranes in existence, and their numbers are declining.

The most serious threats to this crane species are illegal capture for the pet industry. An ancient tradition in West Africa to keep domesticated cranes in the household compounds persists to this day. But an additional threat is an intensified international trade in the birds in the last 30 years. Also degradation of the species’ habitat – the wetlands and grasslands of West Africa due to drought, destruction of tree cover and overgrazing – is a factor in their declining numbers.

A regional African program has been set up to provide alternative income opportunities for crane traders and for distribution of community-based information and conservation methods in Nigeria and the Sudan.


  1. Pat Denino / Sep 18 2008 10:11 am

    Great photo!

  2. Ron in L.A. / Sep 18 2008 10:32 am

    He looks guilty… πŸ˜‰

    R(etc… )

  3. Marcie / Sep 18 2008 10:44 am

    Have never seen a bird like this! Love how he’s sticking his beak thru the fence. Great moment!!!

  4. montucky / Sep 18 2008 11:48 am

    That’s a great photo! Talk about an intense look!

  5. Gandalf / Sep 18 2008 12:35 pm

    I agree with Montucky. That is an intense gaze. Reminds me of what Big Bird might look like if he were P.O.d. Wow!!
    It is a fascinating photo.

  6. Anna Surface / Sep 19 2008 6:31 am

    Wow! What an intense stare! I really, really like this capture—the intense, bright crane framed in fence. Yes, I agree with Gandalf; it is a fascinating photo. πŸ™‚

  7. Laurie / Sep 19 2008 8:58 am

    Love it. Such an intense look on its face.

  8. Amelia / Sep 23 2008 6:16 pm

    That crane looks like one mean hombre.

  9. amuirin / Sep 24 2008 11:33 am

    I can kind of see why they get captured for pets. What a delightfully weird little bird. I agree with montucky, Laurie and Anna- it is a heck of an intense stare. Talk about a direct gaze….

  10. ankush / Sep 29 2008 6:38 pm

    haha, thats an awesome shot!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: