Blowing in the Wind

Blowing in the Wind

Blowing in the Wind

Fun Fact: When first brought to France from the steppes of Russia, the Demoiselle Crane was so named by Queen Marie Antoinette, for its delicate and maiden-like appearance. They are distinctive for their long, pure white feather plume stretches from behind the eye to well beyond the head.

Demoiselle cranes are migratory birds that breed across central Europe and Asia and winter mainly in north Africa, India, and Pakistan. They are birds of dry grasslands, but stay within reach of water.

Demoiselle cranes gather in large flocks to migrate. They depart their northern breeding grounds in early fall and return in spring. They maintain large flocks while on wintering grounds but disperse and show territorial behavior when nesting during the summer.

Like other cranes, Demoiselle cranes are monogamous and form pairs for life. They reinforce pair bonds by dancing. The birds perform ritualistic displays that include bows, leaps, runs, wing flapping, short flights, jerky bouncing, running, and stick tossing. Cranes of all ages, paired and unpaired, dance. Among younger birds, dancing may serve to reduce aggression with other cranes, provide physical exercise, and possibly relieve anxiety.

Females normally lay clutches of two eggs. Both sexes incubate the eggs, although females put in more time on the nests than males. Demoiselle cranes have the shortest of all crane incubation periods, from 27-29 days.

Pairs guard their nests aggressively, despite their small size. The male usually takes the lead, but both birds will divert danger by calling, dancing, charging, or feigning injury. There have been reported cases of several Demoiselle cranes cooperatively driving predators away from nesting sites.

Posted by natural wonders photography on 2015-07-03 04:19:58

Tagged: , Anthropoides virgo , Demoiselle crane , eurasian , smallest crane , natural wonders photography , migratory , Koonj , Busch Gardens , free-flight aviary , Tampa, FL

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