Crane (bird)

Cranes are a family, the Gruidae, of large, long-legged, and long-necked birds in the group Gruiformes. The 15 species of cranes are placed in four genera. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Cranes live on all continents except Antarctica and South America.

They are opportunistic feeders that change their diets according to the season and their own nutrient requirements. They eat a range of items from suitably sized small rodents, fish, amphibians, and insects to grain and berries.

Cranes construct platform nests in shallow water, and typically lay two eggs at a time. Both parents help to rear the young, which remain with them until the next breeding season.[1]

Some species and populations of cranes migrate over long distances; others do not migrate at all. Cranes are solitary during the breeding season, occurring in pairs, but during the nonbreeding season, they are gregarious, forming large flocks where their numbers are sufficient.

Most species of cranes have been affected by human activities and are at the least classified as threatened, if not critically endangered. The plight of the whooping cranes of North America inspired some of the first US legislation to protect endangered species.

Double Trouble (4919788838)
Sandhill cranes
(Antigone canadensis)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Superfamily: Gruoidea
Family: Gruidae
Vigors, 1825

See text


Sandhill bare areas
The bare area of skin on the face of a sandhill crane can change colour or even expand in area when the bird is excited.

Cranes are very large birds, often considered the world's tallest flying birds. They range in size from the demoiselle crane, which measures 90 cm (35 in) in length, to the sarus crane, which can be up to 176 cm (69 in), although the heaviest is the red-crowned crane, which can weigh 12 kg (26 lb) prior to migrating. They are long-legged and long-necked birds with streamlined bodies and large, rounded wings. The males and females do not vary in external appearance, but males tend to be slightly larger than females.[2]

The plumage of cranes varies by habitat. Species inhabiting vast, open wetlands tend to have more white in their plumage than do species that inhabit smaller wetlands or forested habitats, which tend to be more grey. These white species are also generally larger. The smaller size and colour of the forest species is thought to help them maintain a less conspicuous profile while nesting; two of these species (the common and sandhill cranes) also daub their feathers with mud to further hide while nesting.

The long coiled trachea that produces the trumpeting calls of cranes (sarus crane, Antigone antigone)

Most species of cranes have some areas of bare skin on their faces; the only two exceptions are the blue and demoiselle cranes. This skin is used in communication with other cranes, and can be expanded by contracting and relaxing muscles, and change the intensity of colour. Feathers on the head can be moved and erected in the blue, wattled, and demoiselle cranes for signaling, as well.

Also important to communication is the position and length of the trachea. In the two crowned cranes, the trachea is shorter and only slightly impressed upon the bone of the sternum, whereas the trachea of the other species is longer and penetrates the sternum. In some species, the entire sternum is fused to the bony plates of the trachea, and this helps amplify the crane's calls, allowing them to carry for several kilometres.[2][3]

Distribution and habitat

Anthropoides virgo -Mongolia -flying-8
Demoiselle cranes in Mongolia: Central Asian populations of this species migrate to Northern India in the winter.

The cranes have a cosmopolitan distribution, occurring across most of the world continents. They are absent from Antarctica and, mysteriously, South America. East Asia is the centre of crane diversity, with eight species, followed by Africa, which holds five resident species and wintering populations of a sixth. Australia, Europe. and North America have two regularly occurring species each. Of the four crane genera, Balearica (two species) is restricted to Africa, and Leucogeranus (one species) is restricted to Asia; the other two genera, Grus (including Anthropoides and Bugeranus) and Antigone, are both widespread.[2][4]

Most species of cranes are dependent on wetlands and require large areas of open space. Most species nest in shallow wetlands. Some species nest in wetlands, but move their chicks up onto grasslands to feed (while returning to wetlands at night), whereas others remain in wetlands for the entirety of the breeding season. Even the demoiselle crane and blue crane, which may nest and feed in grasslands (or even arid grasslands or deserts), require wetlands for roosting at night. The only two species that do not always roost in wetlands are the two African crowned cranes (Balearica), which are the only cranes to roost in trees.[2]

Some crane species are sedentary, remaining in the same area throughout the year, while others are highly migratory, travelling thousands of kilometres each year from their breeding sites. A few species have both migratory and sedentary populations.

Behaviour and ecology

PikiWiki Israel 7524 Cranes
Common cranes in Israel: Many species of crane gather in large groups during migration and on their wintering grounds.

The cranes are diurnal birds that vary in their sociality by season. During the breeding season, they are territorial and usually remain on their territory all the time. In contrast in the non-breeding season, they tend to be gregarious, forming large flocks to roost, socialize, and in some species feed. Species that feed predominately on vegetable matter in the non-breeding season feed in flocks to do so, whereas those that feed on animals usually feed in family groups, joining flocks only during resting periods, or in preparation for travel during migration. Large aggregations of cranes are important for safety when resting and also as places for young unmated birds to meet others.[2]

Calls and communication

Cranes are highly vocal and have a large vocabulary of specialized calls. The vocabulary begins soon after hatching with low, purring calls for maintaining contact with their parents, as well as food-begging calls. Other calls used as chicks include alarm calls and "flight intention" calls, both of which are maintained into adulthood. The cranes' duet calls are most impressive. They can be used for individual recognition.[5]


Black Necked Cranes(Grus Nigricollis) pair at Tsokar,Ladakh
A pair of black-necked cranes foraging

The cranes as a family consume a wide range of food, both animal and plant matter. When feeding on land, they consume seeds, leaves, nuts and acorns, berries, fruit, insects, worms, snails, small reptiles, mammals, and birds. In wetlands, roots, rhizomes, tubers, and other parts of emergent plants, other molluscs, small fish and amphibians are also consumed, as well. The exact composition of the diet varies by location, season, and availability. Within the wide range of items consumed, some patterns emerge; the shorter-billed species usually feed in drier uplands, while the longer-billed species feed in wetlands.[2]

Cranes employ different foraging techniques for different food types. Tubers and rhizomes are dug for and a crane digging for them remains in place for some time digging and then expanding a hole to find them. In contrast both to this and the stationary wait and watch hunting methods employed by many herons, they forage for insects and animal prey by slowly moving forwards with their heads lowered and probing with their bills.[2]

Where more than one species of cranes exists in a locality, each species adopts separate niches to minimise competition and niche overlap. At one important lake in Jiangxi Province in China, the Siberian cranes feed on the mudflats and in shallow water, the white-naped cranes on the wetland borders, the hooded cranes on sedge meadows, and the last two species also feed on the agricultural fields along with the common cranes.[2]


Blue Cranes (Anthropoides paradiseus) couple parading ... (32457893122)
Blue crane pair displaying

Cranes are perennially monogamous breeders, establishing long-term pair bonds that may last the lifetime of the birds. Pair bonds begin to form in the second or third years of life, but several years pass before the first successful breeding season. Initial breeding attempts often fail, and in many cases, newer pair bonds dissolve (divorce) after unsuccessful breeding attempts. Pairs that are repeatedly successful at breeding remain together for as long as they continue to do so.[2] In a study of sandhill cranes in Florida, seven of the 22 pairs studied remained together for an 11-year period. Of the pairs that separated, 53% was due to the death of one of the pair, 18% was due to divorce, and the fate of 29% of pairs was unknown.[6] Similar results had been found by acoustic monitoring (sonography/frequency analysis of duet and guard calls) in three breeding areas of common cranes in Germany over 10 years.[7]

Cranes are territorial and generally seasonal breeders. Seasonality varies both between and within species, depending on local conditions. Migratory species begin breeding upon reaching their summer breeding grounds, between April and June. The breeding season of tropical species, however, is usually timed to coincide with the wet or monsoon seasons. Territory sizes also vary depending on location. Tropical species can maintain very small territories, for example sarus cranes in India can breed on territories as small as one hectare where the area is of sufficient quality and disturbance by humans is minimised. In contrast, red-crowned crane territories may require 500 hectares, and pairs may defend even larger territories than that, up to several thousand hectares. Territory defence is usually performed by the male.[2] Because of this, females are much less likely to retain the territory than males in the event of the death of a partner.[6]

Taxonomy and systematics

Grey crowned crane at Martin Mere
Grey-crowned crane in captivity at Martin Mere, UK
Japanse kraanvogels in Akan International Crane Centre, -24 februari 2012 a
Red-crowned cranes (Grus japonensis)

The 15 living species of cranes are placed in four genera.[4] A molecular phylogenetic study published in 2010 found that the genus Grus, as then defined, was polyphyletic.[8] In the resulting rearrangement to create monophyletic genera, the Siberian crane was moved to the resurrected monotypic genus Leucogeranus, while the sandhill crane, the white-naped crane, the sarus crane, and the brolga were moved to the resurrected genus Antigone.[4] Some authorities recognize the additional genera Anthropoides (for the demoiselle crane and blue crane) and Bugeranus (for the wattled crane) on morphological grounds.

The fossil record of cranes leaves much to be desired. Apparently, the subfamilies were well distinct by the Late Eocene (around 35 mya). The present genera are apparently some 20 mya old. Biogeography of known fossil and the living taxa of cranes suggests that the group is probably of (Laurasian?) Old World origin. The extant diversity at the genus level is centered on (eastern) Africa, making it all the more regrettable that no decent fossil record exists from there. On the other hand, it is peculiar that numerous fossils of Ciconiiformes are documented from there; these birds presumably shared much of their habitat with cranes back then already. Cranes are sister taxa to Eogruidae, a lineage of flightless birds; as predicted by the fossil record of true cranes, eogruids were native to the Old World. A species of true crane, Grus cubensis, has similarly become flightless and ratite-like.

Eogruidae is an extinct lineage of mostly flightless stem-cranes. Pictured is the two-toed Ergilornis.

Fossil genera are tentatively assigned to the present-day subfamilies:


  • Palaeogrus (Middle Eocene of Germany and Italy – Middle Miocene of France)
  • Pliogrus (Early Pliocene of Eppelsheim, Germany)
  • Camusia (Late Miocene of Menorca, Mediterranean)
  • "Grus" conferta (Late Miocene/Early Pliocene of Contra Costa County, US)[9]

Sometimes considered Balearicinae

  • Geranopsis (Hordwell Late Eocene – Early Oligocene of England)
  • Anserpica (Late Oligocene of France)

Sometimes considered Gruidae incertae sedis

  • Eobalearica (Ferghana Late? Eocene of Ferghana, Uzbekistan)
  • Probalearica (Late Oligocene? – Middle Pliocene of Florida, US, France?, Moldavia and Mongolia) – A nomen dubium?
  • Aramornis (Sheep Creek Middle Miocene of Snake Creek Quarries, US)

In mythology and symbolism

Crane in its vigilance - illustration in the Harley Bestiary.jpeg
Illustration in the English manuscript Harley Bestiary (13th century) of the legend of the vigilant cranes: At night, cranes take turns keeping watch for enemies.
Edward Julius Detmold71
A 1909 illustration of the fable of the geese and the cranes, from Aesop's Fables: The geese and the cranes were feeding in the same meadow, when a birdcatcher came to ensnare them in his nets. The cranes, being light of wing, fled away at his approach, while the geese, being slower of flight and heavier in their bodies, were captured.

The cranes' beauty and spectacular mating dances have made them highly symbolic birds in many cultures with records dating back to ancient times. Crane mythology is widely spread and can be found in areas such as India, the Aegean, South Arabia, China, Korea, Japan, and Native American cultures of North America. In northern Hokkaidō, the women of the Ainu people performed a crane dance that was captured in 1908 in a photograph by Arnold Genthe. In Korea, a crane dance has been performed in the courtyard of the Tongdosa Temple since the Silla Dynasty (646 CE).

The Sanskrit epic poet Valmiki was inspired to write the first śloka couplet by the pathos of seeing a male sarus crane shot while mating.[10][11]

In Mecca, in pre-Islamic South Arabia, Allāt, Uzza, and Manāt were believed to be the three chief goddesses of Mecca, they were called the "three exalted cranes" (gharaniq, an obscure word on which 'crane' is the usual gloss). See The Satanic Verses for the best-known story regarding these three goddesses.

In China, several styles of kung fu take inspiration from the movements of cranes in the wild, the most famous of these styles being Wing Chun, Hung Gar (tiger crane), and the Shaolin Five Animals style of fighting. Crane movements are well known for their fluidity and grace.

The Greek for crane is Γερανος (geranos), which gives us the cranesbill, or hardy geranium. The crane was a bird of omen. In the tale of Ibycus and the cranes, a thief attacked Ibycus (a poet of the sixth century BCE) and left him for dead. Ibycus called to a flock of passing cranes, which followed the attacker to a theater and hovered over him until, stricken with guilt, he confessed to the crime.

Pliny the Elder wrote that cranes would appoint one of their number to stand guard while they slept. The sentry would hold a stone in its claw, so that if it fell asleep, it would drop the stone and waken. A crane holding a stone in its claw is a well-known symbol in heraldry, and is known as a crane in its vigilance.

Aristotle describes the migration of cranes in the History of Animals,[12] adding an account of their fights with Pygmies as they wintered near the source of the Nile. He describes as untruthful an account that the crane carries a touchstone inside it that can be used to test for gold when vomited up. (This second story is not altogether implausible, as cranes might ingest appropriate gizzard stones in one locality and regurgitate them in a region where such stone is otherwise scarce.)

Greek and Roman myths often portrayed the dance of cranes as a love of joy and a celebration of life, and the crane was often associated with both Apollo and Hephaestus.

In pre-modern Ottoman Empire, sultans would sometimes present a piece of crane feather [Turkish: turna teli] to soldiers of any group in the army (janissaries, sipahis etc.) who performed heroically during a battle. Soldiers would attach this feather to their caps or headgears which would give them some sort of a rank among their peers. [13]

Throughout Asia, the crane is a symbol of happiness and eternal youth. In Japan, the crane is one of the mystical or holy creatures (others include the dragon and the tortoise) and symbolizes good fortune and longevity because of its fabled life span of a thousand years. The crane is a favourite subject of the tradition of origami, or paper folding. An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane. After World War II, the crane came to symbolize peace and the innocent victims of war through the story of schoolgirl Sadako Sasaki and her thousand origami cranes. Suffering from leukemia as a result of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and knowing she was dying, she undertook to make a thousand origami cranes before her death at the age of 12. After her death, she became internationally recognised as a symbol of the innocent victims of war and remains a heroine to many Japanese girls.

Pine, Plum and Cranes

Pine, Plum and Cranes, 1759, by Shen Quan (1682—1760), hanging scroll, ink and colour on silk, the Palace Museum, Beijing

Main hall, Văn Miếu (Hanoi, Vietnam - 2006)

The "Turtle Carrying Crane on its Back" statue in Văn Miếu (Temple of Literature) in Hà Nội, Vietnam

Hdgs Cranes fighting Dwarfes

Dwarves fighting cranes in northern Sweden, a 16th-century drawing by Olaus Magnus

Cranes made by Origami paper

Cranes folded in origami paper

Brooklyn Museum - Cranes and Pines - Songha

Songha (Korean), Cranes and Pines, 19th century. Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum - Tortoise Has New Year's Dream of Crane and Pine - Kôbun Yoshimura

Tortoise Has New Year's Dream of Crane and Pine, around 1850, Brooklyn Museum

Brass Crane Perched on a Tortoise, c. 1800-1894

Brass Crane Perched on a Tortoise, c. 1800-1894, from the Oxford College Archive of Emory University


  1. ^ Archibald, George W. (1991). Forshaw, Joseph (ed.). Encyclopaedia of Animals: Birds. London: Merehurst Press. pp. 95–96. ISBN 1-85391-186-0.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Archibald, George; Meine, Curt (1996). "Family Gruidae (Cranes)". In del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew; Sargatal, Jordi (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 3, Hoatzin to Auks. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. pp. 60–81. ISBN 84-87334-20-2.
  3. ^ Gaunt, Abbot; Sandra L. L. Gaunt; Henry D. Prange; Jeremy S. Wasser (1987). "The effects of tracheal coiling on the vocalizations of cranes (Aves; Gruidae)". Journal of Comparative Physiology A. 161 (1): 43–58. doi:10.1007/BF00609454.
  4. ^ a b c Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2019). "Flufftails, finfoots, rails, trumpeters, cranes, limpkin". World Bird List Version 9.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
  5. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2012-07-29.
  6. ^ a b Nesbitt, Stephen A. (1989). "The Significance of Mate Loss in Florida Sandhill Cranes" (PDF). Wilson Bulletin. 101 (4): 648–651.
  7. ^ Wessling, B. (2003). "Acoustic individual monitoring over several years (mainly Common Crane and Whooping Crane)". Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
  8. ^ Krajewski, C.; Sipiorski, J.T.; Anderson, F.E. (2010). "Mitochondrial genome sequences and the phylogeny of cranes (Gruiformes: Gruidae)". Auk. 127 (2): 440–452. doi:10.1525/auk.2009.09045.
  9. ^ Miller, Alden H.; Sibley, Charles G. (1942). "A New Species of Crane from the Pliocene of California" (PDF). Condor. 44 (3): 126–127. doi:10.2307/1364260.
  10. ^ Leslie, J. (1998). "A bird bereaved: The identity and significance of Valmiki's kraunca". Journal of Indian Philosophy. 26 (5): 455–487. doi:10.1023/A:1004335910775.
  11. ^ Hammer, Niels (2009). "Why Sārus Cranes epitomize Karuṇarasa in the Rāmāyaṇa". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland. (Third Series). 19 (2): 187–211. doi:10.1017/S1356186308009334.
  12. ^ "The Internet Classics Archive | The History of Animals by Aristotle". Retrieved 2012-07-29.
  13. ^ Rami Mehmed Paşa, Münşeat, p. 141b. Flügel Catalogue, H.O. 179, Austrian National Library.


  • Hayes, M.A. (2005): Divorce and extra-pair paternity as alternative mating strategies in monogamous sandhill cranes. MS thesis, University of South Dakota, Vermilion, S.D.. 86 p. PDF fulltext at the International Crane Foundation's Library

External links

Myths and lores

Bird strike

A bird strike—sometimes called birdstrike, bird ingestion (for an engine), bird hit, or bird aircraft strike hazard (BASH)—is a collision between an airborne animal (usually a bird or bat) and a manmade vehicle, especially an aircraft. The term is also used for bird deaths resulting from collisions with structures such as power lines, towers and wind turbines (see Bird–skyscraper collisions and Towerkill).Bird strikes are a significant threat to flight safety, and have caused a number of accidents with human casualties. There are over 13,000 bird strikes annually in the US alone. However, the number of major accidents involving civil aircraft is quite low and it has been estimated that there is only about 1 accident resulting in human death in one billion (109) flying hours. The majority of bird strikes (65%) cause little damage to the aircraft; however the collision is usually fatal to the bird(s) involved.

Particularly, the Canada Goose has been ranked as the third most hazardous wildlife species to aircraft with approximately 240 goose-aircraft collisions in the United States each year. It is to be noted that 80% of all bird strikes go unreported.Most accidents occur when a bird (or birds) collides with the windscreen or is sucked into the engines of mechanical aircraft. These cause annual damages that have been estimated at $400 million within the United States alone and up to $1.2 billion to commercial aircraft worldwide. In addition to property damage, collisions between man-made structures and conveyances and birds is a contributing factor, among many others, to the worldwide decline of many avian species.The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) received 65,139 bird strike reports for 2011–14, and the Federal Aviation Authority counted 177,269 wildlife strike reports on civil aircraft between 1990 and 2015, growing 38% in 7 years from 2009 to 2015. Birds accounted for 97%.


Crane or cranes may refer to:

Crane (bird), a large, long-thin-necked bird

Orizuru, paper crane, an origami version of this bird

Crane (machine), industrial machinery for lifting

Crane (rail), a crane suited for use on railroads

Container crane, a machine for lifting intermodal containers

Cranes (band), a British alternative rock band

Crane in Chinese mythology

Cranes are an important motif in Chinese mythology. There are various myths involving cranes, and in Chinese mythology cranes are generally symbolically connected with the idea of immortality (d, 1983: 75-76). Chinese mythology refers to those myths found in the historical geographic area of China. The geographic area of "China" is of course a concept which has evolved of changed through history. Cranes in Chinese mythology include myths in Chinese and other languages, as transmitted by Han Chinese as well as other ethnic groups (of which fifty-six are officially recognized by the current administration of China). (Yang 2005:4) The motifs of cranes may vary in a range from reference to real cranes (such as the red-crowned crane) to referring to transformed Taoist immortals (xian), who sometimes were said to have magical abilities to transform into cranes in order to fly on various journeys.


Demoiselle may refer to:

Demoiselle crane, a crane (bird) of central Asia

Demoiselle, Calopterygidae, a family of damselflies, in the suborder Zygoptera

Demoiselle Stakes, a horse race held in New York

Demoiselle Creek, New Brunswick

Santos-Dumont Demoiselle, an early aircraft

Some species of fish in the damselfish family (Pomacentridae), especially:

The New Zealand demoiselle, Chromis dispilus

Memeskia, Miami Indian chief (c. 1695 – 1752), known by the French as "La Demoiselle"

Dorothy Britton

Dorothy Guyver Britton, Lady Bouchier MBE (14 February 1922 – 25 February 2015) was born in Yokohama, moved to the United States at the age of 13, and was educated in the United States and England, returning to Japan after the American Occupation. She was best known as a translator into English of Tetsuko Kuroyanagi's Madogiwa no Totto-chan as Totto-chan, the Little Girl at the Window, and Oku no Hosomichi by Basho: A Haiku Journey – Basho's Narrow Road to a Far Province. She was the author of The Japanese Crane: Bird of Happiness and co-author of National Parks of Japan.Dorothy Britton was also a poet and composer, and was a pupil of Darius Milhaud. She was known for her popular album Japanese Sketches, in which Tetsuko Kuroyanagi's father is violin soloist.

Her husband, Air Vice Marshal Sir Cecil ("Boy") Bouchier, K.B.E., C.B., D.F.C. was the first commander of the Indian Air Force and a station commander during the Battle of Britain.

Lady Bouchier was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours.


Grue may refer to:

Grue (monster), a predator invented by Jack Vance and featured in the Zork series

Grue and bleen, portmanteau words formed from green and blue, coined by Nelson Goodman to illustrate his new riddle of induction

Grue, a linguistic and translation concept (see Blue–green distinction in language)

Grue, Norway, a municipality

Crane (bird), a gruiform

Grue (Freedom City), an alien race in the role-playing game Mutants and Masterminds

Isle-aux-Grues, an island in Quebec, Canada

Grues, Vendée, a commune in France

Grue (river), a river in north-west Italy

Grue (surname), notable people with the surname Grue

Grue, an influential science fiction fanzine published by Dean Grennell

An early form of Nutraloaf, a food served in prison, known as "grue" to prisoners in the Arkansas penal system as described in the 1978 Hutto v. Finney decision

A pen name used by cartoonist Johnny Gruelle

Grue/Brian Laborn, a supervillain in the web novel Worm

Nichiren Shōshū

Nichiren Shōshū (Kanji:日蓮正宗) is a branch of Nichiren Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th-century Japanese Buddhist priest Nichiren (1222–1282). Nichiren Shōshū claims Nichiren as its founder through his disciple and secretary Nikko Shonin (1246–1333), the founder of the school's Head Temple Taiseki-ji, located at the base of Mount Fuji. Nichiren Shōshū has adherents around the world, with the largest concentration in Japan. The Enichizan Myohoji Temple located in Los Angeles, California serves as the organization's headquarters within the United States.The main object of worship and veneration by its believers is the Dai Gohonzon, presently enshrined in the Hoando building located in Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture. Its official logo is the round crane (Japanese: Tsuru-no-Maru). Both its leadership and adherents ascribe a uniquely honorific title to Nichiren, as the Dai-Shonin (Great Teacher) while maintaining that the sole legitimate successor to both his ministry and legacy is Nikko Shonin alone and the successive high priests of Nichiren Shōshū. The lay organisation is Hokkeko. The current High Priest of the sect is Hayase Myoe Ajari Nichinyo Shonin, who ascended the position in 15 December 2005.

Order of Mendi for Bravery

The Order of Mendi for Bravery is a South African honour, instituted on 30 November 2003. It was originally called the "Mendi Decoration for Bravery", and was renamed as an order on 22 October 2004. Although this is primarily a civilian honour, there have been a few military awards, including a collective award to the South African Air Force and South African Navy units which rescued the passengers from a sinking ocean liner in 1991, and a collective award to SAAF units which carried out flood relief operations in Mozambique in 2001.


The orizuru (折鶴 ori- "folded," tsuru "crane"), or paper crane, is a design that is considered to be the most classic of all Japanese origami. It is a representation of the Japanese red-crowned crane that is referred to as the "Honourable Lord Crane" in Japanese culture. The Japanese culture believed that its wings carried souls up to paradise. It is often used as a ceremonial wrapper or restaurant table decoration. A thousand orizuru strung together is called senbazuru (千羽鶴), meaning "thousand cranes". Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a classic Japanese work that talks about the significance of a thousand paper cranes. It is said that if one folds a thousand cranes, one wish is granted to him/her.

Red-crowned crane

The red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis), also called the Manchurian crane or Japanese crane (traditional Chinese: 丹頂鶴; simplified Chinese: 丹顶鹤; pinyin: dāndǐng hè; Japanese: 丹頂鶴 or タンチョウヅル; rōmaji: tanchōzuru; Korean: 두루미; romaja: durumi; the Chinese character '丹' means 'red', '頂/顶' means 'crown' and '鶴/鹤' means 'crane') , is a large East Asian crane among the rarest cranes in the world. In some parts of its range, it is known as a symbol of luck, longevity, and fidelity.

Roan (horse)

Roan is a horse coat color pattern characterized by an even mixture of colored and white hairs on the body, while the head and "points"—lower legs, mane and tail—are mostly solid-colored. Horses with roan coats have white hairs evenly intermingled throughout any other color. The head, legs, mane and tail have fewer scattered white hairs or none at all. The roan pattern is dominantly-inherited, and is found in many horse breeds. While the specific mutation responsible for roan has not been exactly identified, a DNA test can determine zygosity for roan in several breeds. True roan is always present at birth, though it may be hard to see until after the foal coat sheds out. The coat may lighten or darken from winter to summer, but unlike the gray coat color, which also begins with intermixed white and colored hairs, roans do not become progressively lighter in color as they age. The silvering effect of mixed white and colored hairs can create coats that look bluish or pinkish.

Sandhill crane

The sandhill crane (Antigone canadensis) is a species of large crane of North America and extreme northeastern Siberia. The common name of this bird refers to habitat like that at the Platte River, on the edge of Nebraska's Sandhills on the American Plains. This is the most important stopover area for the nominotypical subspecies, the lesser sandhill crane (Antigone canadensis canadensis), with up to 450,000 of these birds migrating through annually.

The sandhill crane was formerly placed in the genus Grus, but a molecular phylogenetic study published in 2010 found that the genus, as then defined, was polyphyletic. In the resulting rearrangement to create monophyletic genera, four species, including the sandhill crane, were placed in the resurrected genus Antigone that had originally been erected by the German naturalist Ludwig Reichenbach in 1853. The specific epithet canadensis is the modern Latin word for "Canadian".

Tranmere, Merseyside

Tranmere is a suburb of Birkenhead, on the Wirral Peninsula, England. Administratively, it is also a ward of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, in Merseyside. Before local government reorganisation on 1 April 1974, it was part of the County Borough of Birkenhead, within the geographical county of Cheshire. At the 2001 Census, the population of Tranmere was 11,668 (5,399 males, 6,269 females).

Tsuru Shima

Tsuru Shima (鶴島) is part of Okayama Prefecture, Japan. It is a small, uninhabited island located in the Inland Sea of Japan, hidden from the land by the much larger Kakuijima, and approximately 6 km off the border of Hyōgo and Okayama prefectures. During the early Meiji Period the island was used as a penal colony for Christians. The name means literally "Crane (bird) Island".

Turna (song)

Turna(Hey ağalar böyle m'olur), Turna(tr)(Turkish: Crane (bird)),Τούρνα(el) ,Το κάστρο της Αστροπαλιάς(el), Ήλιε μου, ίντα σου ’καμα(el)(Greek: What did i do to you, my sun) is an anonymous Turkish and Greek folk song.Turkish lyrics written by Karacaoğlan.


Västergötland (Swedish: [²vɛsːtɛrˌjøːtland] (listen)), also known as West Gothland or the Latinized version Westrogothia in older literature, is one of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces of Sweden (landskap in Swedish), situated in the southwest of Sweden.

Västergötland is home to Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden, which is situated along a short stretch of the Kattegat strait. The province is bordered by Bohuslän, Dalsland, Värmland, Närke, Östergötland, Småland and Halland, as well as the two largest Swedish lakes Vänern and Vättern. Crown Princess Victoria is Duchess of Västergötland.

Yellow Crane Tower

Yellow Crane Tower (Chinese: 黄鹤楼; pinyin: Huánghè Lóu) is a traditional Chinese tower located in Wuhan. The current structure was built in 1981, but the tower has existed in various forms since not later than AD 223. The current Yellow Crane Tower is 51.4 m (169 ft) high and covers an area of 3,219 m2 (34,650 sq ft). It situated on Snake Hill (蛇山), one kilometer away from the original site, on the banks of the Yangtze River in Wuchang District.

SUBFAMILY Image Genus Species
crowned cranes
Grey crowned crane at Martin Mere Balearica
typical cranes
Grus leucogeranus male Leucogeranus
White-naped Crane at Saijyo Ehime2 Antigone
Grus americana Sasata Grus
Birds (class: Aves)
Fossil birds
Human interaction
Cranes (order: Gruiformes · family: Gruidae)
(crowned cranes)
(typical cranes)


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