Am a big fan of this bird, especially their patience. Have you ever watched them standing still in water and win their feast with that precise strike? Such a gorgeous & magnificent bird.
Posted for Sunday Stills Challenge: Birds
Location: Abu Dhabi, Bateen back waters.
Some interesting facts about these birds:
Do you ever wonder how cranes stay warm while standing for hours in near-freezing water? They can reduce the amount of blood that has to be warmed by constricting blood vessels in their feet. Also, the arteries and vessels in their legs are right next to each other so the colder blood is warmed before it reaches the body.
cranes use a complex system of threat behaviours allowing rivals to avoid fighting. The feet and legs work in conjunction with the beak. The foot has three long toes with claws on the end. These claws are very sharp and can be used for scratching in dirt to find food and for protection. When a crane is threatened, it will use its wings to maintain its balance and then jump up and strike at the attacker with its feet.
Cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back and usually fly 25 – 35 mph; cranes typically travel 200 – 300 miles in a day, but can reach 500 miles with a good tail wind. They glide long distances to save energy. Average altitude they choose are usually between 3,000 and 5,000 feet and up to 20,000 feet
Feathers are made of the same material as human fingernails, feathers require constant attention. A crane preens by nibbling the base of a feather and then drawing it through the bill. Preening straightens and closes repairable gaps in the feather. When preening, cranes may apply oil to the feathers obtained from a special gland located on top of the tail. Contrary to previous belief, the oil does not serve as waterproofing, but helps condition the feathers and may also have fungicidal and antibacterial properties. Prolonged preening sessions follow water or dust bathing