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Nikon D700 & Nikkor 80-400mm lens
@ 400mm

Winner of the Nikon Fun Groups “Big Birds” challenge on 26.02.2013

Featured in
Everyday Life on 07.09.2013
Just Fun on 17.02.2013
Exquisition on 05.11.2012
All That Is Nature on 29.10.2012
Retired And Happy on 25.10.2012
Closeups In Nature on 24.10.2012
The BIrds on 24.10.2012

The Grey Crowned Crane is a social creature, often seen in flocks in the marshlands of Africa.
The primary threats to these birds are habitat loss and illegal removal of birds and eggs from the wild for trade.
They live throughout much of eastern Africa, in wetland and grassland habitats. Although they may travel somewhat, depending on the abundance of food and water sources, these birds do not migrate.
Cranes feed on insects, grass seeds, invertebrates, reptiles and some small mammals.
The average adult grey-crowned crane is just over three feet tall and weighs about seven pounds. These cranes have a dark grey body and wings that are mostly white but with various colored feathers. They have a crown of gold feather on top of their head. Their face is mostly white with small red patches on each upper side, and they have a bright red throat sac. They do not exhibit much sexual dimorphism, except that males tend to be slightly larger than females.
The male grey-crowned crane performs a special dance to attract females for breeding. The entire ritual involves dancing, bowing, jumping and head shaking. It also inflates the red throat pouch to produce a loud call. These cranes make honking sounds that differ greatly from the calls of other cranes. Breeding pairs of cranes of very territorial and will defend their nesting area using these loud calls.


birds, nature, wildlife

I have always had a love of capturing images and in my early teens took many photographs on my little Kodak camera. I loved the wild open spaces and bird life in particular and longed to be able to be an accomplished photographer. It took ill health and a forced early retirement to re-kindle this love of photography. I am a self-taught amateur photographer who has had no formal training. I take great pride and joy in my work and these days have the time to pursue this wonderful hobby.

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  • Mike Shell
    Mike Shellalmost 2 years ago

    Excellent, Ralph.

  • Thanks Mike for the comment and fave.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Celeste Mookherjee
    Celeste Mookhe...almost 2 years ago

    The head and breast outlined against black stand out so well, and your capture of the plumage detail is excellent. These are such showy, gorgeous birds!

  • Your comments are always so good. Thanks so much for that and the fave.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Dominika Aniola
    Dominika Aniolaalmost 2 years ago

    Beautiful bird!

  • Thank you, Dominika for the comment and fave.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Margaret Stanton
    Margaret Stantonalmost 2 years ago

    Wow! absolutely beautiful.

  • Thanks a lot, Margaret.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Steve Randall
    Steve Randallalmost 2 years ago

    Featured Wednesday 24 Oct 2012

    Beautiful Work

  • Thank you very much, Steve.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Bette Devine
    Bette Devinealmost 2 years ago

    What a stately, elegant, beautiful bird! You have done him full justice, Ralph.

  • Thanks very much, Bette for that wonderful comment.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Jacqueline van Zetten
    Jacqueline van...almost 2 years ago

    Very beautiful capture!!! Congratulations on your feature! Jackie:)

  • Many thanks, Jackie for the terrific comment and fave.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkealmost 2 years ago

  • Thanks very much, Ray.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Tammera
    Tammeraalmost 2 years ago

    Congratulations!! wonderful work!

  • Thank you very much, Tammera for the feature and fave.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Maisie Sinclair
    Maisie Sinclairalmost 2 years ago

    Gorgeous image! Great job!

  • Thanks a lot, Maisie for the lovely comment.

    – Ralph de Zilva

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