Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) - Wiki
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[Photo] Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) at International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Source: Flickr (www.flickr.com/photos/birdfreak/1286794525/). Date: Taken on June 10, 2006. Author: Birdfreak.com (www.flickr.com/photos/birdfreak/).
The Siberian Crane, Grus leucogeranus, also known as the Siberian White Crane or the Snow Crane, is a bird of the family Gruidae, the cranes.
This species breeds in arctic Russia in Yakutia and western Siberia. It is a long distance migrant. The eastern population winters on the Yangtze River and Lake Poyang in China, the central population at Keoladeo National Park, India and the western population in Fereidoonkenar and Esfahan in Iran. It breeds and winters in wetlands, where it feeds on the shoots, roots and tubers of aquatic plants.
This is a large white crane. Large males can exceed 140 cm (55 inches) in length and weigh over 10 kg (22 lbs). Adults are all white, except for a dark red mask extending from the bill to behind the eye. It has a yellow iris and reddish legs. The male is slightly larger than the female. Juveniles have a feathered mask and buff or cinnamon plumage. The voice is flute-like and musical.
The status of this crane is critical, as it is expected to undergo a rapid population decline in the near future. The wintering site in China holding 95% of the population is threatened by hydrological changes caused by the Three Gorges Dam.
Historic records from India suggest that a number of them wintered there in the past. In fact, Ustad Mansur, a 17th century court artist of Jehangir, was the first man to accurately paint the Siberian Crane. However, the number of birds wintering in India has steadily declined and the birds are no longer found there.
"Mr. Rutledge of Entally told me that for twenty years he tried unsuccessfully to get live specimens of this crane, but did not succeed till a few years ago, when he and one of the native dealers got so many that the market was quite glutted, and many were sent to Europe. Since then the bird got scarce again, so this was evidently only a temporary invasion." ???Frank Finn, Frank Finn in How to know the Indian waders. 1906
The Siberian Crane is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies and is subject of a Memorandum of Understanding concluded under the Bonn Convention.
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