Grus paradiseus   Blue Crane  Bloukraanvoël
Blue Crane
Alma, Oct 2019

A breeding resident. There is an isolated population of this species numbering 40-70 birds that is resident in the southern third of the Waterberg. They congregate in winter in one or two flocks on the irrigation farms in the Alma area and disperse as breeding pairs in summer. The winter flock has been monitored by LEDET staff since 2001 and the number of birds present has fluctuated between 71 (in 2007) and 32 (in 2017); in 2019 they numbered 50 birds. Forty two chicks were colour-ringed in the early 2000s and one, ringed in 2004, was still present in the area in 2018 (see below). Another, a victim of flying into power-lines, was recovered near Newcastle, KZN, and two were resighted in 2014 near Devon, Gauteng. (Information with thanks to Joseph Heymans). Breeds in summer.
Blue Crane Waterberg distribution
Blue Cranes in flight
Alma, Oct 2019

The 50 birds flying here (with a single Wattled Crane at the top of the photo) probably comprise the entire Waterberg population
Blue Crane
Dinaka, Jan 2019
Blue Crane
Alma, Aug 2004
Blue Crane flock
Alma, Jun 2018

Part of a group of 20 birds in the Alma wintering area. The colour-ringed bird on the right (now 14 years old) was ringed as a chick in Feb 2004 about 20 km west of this spot.
Blue Crane
Alma, Aug 2007
Blue Crane nest
Welgevonden, Oct 2008
Blue Crane eggs
Alma, Sep 2007

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