Australian Crane

25 April, 2011

  

Australian Crane ( Grus rubicunda) - A large bird of the family of cranes, living on north and East Australia.

Earlier, the Australian Crane lived almost across the continent with the exception of desert and mountain areas South and the central of Australia. However, its extension to the north and west in recent years have seen increased, which is related to its reorientation on food grain.

Australian crane sedentary, although it can roam within the range depending on the season and weather conditions.

In the dry season the birds are concentrated along the coastal freshwater marshes, where they feed on tubers of Chinese water chestnut (Eleocharis dulcis). In the wet season to scatter nesting, who meet in the areas of fresh or brackish marshes, wet meadows and other wetlands.
Australian Crane – large bird with an increase of about 160 centimeters, wingspans 180 centimeters and a weight of 6 kilogram. Body plumage crane bluish-gray feathers with the exception of the wings: feathers of the first order almost black, and second-order gray. The flight feathers of the second order, and greatly elongated tail close, forming something like a loop. Cheeks and throat pouch crane coral-red or bright orange, There are no feathers on the crown, skin in this place looks like a greenish-gray cap. Cranes have long legs in black, long gray beak,eyes orange or yellow-orange. Young birds head is completely covered with red or gray feathers. Their eyes are brown, and only through 2-3 year gain orange.

  

Australian cranes are omnivorous - eating both plant, and animal food. The basic diet during the dry season is the Chinese water chestnut (Eleocharis dulcis). In addition, they feed on the rhizomes of other aquatic plants, Grain, naskomymi, molluscs, crustaceans and frogs.
In the north of Australia during the breeding season is associated mostly with the rainy season begins in November and December, when water levels in lakes and wetlands increases. In the southern parts of the continent breeding was not related to any climatic conditions. Before breeding cranes scattered, choosing a suitable location for the future of the nest. Like other species of cranes, male and female Australian crane mark their territory distinctive singing, which is usually published with his head thrown back, and is a series of complex plangent melodic sounds. In this case, the male always spreads its wings, and the female keeps them folded. In addition, action is accompanied by the characteristic dance of male and female, which include jumping, flapping wings, tossing twigs and slopes. Although the dance is more often associated with courtship, it is considered that they are a common manifestation of the behavior of cranes and may play a role in aggression factor uspokayuschego, relieve stress or enhance marital communication.

Large nest, to 1.5 m in diameter; construction in wetlands with dense vegetation of sedge stalks, reeds and other grasses, held together with mud, and a big pile with a slight indentation at the top. Clutches (in the north in January-March) usually consists of two soft creamy eggs with pale light brown spots 9.1 x 6.3 cm and a weight of about 198.6 , the incubation period 28-31 day, Both parents participate in incubation, although most of the time in the nest the female spends. Main function to protect the territory of the male performs. Hatched chicks are on the wing in about 100 days.

Australian crane looks very similar to the Indian crane , but in contrast to it a bit darker and less. Because of the resemblance with the Indian crane ornithologists for a long time was not considered a separate species of Australian Crane.

The prevalence of Australian Crane poorly understood, so that its size remains the subject of study, and bird watchers can be from 20 to 100 thousand. individuals.

 

 

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