Grey Crowned Cranes drop in at Hartford House
The abundant bird life here at Hartford House, situated on the greater Summerhill/Hartford Estate right in the heart of the KZN Midlands, is ever increasing and every year we are fortunate to spot a few new, very special species.
Amongst our recent visitors of the avian variety, we spotted the Grey Crowned Crane. Standing in the region of 1m tall and weighing in at 3.5kg plus with a wingspan of 2m, this is quite a specimen to behold.
The Grey Crowned Crane's body plumage is mainly grey and their wings, although predominantly white, contain feathers boasting a full range of magnificent colours. Their heads have a crown of stiff golden feathers and the sides of their faces are white with a bright red inflatable throat pouch. Their bills are relatively short and grey and their legs are black.
The Grey Crowned Crane are blessed with long legs to assist them in wading through tall grasses. Their feet are large yet slender, adapted perfectly for balance rather than defense or grasping. Although the sexes appear very similar, males tend to be slightly larger. Young birds are greyer than adults, and are distinguished by feathered, buff faces.
It was such an honour to get so close to these gracious creatures, what a privilege. We'll continue to keep our bird lovers updated on any new, exciting sightings. Wishing you happy birding when next visiting with us at Hartford House.