NATIONAL BIRD OF SOUTH AFRICA

The Blue Crane (Grus paradisea) is the national bird of South Africa, which is why I was so excited to see this pair next to the road on our way to Bredasdorp.

Although their numbers have declined due to habitat loss and power-line collisions, the most robust populations are found in the Overberg region in the Western Cape. I first mentioned seeing them there in 2014.

Sadly, their numbers have been decreasing in the Eastern Cape, although I have seen some, both near Adelaide and, more recently, in the Addo Elephant National Park.

Blue Cranes have featured on South African stamps.

For years they were also featured on our 5 cent coins.

The Blue Crane population appears to be stable, but is still listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List.

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