It has been estimated that there are only about 25 000 Blue Cranes left in the wild in South Africa, where a lot of good work is being done to protect these beautiful birds – the national bird of this country. Continued growth of the human population – and the urbanisation that goes with it – has led to considerable habitat loss vital for the survival of these cranes. Although their population appears to be stable, they remain susceptible to poisoning as well as to collisions with the vast network of power-lines that criss-cross this country.
While it is always to see them gathering in reasonable numbers in the Overberg region of the Western Cape, I find it quite special to see the odd small group of them – mostly pairs – here in the Eastern Cape. I photographed this pair in the Mountain Zebra National Park in October.
Beautifully elegant birds!