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Red-crowned crane

Red-crowned crane (Picture 1)

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The red-crowned crane is a kind of crane, a large wading bird with a body length of 120-160 cm. The neck and feet are long, the whole body is mostly white, the top of the head is bright red, the throat and neck are black, the ears to the headrest are white, and the feet are black; when flying, only secondary and tertiary flying feathers and the neck and feet are black, and the rest are all white. Very obvious and easy to identify. They often act in pairs or small groups. During the migration season and winter, several or dozens of family groups often form larger groups. Sometimes there are as many as 40 to 50 in clusters, or even more than 100. However, the activities are still scattered into small groups or family groups in a certain area. Red-crowned cranes live in open plains, marshes, lakes, grasslands, coastal beaches, reeds, swamps, and riparian swamps. Sometimes they also appear in farmland and arable land, especially during the migration season and winter. It mainly feeds on fish, shrimp, aquatic insects, molluscs, tadpoles, sandworms, clams, snails, and stems, leaves, tubers, bulbs and fruits of aquatic plants. The life span can reach 50 to 60 years. Distributed in northeastern China, eastern Mongolia, the east bank of the Ussuri River in Russia, North Korea, South Korea and Hokkaido, Japan.

Red-crowned cranes often work in pairs or small groups. During the migration season and winter, several or dozens of family groups often form larger groups. Sometimes there are as many as 40 to 50 in clusters, or even more than 100. However, the activities are still scattered into small groups or family groups in a certain area. At night, they usually live on shallow beaches or reed ponds surrounded by water. They are still scattered in family groups, and they stay close when it is particularly cold. Foraging grounds and night habitats are generally relatively fixed. Usually, after the day is light, the family groups fly to the foraging grounds one after another, keeping a certain distance from each other. At noon, focus on resting on the beach and keep calling. In the evening, they flew back to the night habitat or stayed overnight in the feeding ground. When resting, he often stands on one leg with his head turned and inserted between the back feathers. Whether foraging or resting, one adult bird is often very alert, constantly looking up, and screaming when it finds danger, stretching its head and neck upwards and leaning toward the sky when it is in danger. When the danger is imminent, soar into the air. When flying, they are arranged in a ‘one’ or ‘V’ shape.

At the end of March and beginning of April each year, shortly after the red-crowned cranes arrive at the breeding grounds, they begin to pair and occupy the nest area. The male and female birds announce their possession of the territory by constantly calling each other in the nest area. When courtship is also accompanied by singing, and often the male bird’s beak is pointed upwards, the head is raised up, and the two wings stand up to the sky, sing loudly, and make a loud voice of "He, he, he", the sound can reach 3 to 5 kilometers. outside. The female birds responded loudly, and then jumped and danced with each other. The dancing posture is also very beautiful, or stretches the neck and raises the head, or bends the knees and bends the waist, or steps on the spot, or jumps in the air, and sometimes picks up small stones or twigs and throws them into the air. Most of the red-crowned crane dances consist of dozens or hundreds of continuous changes. The main dance movements include stretching and raising the head, bending, jumping, jumping, kicking, walking with wings spread, bending the back, bowing, holding objects, etc., but the posture is fast and slow. It's different. Most of these actions have a relatively clear purpose. For example, bowing generally expresses friendship and love; bowing and saluting the whole body is tight, expressing one's own existence, showing off, and intimidating; bending over and spreading wings express contentment, leisure and entertainment; bright Wing sometimes expresses cheerful mood and so on.

The red-crowned crane is recognized as a first-class bird in Chinese history. The Ming and Qing dynasties gave red-crowned cranes cultural connotations of loyalty, integrity, and high moral character. The service of the civil officials, the first-grade civil officials embroidered the red-crowned crane, and listed it as an important symbol second only to the royal dragon and phoenix. People also regard the crane as a symbol of high-ranking officials. In fact, the legendary crane is the red-crowned crane. It is a large wading bird that lives in swamps or shallow waters. It is often called the "God of Wetland". It has nothing to do with the pine trees that grow in the mountains and hills. However, because the red-crowned crane has a life span of 50 to 60 years, people often paint it with a pine tree as a symbol of longevity.

The red-crowned crane needs a clean and open wetland environment as its habitat, and it is the indicator organism most sensitive to changes in the wetland environment. Due to the continuous growth of the population, the habitat of red-crowned cranes has been continuously transformed into farmland or cities. The total number of red-crowned cranes in the world in 2010 is estimated to be only about 1,500, of which about 1,000 are overwintering in China. The protection of red-crowned cranes and their living environment has attracted more and more people's attention. China has established more than 18 nature reserves focusing on the protection of red-crowned cranes. Among them, Xianghai in Jilin, Dongting Lake in Hunan, Bird Island in Qinghai, and Poyang Lake in Jiangxi have also been included in the international protection of the Ramsar Treaty. In the wetland catalog, great progress has been made in the protection work.

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