They say old is gold; but for this majestic king, he is more than just gold. If you see him you will fall in love. He is a symbol in one out of the three African flags and court of arms. A country of beauty, peacefulness and gracefulness. The pearl of the Africa crown.
All his followers refer to him as the ancient one. For those who have watched Kung Fu panda movie, this is the Master Shifu, the Mr. know-it-all, patient and very cute. He is knowledgeable because he existed way before others came. Let’s give him the honorable title of the sage.
The good-looking king goes without saying. He has a grey plumage, one meter tall, can weigh up to 3.5kg and the wingspan is about 2m. The crown makes him look majestic and respected, the crown is made up of stiff golden feathers, he has an inflatable throat pouch, and the bill is short and grey. Black legs, not for fighting but to wade through the wet marshy kingdom, looking for food such as insects and reptiles.
The king is well known for his dance moves, from the famous South African, Gwara Gwara, to the East Africa Odi and the West African Azonto dance. To him the dance is not only to entertain but to woe him a life partner, who looks just like the king but smaller in size.
The royal family is the only one privileged to roost, because of the long hind toe that they use to grip the branches. The royal family has a booming call, which involves the inflation of the red gular sac.
Every family has its challenges, but for the Kings family, The Grey Crown Cranes, are one of the fast declining crane species in the world, with a population of 26,500-33,000. This is mainly due to habitat loss, overgrazing, water pollution, and direct prosecution while accessing shared natural resource with us human beings.
How can you help? When you spot these birds anywhere, you could take a picture of them and share with your kids and family let them know how precious, the Grey Crown Crane and other birds are. Conserve the water you use in the house, manage your waste, avoid environmental hazardous chemicals, and do your daily activities with the environment at heart.
TonyWild, does environmental education through conservation photography in various parts of the country, schools and public forums, feel free to invite us or support a school to learn about the environment.