Birds of the Bible – Crowned Cranes

Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum gibbericeps) Jax Zoo by Lee

Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum gibbericeps) Jax Zoo by Lee

Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me. (Isaiah 38:14 KJV)

Originally this was going to be about the Grey Crowned Crane at Jacksonville Zoo and other zoos, but the bird genus Balearica (also called the crowned cranes) consists of two living species in the crane family Gruidae: the Black Crowned Crane (B. pavonina) and the Grey Crowned Crane (B. regulorum). The species today occur only in Africa, south of the Sahara Desert, and are the only cranes that can nest in trees. This habitat is one reason why the relatively small Balearica cranes are believed to closely resemble the ancestral members of the Gruidae. Like all cranes, they eat insects, reptiles, and small mammals.

While looking for information, I realized my first impression was incorrect. The Grey Crowned has a grey crown, so while searching our photos the Black Crowned also had the same color crown. At first, I thought I had mislabeled them. Searching Wikipedia, I found these two super photos and decided to share them. You can see that the face is unique in each.

Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum) ©WikiC

Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum) ©WikiC

The Grey has the red at the top of the patch on its cheek.

Black Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina) ©WikiC

Black Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina) ©WikiC

The Black has the red or pink at the bottom of that cheek.

Also, one has a grey neck and the other a black neck. Ahah! That’s where the name comes from. Man names the birds, but God created them and I think it is neat that He helps us identify them. My opinion is that the Lord should have hung name tags on the birds, so that when we have them in our binoculars or scoped we could just read the sign. But God:

Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number. (Job 9:10 KJV)

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33 KJV)

There are other things about them, but this was interesting for me. For me, I will have to keep observing and learning. May none of us every get “bored” watching the Lord’s Creations.

Black Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina pavonina) (West African) by Dan at Brevard Zoo

Black Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina pavonina) (West African) by Dan at Brevard Zoo

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Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7 KJV)

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Birds of the Bible – Cranes

Gruidae – Crane Family

Birds of the Bible

Brevard Zoo – Black Crowned Crane

Jacksonville Zoo – Grey Crowned Crane

Grey Crowned Crane – Wikipedia

Black Crowned Crane – Wikipedia

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