Sunday, February 26, 2012

American's Hooded Crane

Hooded cranes are native to Asia but we had a hooded crane wintering in southeast Tennessee from December 14th 's to February 5th, 2012.  Following that period, it was next seen at the Goose Pond Wildlife Management Area in Green County, Indiana from February 8th to 12th where it was last reported by birders. No one actually knows how this rare visitor ended up in the eastern United States.  
I saw this crane at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge during our TN Sandhill Crane Festival.  As I was researching this endangered species, I remembered that I first saw a hooded crane at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin, in 2005.  I remembered that this small crane, only 3.3 ft. tall compared to our 4-5 ft. sandhill cranes in the east, became excited and leaped into the air while I was viewing her. In the sketch, she has just landed and is holding her tertiary wing feathers fluffed up into a bustle over her tail.

A secretive bird whose breeding territories were only first discovered in 1974, the Hooded Crane primarily nests in the remote and inaccessible sphagnum bogs scattered through the taiga in southeastern Russia, and in China, in forested wetlands in mountain valleys. These remote habitats are currently threatened by progressive dams, mining, and draining for agriculture in both China and Russia.

To learn more about this endangered crane and its habitat, how scientists are helping, and see the beautiful images of Dr. Guo Yumin, of Beijing Forestry University, visit my blog series:  America's Hooded Crane at Vickie Henderson Art, and my introduction to this sketch at Vickie's Sketchbook.

Links and References:
International Crane Foundation:  Hooded Crane
Dr Guo Yumin's work:  Grus Monacha International Aid


  1. Beautifully done, and what a wonderful post, Vickie! I love richly educational posts like this...

  2. Thank you, Cathy! I have enjoyed learning about this species of crane, one of the smallest among the tallest of our world's birds.

  3. This is a wonderful sketch! You have beautifully captured the essence of the crane.

  4. Wow, it is awesome and very attractive sketch you captured on paper, it is absolutely great and stunning work.

  5. DElicate and powerful watercolour, like the crane, I love it! and thanks for the links too.


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