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Monday, March 30

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Dancing with cranes

Birds are incredible for the diverse ways that they court and display to each other. One of the most entertaining and elegant of these is the dancing of cranes. Here at the Zoo we have wattled cranes and blue cranes who both engage in these dances throughout the year. This is the time of year where both of these species can be seen running around and dancing together.

For cranes, these dances usually occur leading up their breeding season and nest building activity. They can often be seen running back and forth through their habitat calling to each other with wings outstretched. They will also stand in one spot and jump up and down while holding a stick or bobbing their heads. These dances function as one way our cranes strengthen their pair bonds. Even with their long legs and necks, these birds make dancing look very graceful and beautiful.

Another stage to their courtship is nest building, and for the first time our pair of wattled cranes have begun to build a nest that consists mostly of sticks and other leafy vegetation. Nests for these cranes can be quite large and are often around four feet wide and one to two feet thick when completed.

Next time you swing by our crane habitats pause for a little while to watch them dance, and you can even dance along with them.
Ryan W.
Keeper I, Birds

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