Grey Crowned Cranes in Mana Pools

Grey Crowned Cranes_2015_05_20_7360 copy

The sighting of Grey Crowned Cranes (Balearica regulorum) in the Mana Pools area is very exceptional and unique. Ornithologists suggest they might have arrived in a now very greened up Mana Pools area, after good rains, on the wing of recent weather pattern changes; such as cyclones affecting the region. These birds are nomadic and move in response to rainfall, enjoying shallow marsh lands. They feed predominantly on insects and may often be seen stamping the group to rout little ‘critters’ for consumption. There is presently a huge amount of ground water in the park, which is on the boundary of this species’ distribution in Zimbabwe.
(Canon EOS 5D Mark III/EF70-200mm IS USM + 1.4x; 1/1600 sec; f/5.6; ISO 320; 280mm)

Picture ©2014 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography

Photography Quotes
Edward Weston was an photographer labelled as “one of the most innovative and influential American photographers” of his time and a master of 20th century photography. He worked with an expansive range of subjects, including landscapes, still life, nudes, portraits, genre scenes and even whimsical parodies. Weston is attributed with the quote:

“Anything more than 500 yards from the car just isn’t photogenic”

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Stuck in darkest Africa, lost in the wild and loving it! Don’t let me out of here…

5 thoughts on “Grey Crowned Cranes in Mana Pools

  1. Hi..lovely picture of the globally endangered species. Any idea how many Grey Crowned Cranes there are in the Mana Pools area? If there have been flock sightings, how big are they?

    1. Greetings, This was a very unusual sighting. The professional guide whom I was with, who has worked the Mana Pools area for 31 years, says this was his first sighting of this Grey Crowned Crane… One two were observed.

    2. Hi Andrew. Thanks for the feedback. We are currently updating the distribution of Grey Crowned Cranes in East Africa and sightings like these are quite useful. We have received reports of sightings in the Hwange area and I understand there are flocks in the Lupane area. Our plan to initiate an exercise to undertake ground surveys to establish the status of these isolated populations of the species. I will keep in touch, just in case you come across other reports from elsewhere. My email address is

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