can you tell and what will you learn?
Stehn, USFWS and Whooping Crane Coordinator
band on the right leg tells me you are looking at Al,
the male of the pair known as Al and Diane. He was originally
banded as Yellow-Red (high silver).
red on the crane's head is red skin that can be
expanded and engorged with
when the crane wants to show off its crown and
look fiercer. It is covered with black bristles, a
modified feather that often covers much of the red. The photo
does a good job
of showing both
the red skin and the black bristles.
can see a brief hint of the black primary wing feathers next
to the upper part
of the right leg.
plumage overall is ruffled, but does not look ruffled by any
is present. This bird's plumage needs a good grooming.
(Whooping cranes usually appear "neater" than this.)