Grey peacock-pheasant?

Grey peacock-pheasant - species label

Grey peacock-pheasant

łac. Polyplectron bicalcaratum, Linnaeus, 1758
It lives in evergreen, dense forests up to 2000 m above sea level. It is mostly active in the morning and afternoon. The grey peacock-pheasant sleeps in trees, a few metres above the ground. The courtship displays of the males belong to the most beautiful among pheasants. Their shiny tail covered with metallised eyespots, spread out in the shape of a fan, resembles a peacock train.
Distribution: southern Asia, India all the way to the Himalayas, Myanmar, Mainland Southeast Asia

body length: 56–76 cm
wing length: 21–24 cm
body mass: 0,6–0,91 kg
body length: 48–55 cm
wing length: 17–21 cm
body mass: 0,46–0,5 kg

Common crane?

Common crane - species label

Common crane

łac. Grus grus, Linnaeus, 1758
The common cranes nest at fair distances from each other; they build a mound from vegetation, often located in hard to reach spots and wetlands. These birds are long-distance migrants – they arrive in Poland at the end of February and fly away at the turn of October and November. In the case of a mild winter, a part of the population stays in the country. The common crane stands out due to its spectacular mating dances, performed by a couple or even hundreds of birds at gatherings. V-formations of cranes in the spring sky are interpreted as harbingers of spring. While caring for freshly hatched chicks, adult birds exchange their rectrices, which fall out almost all at the same time. As a result, they lose the ability to fly and regain it after a few weeks, when the young can also fly.
Distribution: Scandinavia, Northeastern Europe, the Asian part of Central Russia, Turkey, the Caucasus

male / female
body length: 96–119 cm
wingspan: 180–220 cm
body mass: 4,5–6 kg

White-naped crane?

White-naped crane - species label

White-naped crane

łac. Grus vipio, Pallas, 1811
The white-naped crane prefers wetlands; swamps, marshes, lake shores or wide river valleys in the proximity of meadows and fields. It is often to be observed in the company of other cranes, e.g. Manchurian cranes. During courtship displays, males raise their wings and throw their heads back, making piercing noises; then they dance, bow, jump, run, toss sticks or grass. Sometimes several males can perform synchronised mating dances. Cranes mate for life, but nevertheless they still do their courtship displays every year, which reduces aggression, relieves tension and strengthens the couple’s bonds. The population of the white-naped crane is gradually decreasing. The number of these birds living in the wild is currently at 4800–5400 individuals.
Distribution: Northeast Mongolia, Northeast China, Southeast Russia

male / female
body length: 112–125 cm
wingspan: ca. 200 cm
body mass: ca. 5,6 kg

Red-crowned crane?

Red-crowned crane - species label

Red-crowned crane

łac. Grus japonensis, Statius Muller, 1776
The second largest crane in the world; first in terms of body weight. Red-crowned cranes build their nests on the ground, in the form of a mound of various types of grass. At the top of the head they have a red skin flap, which becomes bright when the bird is excited or upset. It goes through moult every 2 years, losing all the wing feathers, which results in the loss of the ability to fly for 5–6 weeks. This happens in the time when the chicks are being raised. In East Asia the red-crowned crane is a symbol of fidelity, happiness, longevity and immortality. This species is threatened with extinction. The world population currently counts about 2750 specimens, about 1000 of which are in zoos. The average lifespan of the red-crowned crane in the wild is 30–40 years, while in captivity it can live for up to 70 years. It is one of the longest-living birds in the world.
Distribution: Northeast China, Southeast Russia, Hokkaido Island; winters in Korea, East China and Taiwan

male / female
body length: 130–150 cm
wingspan: 220–250 cm
body mass: 8–11 kg (max. 15 kg)