Six feet in height, the sarus crane is the tallest flying bird in the world and towers over the two-feet-tall purple moorhen in the mushy marshlands.
A family of four in close proximity to each other. The adults keep the young ones safe by providing them with protective flanking.
A rare congregation of 10 sarus cranes, usually noticed while roosting at dusk or while bonding in the non-breeding season.
Sarus cranes pair for life, yet every year in the lush landscapes during the monsoon season, they display a dramatic hopping dance to strengthen their bond.
It is vital that the egg and newborn chick are protected against the elements and feral dogs, so the male and female sarus crane take turns guarding the nest and chick.
Thd Dhanauri wetlands in Gautam Buddha Nagar district, Uttar Pradesh. Sarus cranes prefer such vast freshwater swampland habitats with minimum disturbances where they can frolic in peace. (There is a sarus crane pair at the top right-hand corner of this panoramic photograph.)
Being tall and with an average weight of 9 to 10 kg, the sarus crane sometimes needs to run with few long steps to before lift-off into the air.
Wing-stretching is another ploy the sarus crane has adopted to communicate and also to exercise its outsized wings that can spread up to 8 feet (2.4 m).
The sarus crane’s black-tipped primary feathers (at the edge of its massive wings) support the bird’s mid-air manoeuvres and help it during landing.
A sarus crane pair welcomes its first chick, with another egg yet to hatch in the large ground nest that has been made on a grassy mound in the wetlands.
While a sarus crane is busy in its ponderous way looking for titbits in the grass, a cow in proximity to it is equally busy munching grass.
Village residents tending to their cattle usually ignore the wading sarus cranes as they go about their daily duties.