5 Myths About Crane Birds Which Are Adopted From Their Habits

Cranes are recognized by their long leg with the outsteched neck and a narrow, tapered bill. They counted as Gruidae family, which is among the oldest on family on earth, in the group Gruiformes. You can find Crane in every continent, except South America and Antartica.
Unlike several birds that have a constant type of favorite food they use to eat, Cranes is not a picky eater. They are able to change their diets depending on the season and their own requirements. They eat any type of foods from grain, berries, insect, small rodents, amphibians, and fish. Either in land or water, they usually stand on one foot while tucking the other leg under the wing.
Some type of Crane species migrates over a long distance to find a new nesting site. When fly, they are able to stretch their neck and legs straight out to perform a  long straight body-line. Some of them able to stay for a year-round. They are solitary during the breeding season, occurring in pairs, but during the nonbreeding season, they are forming a large flock with sufficient numbers of them.
Crane birds are able to produce a lot type of sounds, from purring, low sound to a loud and high pitch sounds. One of the benefits from their strong vocal sound is to help them in mating. Mating cranes point up their beaks to the sky and make a dramatic called or known as bonding calls.
They are also noted as one of the animals who has a beautiful mating dance to bond male and female together. Crane bird couple is loyal because they mated for life just like the parrot bird.  The dance is a graceful ballet-like dance, performing bow,  twirl their wings, and even leap high into the air just like ballerinas. This elaborate dance is not only for mating, but they also perform as a pleasure and a way of relieving frustration. They live and build their nests in shallow water and able to lay two or three eggs at a time, and hatch after about 28 until 31 days.
These interesting habits of Crane birds inspire many cultures for many years ago. They are recorded in many ancient eras as a symbolic bird which makes mythology about them is widely spread across the globe, from India, Arabia, China, Korea, Japan, until North America.

5 Myths About Crane Birds Which Are Adopted From Their Habits

1. Crane Dance

In northern Hokkaidō, Japan, there is a Crane Dance which is inspired by mating dance of crane birds and performed by the women of Ainu people since 1908. So does in Korea, the Crane Dance has been performed in the Tongdosa Temple since 646 CE. So, yes. It has been there from such a very long time. The mating crane bird also inspires Valmiki, a well known Sanskrit epic poet to write the first sloka couplet. The dance of cranes also used to be portrayed as a celebration of life and a love of joy in Green and Roman myths. So they were often associated with Appolo and also Hephaestus.

2. Symbol of Goddesses, Omen Bird, Heraldry

Far away from there, the three chief goddesses of Mecca, in pre-Islamic South Arabia which are Allat, Uzza, and Manat, used to be called “the three exalted cranes”.

Geranos family name is derived from Greek. There are many symbols of Crane in Greek culture. The Crane was knowns as a bird of omen. In the tale of the poet of sixth century BCE, Ibycus, thief attacked him and left him for dead. Ibycus called a flock of passing cranes, then the cranes followed and hovered the attacker until he confessed to the crime.

A well-known Roman author and philosopher, Pliny the Elder, once told a story about a group of crane with one of them stay guard while the other asleep. This guardian crane would hold a stone with its claws so whenever it suddenly fell asleep, the stone would drop and wake it up. This crane holding a stone then became the symbol in heraldry and known as a crane in its vigilance.

3. Graceful Movement as Kung Fu

Crane Birds movement in the wild is fluid and graceful. It was also inspired Kung Fu movement and from there, born the most famous style of fighting which are Wing Chun, Hug Gar (or tiger crane), and last one you probably recognize the name from a famous panda cartoon; The Shaolin Five Animals.

4. Migration Habit

As one of a migratory bird, Crane migration is also recorded in Aristotle’s History of Animals. They fight with Pygmies as they wintered near the Nile river. Aristotle describes the cranes carries a touchstone inside it as a test for gold when vomited up.

5. Symbol of Youth, Peace, and 1000 Origami Wish Granted

In Asia, the crane is a symbol of eternal youth and happiness. In Japan for specific, crane bird is a holy and mystical creature, besides tortoise and dragon, and also symbolizes a good fortune because of crane’s fabled life span of many years.

One of the popular origami or paper folding art in Japan is a crane bird. The ancient Japanese myth believed that if we are able to make a thousand origami crane birds, our wishes will be grated by a crane!

There is a story about a Japanese schoolgirl, suffering from leukemia as an impact from Hiroshima bombing. Knowing she was dying soon, she insisted on making thousand of origami crane bird before her death. Along with the crane bird, she became known as a symbol of peace and the innocent victim of war, especially World War II.

That’s all myths about crane birds which are adopted from their habits such as their graceful movement, migration, and their elaborate dance. Sadly, this gorgeous bird is now classified as a threatened or endangered bird. Their number is decreasing due to habitat loss and human activities such as hunting.