Nayan Khanolkar


Sarus Crane © Nayan Khanolkar

Sarus Cranes
(Grus antigone)



Image details
1/125 sec, f/4; Fujifilm Velvia
Nikon F5, Nikkor 500mm f/4.5
Location: Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan
Date: August  2003

Shoot details
For three consecutive days I tried photographing these birds from early morning to late evening but could not get a satisfactory picture of the displaying pair due to overcast conditions and limited display activity. Meanwhile individual pictures were scored in plenty. On fourth day luckily the overhanging clouds parted just in time allowing a broad beam of light illuminate the displaying pair and also enabled me to set required shutter speed to freeze the action. The original picture is slightly tilted to left because as I was hurriedly adjusting my equipment, at the precise moment of taking
picture I accidentally stepped on a submerged Prosopis sapling. 5-6 thorns of it sunk deep in my flesh. The resultant reflex tilted the lens and camera though fortunately it did not spoil the image

Species details
The Sarus, at 156cms, is our tallest bird. It has a special place in the heart of Indians because of the strong pair-bonding observed and is celebrated in our folklore and art.  Once a common sight in wetlands and agricultural fields over much of India, the Sarus today has sadly dwindled in numbers and is considered to be a vulnerable species.

A Birds of India presentation


This image is copyrighted by the photographer. All rights reserved.