"In this glorious book, Paul Johnsgard and Tom Mangelsen have captured the very essence of these ancient birds—their beauty, grace of movement, and fascinating lives. It is a must for crane lovers, birders, and all who love the natural world."
"Professor Paul Johnsgard is the world's leading synthesizer of our knowledge of birds and the presenter of such varied and complex information to both professional and lay audiences. He has made an enormous contribution to our planet. . . . In his latest book, A Chorus of Cranes, the splendor of Johnsgard's lyrical style is matched by incomparable images from one of the world's best-known photographers, and fellow Nebraskan, Tom Mangelsen."
—George Archibald, Co-Founder and Senior Conservationist, International Crane Foundation
From the acknowledgments
Since long before medieval times cranes have been considered messengers of the gods, calling annually from on high to remind humans below of the passing years and of their own mortality. Now it is up to humans to take responsibility for controlling our own fate—and also to cry out to protect not only cranes but all the other wonderful creatures that share our increasingly fragile and threatened planetary ecosystem with us.
Accompanied by the stunning photography of Thomas D. Mangelsen, A Chorus of Cranes details the natural history, biology, and conservation issues surrounding the abundant sandhill crane and the endangered whooping crane in North America. Author Paul A. Johnsgard, one of the leading authorities on cranes and crane biology, describes the fascinating social behaviors, beautiful natural habitats, and grueling seasonal migrations that have stirred the hearts of people as far back as medieval times and garnered the crane a place in folklore and mythology across continents.
Johnsgard has substantially updated and significantly expanded his 1991 work Crane Music, incorporating new information on the biology and status of these two North American cranes and providing abbreviated summaries on the other thirteen crane species of the world. The stories of these birds and their contrasting fates provide an instructive and moving history of bird conservation in North America. A Chorus of Cranes is a gorgeous and invaluable resource for crane enthusiasts, birders, natural historians, and conservationists alike.
The University Press of Colorado gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Iain Nicholson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary, Audubon Nebraska, Ron and Judy Parks, Wagon Tongue Creek Farm, and the Trull Foundation toward the publication of this book.