The demoiselle crane. Though it has a French name, this bird—the smallest of all the cranes—is native to northern Africa and parts of Eurasia, such as China and India.
This species, like other cranes, is celebrated in mythology and folklore. For example, Turkish folk songs fancy the bird a messenger of lovers (1). The creature’s graceful beauty seems ideally suited for such associations, even if my illustration fails to do it justice! By the way, demoiselle is French for “damsel.” This name was bestowed to it by one of the most famous queens in history. Marie Antoinette (2).
For illustrations of more feathered beauties, please check out Laura’s Create Art Every Day and Kerfe and Nina’s Method Two Madness. Laura started the monthly DAB Days, and Kerfe and Nina are doing the roundup of DAB Day illustrations from WordPress blogs. There will be links to a whole “flock” of drawings!
- Kara, M, Teres, E. “The Crane as Symbol of Fidelity in Turkish and Japanese Cultures.” Milli Folklor. Yil 24, Sayi 95. p. 198–199.
- Mynott, J. Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imagination and Experience. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009. p. 29.