Legend of the Crane…

Throughout history, birds have held special value – Many meanings, often derived from legends and stories that have survived generations have been bestowed upon our feathered friends.

Cranes may conceivably be the oldest bird on earth. There is fossil evidence they existed more than 60 million years ago.

Throughout all of Asia, the crane has been a symbol of happiness and eternal youth. In Japanese, Chinese, and Korean tradition, cranes stand for good fortune and longevity because of its fabled life span of a thousand years.

The Japanese refer to the crane as “the bird of happiness;” the Chinese as “heavenly crane” believing they were symbols of wisdom. The powerful wings of the crane were believed to be able to convey souls up to heaven and to carry people to higher levels of spiritual enlightenment.

Greek and Roman myth tended to portray the dance of cranes as a love of joy and a celebration of life. The crane was usually considered to be a bird of Apollo, the sun god, who heralded Spring.

Over time, the crane has also evolved as a favorite subject of the tradition of paper folding – origami. It is said that a thousand folded cranes, one for each year of its life, makes a wish come true.

Have you ever folded an origami crane? If you would like to try download this instruction sheet!

Let's see your finished crane! Pop your origami crane into an envelope and migrate it to 639-1623 Military Rd., Niagara Falls, NY 14304

Let’s see your finished crane!

Pop your origami crane into an envelope and ‘migrate’ it to us!
Operation Migration #639-1623 Military Rd., Niagara Falls, NY 14304-1745

Cranes have come to mean many things for many people. Below is an excerpt from a blogpost, authored by a wonderful woman who worked at the International Crane Foundation many years ago. 

Allow Rachel Jepson Wolf to tell you in her words what Whooping cranes have come to mean for her and her young family…

A good, magical story that makes you wonder how many spirits are watching over each of us. It will take us far away from the cranes and into a dark and scary chapter of my life, and then magically back to the cranes once more. It is among the most incredible did that really just happen?” stories of my life.

Thought there were many projects on my plate during my time at ICF, most of my hours (and passion) were invested in the Whooping Crane reintroduction.

The reintroduction of this endangered species was undertaken by a partnership of private, non-profit, and governmental agencies working together to reestablish a migratory flock of endangered Whooping Cranes in Eastern North America.

It is a colossal undertaking. Also inspiring. Political. Tenacious. Challenging. Epic.

The project involves Whooping Cranes raised in isolation and captivity by costumed biologists to prevent the young birds from imprinting on humans. The cranes are then taught to follow a costumed pilot in an ultralight airplane and ultimately learn their migration route from this surrogate parent.”

Visit Rachel’s blog to continue the story… 

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  1. Shelly Taliaferro July 28, 2013 6:16 pm

    Cranebumps and leaky eyes. Beautiful story. 🙂

  2. Margie Tomlinson July 28, 2013 10:54 am

    Thank you so much, Heather, for posting this report & story! It is so wonderful and beautiful! Will start making Origami Cranes now, too,
    🙂 and maybe send one soon.