Anishinaabe Word of The Day

Crane (ajijaak)

Cranes are a type of large bird with long legs and necks in the biological family Gruidae of the order Gruiformes. The family has 15 species placed in four genera which are AntigoneBalearicaLeucogeranus, and Grus.[1] They are large birds with long necks and legs, a tapering form, and long secondary feathers on the wing that project over the tail. Most species have muted gray or white plumages, marked with black, and red bare patches on the face, but the crowned cranes of the genus Balearica have vibrantly-coloured wings and golden “crowns” of feathers. Cranes fly with their necks extended outwards instead of bent into an S-shape and their long legs outstretched.


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Anishinaabe Stories or Other Interesting Facts!


Some birds lay eggs early in the season, some later, but the crane is the last to hatch. When the young ducks and geese were flying away to a warmer country, the young crane was still too weak to fly. Winter was approaching. The mother-bird asked Otter to keep the bird for her during the winter; in return she would reward her in the spring. Otter kept her ward in a warm hole. Once Osni’ (Cold) came to the camp, killed Otter, and carried off the young crane to his home, where he made him stir the fire for him with his bill. He was never allowed to go anywhere else.


Related Words

bineshiinh na a bird

binesi na

  1. a bird of a large species; a raptor (a hawk or eagle)
  2. a thunderbird

banajaanh na a baby bird, a nestling

naabese na

  1. a male bird
  2. a rooster
naabe-bineshiinh na a male bird