Birgit Freybe Bateman: Demoiselle Cranes at Keechan

March 11 – March 16, 2008 —

A population of Demoiselle cranes, the world’s smallest and most abundant crane species, gather yearly in the small town of Keechan in India. After first feeding in surrounding fields, the birds venture into the town to receive the gifts of grain scattered by locals and tourists. Freybe Bateman’s photography captures the story of this unique population of cranes and the people who welcome them yearly with such fervor.

Demoiselle cranes are the world’s smallest species, measuring perhaps a yard tall and weighing four to seven pounds. Populations of these elegant birds may be found in 47 countries throughout the world, but they are perhaps best received, and most anticipated, in Keechan. Demoiselle cranes arrive en masse yearly to feed in surrounding fields, then flock to the city where their arrival is heralded with joy and offerings of scattered grain, or chugga.

Birgit Freybe Bateman: Demoiselle Cranes at Keechan is a photographic chronicle of the cranes’ yearly winter visit. Freybe Bateman was entranced by this symbiotic relationship between man and beast, and the result is a compelling glimpse into a world parallel to our own.