The cranes stand tall, face-to-face, vocalizing and stabbing toward each other. The display may escalate into mutual Jump-rakes, with feet tearing at the opposing crane.
Bill-sparring may be used for the establishment of a dominance hierarchy in small flocks (Kepler 1975 cited in Nesbitt and Archibald5). It is frequently seen between twin colts on staging areas and even on nesting territories as early as 4 days of age (right image).
The crane walks or stands with neck curved down, head held low and retracted, and often with feathers of the head and neck fluffed. In the extreme form of Cower, the crane lowers back on its heels to a sit or lie position.
A defensive display characteristic of very submissive young and ill cranes. Drawing from Ellis2.