Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Day 148 - Exceptionally Elegant Eurasian Cranes

Eurasian Crane Pair (Grus grus)
Hi all today's Day 148 and I have been at Washington Wetlands and Wildfowl Centre and there are two very large, lovely birds right next to the visitor centre. They do occur in the UK as they have been seen in a number of places that I have been to, but I haven't been lucky enough to see them yet. They have apparently been seen on the Norfolk Broads, which is where I go on holiday a lot of the time, and at Nosterfield so I'll be looking for them locally as well.

So, here are the facts:
Trotting along the grass

  • They are a very localised bird only living, in the Summer, in the Centre of Norfolk. I don't know where the Wintering birds go but I guess they're just dotted around.
  • There are only about 11 breeding pairs in the UK and they must will be concentrated in Norfolk.
  • They are lucky enough to be joined by 30 other birds in the Winter and then 40 birds migrating over.
    Up close
  • They are an Amber Status bird because they have declined massively over the last 300 years because of shooting, disturbance and drainage.
  • They are huge birds, up to 115cm in length, as well as their 232cm wingspan! This is probably the largest bird that I have covered in my blog.
  • For such a large bird you'd think they would weigh quite a lot, well you'd be wrong, they must have a lot of feathers on them. Both Males and Females weigh around 5.6kg!
  • They start breeding when they are 4 years old and that's quite elderly for a bird but not when you compare it to its typical lifespan of 13 years!
  • There's too few birds ringed to know what the oldest Crane was and they also have NO NEST RECORDS!
  • The average crane would raise 17.82 young Cranes to breeding years in its lifetime but we'll round that up to 18 ;-)
  • I managed to compile a video of the Cranes I saw at Washington, I got them courting, feeding, resting and just generally mooching around:

As well as this, there is a Nosterfield Highlight Video that shows the Cranes in it. You can see it below:

To see Crane, it's at two minutes.

So, here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. Not a bird recorded round here that I can think of, although you wonder what might happen today if they take off in these winds!

  2. Oh beautiful birds, Zach! I've never seen one before so these photos are lovely to see. - Tasha