Gruidae - Cranes
Cranes must be amongst the most elegant of birds, standing up to six foot tall; they are also some of the most endangered. Long-legged, long-necked wading birds with relatively short, but powerful beaks, they are found in wet grassland and shallow lakes throughout the world. They are omnivorous, eating everything from seed to frogs, and some species have adapted to foraging in agricultural fields. Most cranes do not start breeding until they are 3-5 years old, and most are monogamous for life. They have evolved elaborate courtship rituals often involving exuberant dances and some extremely loud calling (their windpipe is lengthened by coiling in the breastbone providing extra amplification).
Only the Common Crane occurs at all regularly in Britain. A few pairs nesting in east Norfolk maintain its tenuous foothold as a British breeding species.
Regularly Occurring Species
Migration blog (3rd – 9th September)
With the first days of Autumn upon us and the breeding season over for many species, the focus is now on preparing for the coming winter months.
Counting birds and the Wetland Bird Survey (Wednesday 22 September, 10am)
This course involves one online session of about 1 hour 45 minutes, with a trainer:participant ratio of about 1:30. Participants' microphones are muted during the presentations but there is a large interactive component...