Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Grus grus

In 2007, the Common Crane (Grus grus) bred in the Fens for the first time in 400 years. With a seven-foot wingspan and a loud bugling call, the common crane is a true wildlife spectacle. Persecution and the large-scale drainage of the Fens for agriculture, led to its disappearance as a breeding bird in Britain by about 1600. A small number returned to the Norfolk Broads in 1979 but while they have bred there successfully, the population has remained isolated and vulnerable.
Once a familiar sight across Britain’s wetlands, the only connection many people now have with cranes is through dozens of place names like Cranfield and Cranbrook. There is a long history of cranes in Britain; they feature on illuminated manuscripts, and crane appeared on the menu for Henry III’s feast at York in 1251. They occur widely in Europe, where populations have suffered historically from wetland loss. Small numbers of crane visit eastern and southern England each year on migration.

In May 2007 cranes were found breeding in the Fens of East Anglia for the first time in 400 years. The huge birds are nesting at the RSPB’s Lakenheath Fen nature reserve in Suffolk – a site that was a carrot field until the Society bought it 11 years ago and began its transformation into a square mile of marsh and fen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hello - thanks for dropping by to leave a comment. Your comments are much appreciated even if I don't always reply. They will appear as soon as they have been moderated.

Blog Archive