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Clarence and Gemma

Clarence and Gemma cranesSince the smaller cohorts, a group of up to six birds, have merged into one big group of twenty-two the birds have constantly been surprising us with daily changes in their group dynamics and displays of unusual behaviour.

For example, two birds nick-named Clarence (who has been mentioned previously) and Gemma have become extremely close.
They spend much of their time together and will gang up on any bird that challenges them to the ‘top crane’ position in the group.

When they first met we were constantly breaking up fights between them as they were both trying to be dominant, however, as Clarence was larger Gemma seems to have accepted the role of second in command and now differences are solved much more gently. A small peck on back of the neck or tail and a bit of head bobbing seems to do the trick now and they often look like they’re performing a peculiar little dance.

Clarence and Gemma young cranes, eating and foraging for food

The strange thing is they were from the same clutch so are actually brother and sister, it’s as if they recognise this and are just having some sibling banter! No other birds have been seen carrying out this behaviour and we will have to wait and see if they stick with one another once released into the wild!

- Amy

Photos by James Lees

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