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The cranes find their voice!

A few days ago Roland and I went out on our daily crane monitoring rounds and there was a thick mist hanging in the air. We could not see the birds and were about to get the radio tracker out to locate them, when we heard a bugling call echoing across the moor. This was the first experience we have had where the whole group of birds were producing the adult call. Before this it had been a strange goose like call and did not have quite the same effect. This gave us the exact direction we should go to find them, but even though we know the call travels, it still surprised us in how far away they were once we did find them!

A few days later we had another exciting surprise. When watching the birds a fox suddenly approached the group. In reaction to this appearance a couple of birds keeping an eye out for the group suddenly started to alarm call, causing the rest of the group to join in. The approaching fox started to retreat, but then stopped and turned around to look at the flock again. This caused the group to chase the fox, calling loudly and performing aggressive dancing. This was exciting for us to see as we were seeing the results of our predator aversion training in action and also confirmed the birds really are starting to look after themselves. Instances like this make you feel really privileged to be part of this project!


Tim Taylors picture above has captured some of the cranes dancing. To see more of these pictures visit where he has some wonderful images.

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22 February, 2011 - 11:54
mannay1's picture

This is sure had been one of the best experienced shared I enjoyed it reading very much. The whole group of birds producing the adult call is definitely something which has not been discovered more often. This would have been a great chance if you could get this on a video. If people could see how the birds can produce the adult call in a whole group is something new in the media. Though we can find some bird tricks videos where we can know more about birds. I am a big fan of birds and I like to research and watch videos of different kinds of birds.

8 March, 2011 - 09:15
Jezza's picture

Yes mannay1 your right! I to love birds and find them and their behaviour a really fascination subject!