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Wow, what a week this has been!

On Monday the team was busy setting up equipment and also a plan of action in order to move the birds to their release enclosure in Somerset. Everyone was very excited but also apprehensive, as we didn’t know how the birds were going to handle the two hour journey. Starting in the early hours of Tuesday morning, the temperature was cool and the traffic was fine so the length of time the birds were in transport was minimal. We had specially designed holding crates for the birds to be securely carried from one place to another, which work really well, but as they have never had anything like this happen before we couldn’t help but worry some might panic and cause themselves an injury. However, the birds, as always, seemed to take things in their stride and there were no problems. We could all breath a sigh of relief at how well the process went.

When the birds arrived to their enclosure, Roland and I were in our ‘crane costumes’ waiting to greet them and let them out of their transport crates. Walking around the area slowly enabled them to stretch their legs and get rid of any wobbles they had from being in a similar standing position for a while. It also helped the birds to settle as they had ‘mum’ and ‘dad’ to run to for comfort after a stressful experience. Then a great deal of feather ruffling, wing flapping and squeaking at one another was carried out to restore the dignity back to the slightly tousled birds.

crane ruffling feathers
Ruffling feathers

Once all the birds were finally released and the vehicles had disappeared, the birds started to calm down and explore their new surroundings. Watching this was wonderful as there is now so much more for them to forage for and areas to explore and you could really tell they were enjoying it.

Stretching its wings after re-joining the group
Stretching its wings after re-joining the group

cranes exploring the new enclosure
Exploring the new enclosure

We all felt very emotional when we were watching them settle in and take to their new home. The first stage of release has been successfully completed and all our hard work has so far paid off. It was all completely worth it and I felt a real sense of pride for the birds doing so well. This was also mixed with excitement and new anxieties as we have now reached the next step with loads of new challenges ahead!

A big thanks to everyone who made the journey so far a success. Fingers crossed the following months will go as well as the last few have!

Amy

cranes settling into their new home
Cranes settling into their new home

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