Skip to Main Content

The Cranes come to the Academy

cranes in their new pensAfter a very hectic couple of weeks finishing off the pre-release pens (the crane academy) in Somerset, and the WWT crew preparing the birds for their move, the 'big day'  finally arrived.  A very early start up at Slimbridge saw the first 11 birds rounded up, checked over by the veterinary team, and then popped into tall wooden crates. The crates were then carefully loaded into two vans for the journey down the M5 and across country to the Somerset academy.  What amazed me most following around 2 hrs in transport, was the cranes' elegance, poise and calm following what could have been a rather undignified release from a dark wooden crate.  They simply stolled  out and started foraging and preening - what a chilled out bunch of birds!  The second lot of 10 birds were transported the following day, and now the birds have had a day to settle in they seem even more at peace with their new (temporary) home.

It really does feel like the next (unwritten) chapter in these birds lives is now beginning....and with it comes  a real leap into the unknown.   Our work now involves ensuring we acheive a smooth transition from captive, hand reared, naive birds to self-sufficient, wary, truly wild birds that go on to successfully establish themselves in the landscape. 

Much much more to come...!

crane in the new enclosure

%s1 / %s2
About the author
User picture

Damon’s role is to act as the hub of the project - making sure everyone involved knows what is going on and that it is all running smoothly. He is also responsible for project community awareness work in Somerset, construction of the release enclosure, and running the post release monitoring work in Somerset.  Damon works alongside the RSPB reserve teams in Somerset.