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Oldest cranes reach a critical point in their lives

Crane Roost site on the Levels and Moors  Typical summer roost site on the Levels & Moors

Over the last week we have started to observe some very odd behaviour from the oldest cohort of cranes.  A couple of the birds started to run from potential dangers, rather than attempt to fly away - and there are now a group of around six flightless birds down on the Somerset moors.  This is obviously a very dangerous and critical time for them and their behaviour reflects this.  They have become super-alert and highly strung and seem to act as if they have gone a little bit crazy too.   The structure of the whole Somerset group seems to have broken down,  with small groups of cranes of all ages dotted about rather than feeding as one flock.  This may be a result of the oldest, usually most dominant birds going into this condition.    The next few weeks are going to be a real test for the flightless birds - but thankfully at least the temperature is high now, and there are insects a plenty in the wetlands.  The importance of shallow wetland pools that last into the summer to provide  safe night-time roosts for the birds can not be under-estimated!   We will all be keeping our fingers crossed for them.

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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.