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Profile Picture and Leg Ring Combination Code

  • Yellow
  • White
  • Red

What is this?

Each crane has a unique combination of 3 coloured rings on their right leg. This marking code helps to identify the crane in the wild.

  • Sex: Male
  • Date of Hatching (birthday): 24 April, 2010
  • Date of Release: 24 August, 2010
  • Tracking Tag: Satellite tracking
  • Status: GILBERT – probably deceased – Went missing with leg injury Jan 2015. Was paired with Michaela (2010 female) in 2014. Breeding attempt in 2014 2014: failed at egg stage (20 days incubation)
  • Life Status: Deceased
  • Champion Status: Championed

Character profile:

Summer 2010: Gilbert was the first to fly at the crane school and is second only in size to Clarence. He is Michaela’s brother and is a high ranking male although quite indifferent to hierarchical struggles! A really handsome chap with quite a lot of white flecking on his head.  September 2010: Gilbert is one of Clarence's gang is often found along with sister Michaela and buddies Wendy and Gemma.  As part of this group he is also often seen in a larger group with Tamsin, Cosmo, Jack, Twinkle and Bart.   October 2010: Gilbert spends most of his time with Clarence in the new super cohort and as with all the others is becoming much more wary of people.  November 2010: In recent weeks the cranes have all joined forces with Clarence’s group and are now usually moving as a group of 20. They have found new fields to explore and are often found foraging on maize stubbles.  Gilbert has also struck up a friendship with Ruby in the past two weeks and they are often seen preening one another during the day. January 2011:  Gilbert has acted very much as part of the whole flock  through the coldest December on record. Although one of the oldest, he is not yet showing much sign of his adult plumage. March 2011:  Gilbert is starting to catch up with the others now and is developing his adult plumage nicely although as with the others (and most birds at this time  of year), he is a little bit scruffy.  September 2011:  Gilbert is now one of the most spectacular cranes to behold, as he now has nearly all of his adult plumage, with a bold head-stripe and a pronounced bustle.  He has been quite tolerant of the new 2011 cranes, but has been quite wary of his original 'parents' in costume. June 2012: Gilbert has been a model member of the group over the winter and into the Spring of 2012 with very little to report.  He has been on some very high and long flights as part of the group during the warm weather in March/April, but was not part of the group of 11 that headed up to Slimbridge in Gloucestershire in early June.  April 2013: Gilbert seems to be striking up a strong bond with Michaela  - which is a little worrying as Michaela is actually his brother.  Of the 2010 cohort, there are only two possible male and female sibling pairings.. and this is one of them.  We're all hoping that they split up! May 2013: Well, they didn't split up and Michaela and Gilbert actually went on to make a nest on the Levels and Moors - the first pair to do so in the project, but their efforts went no further than this, and an egg was not laid. Very encouraging signs though, for the future of the project. Sept 2013: Gilbert is going through a bad patch.  He picked up a leg injury and is limping quite badly.  Michaela has lost all interest in him, and the other birds are often picking on him and bullying him.  Poor Gilbert. January 2014: Gilbert made a remarkable recovery during the winter months. His leg swelling (which at one point looked really horrible) went down, he stopped limping, and he seems back with the flock.  It was noticeable though, that he is now often in the company of younger birds, so perhaps his status in the  hierarchy has slipped somewhat.  It would be great to see him pair up in Spring 2014, but there have been no signs of romance so far.  July 2014:  Gilbert's leg swelling improved dramatically and by early spring he appeared back to normal. From late February his pairing with Michaela was obvious and soon the pair turned up on Westmoor.   In the last days of April the pair were discovered incubating on West Sedgemoor. Sadly the two eggs were lost, at night – so presumably to a night-time predator on 14th May.  Gilbert continued to remain around the nest site area for the next few weeks.  September 2014: Gilbert was finally identified as the bird with a bad leg injury (swelling obscuring the rings made him difficult to identify).  He can fly well, and is incredibly wary, but can not put any weight on his swollen right leg.  February 2015: Gilbert was seen again through the autumn, but his leg injury worsened, and he was seen alone on numerous occasions.  He finally disappeared over the winter months and is thought to have died.  A sad end for a magnificent bird. 

Crane Champions

  • Class 3 - Curry Mallet Primary School

Photos of Gilbert

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