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Ruby

Profile Picture and Leg Ring Combination Code

Ruby
  • White
  • Black
  • 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: Female
  • Date of Hatching (birthday): 8 May, 2010
  • Date of Release: 24 August, 2010
  • Tracking Tag: Radio tracking
  • Status: Alive. Paired with Bart (2010 male) Breeding attempts in 2014 and 2015. 2014: 1 infertile/addled egg and 1 fertile but dead in shell. 2015: 1 infertile/addled egg. 2016: Made 2 nesting attempts , both failed at egg stage
  • Life Status: Alive
  • Champion Status: Championed
  • Paired with: Bart

Character profile:

Summer 2010: Ruby was unfortunately a bit of a bully when she was younger and spent most of her time fighting - until she met Minnie. She is still quite high ranking, although she has now calmed down and is not particularly aggressive.  She is Tamsin’s sister.  September 2010: Ruby has formed a loose association both with Minnie's cohort and Clarence’s.  She is one of the cranes that can be easily indentified at a distance as she has a large white patch on her primaries, which looks like a white patch on her side when at rest and foraging in the fields. October 2010: Ruby has recently decided to hang out with the 'three amigos' along with Tamsin, forming a regular group of five birds. These are the most wild acting cranes and have also explored the furthest. 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. Ruby is not hanging around with the three amigos anymore and is making new friends within the group. The brids have discovered new fields to explore and are often found foraging on maize stubbles, Ruby’s new favourite food! With white on her side she is still obvious in this big group, especially when it is getting darker much earlier in the evenings and harder to spot them. November 2010: Ruby has recently developed a friendship with Gilbert and they have been seen preening one another when the large group is foraging. They are never far from one another. January 2011: Ruby has been part of the overwintering flock that formed towards the end of November,  which has remained a tight group throughout the coldest December on record.   The flock is still a single unit and has been most recently feeding around the Aller Moor area.  The white patch is still very obvious - see photo! March 2011:  Ruby has given all a bit of worry over the last few weeks. She spent nine days on her own in a reed bed away from the rest of the group, possibly due to ill health (although we can never be sure). However, she is back to full health now and with the rest of the group all of the time. Her adult plumage is coming through well now although she still has the very distinctive white patch on one wing. September 2011:  Ruby is still completely healthy, and is not giving away any signs to explain her brief absence from the group earlier in the year.  Her adult plumage has come through nicely, and she is allowing the 2011 cohort of birds to integrate well. June 2012: Ruby and three other cranes (Monty, Sedge and Beatrice) flew up to Slimbridge in Mid May.   They then headed back to Somerset in the last week of the May.  Ruby subsequently returned to Slimbridge shortly after with Monty, Sedge and Chris. August 2012: Ruby's satellite tracker showed that she very briefly flew back down to Somerset in mid August - stayed for the day and headed back to Slimbridge. This movement was not picked up on Sedge's tracker so likely that she was alone - or possibly with the other un-satellite tagged birds. December 2012: Having spent most of the summer at Slimbridge, Ruby returned to the Levels and Moors along with Monty, Sedge, and Chris on Dec 13th. January 2013: Ruby headed back up to Slimbridge on Jan 28th along with Monty, Sedge and Chris. April 2013: Ruby was observed mating with Monty, and helping to build a nest in front of one of the hides.  Monty's bond appears strongest, however with Chris.  July 2013: Ruby remained at Slimbridge for the summer, and moulted out on the reserve along with Bart.  She was caught whilst in moult, with her now-defunct satellite leg tag removed, and re-fitted with a new radio tag.   Following the moult, she seems to have formed a close bond with Sedge and the pair are often seen together from hides at Slimbridge. September 2013:  Ruby flew back to Somerset in early September. January 2014:  Ruby didn't remain in Somerset too long, as was soon back at Slimbridge, where she has spent most of the winter.  She seems quite well bonded with Bart, and the pair have been seen displaying and courting.  However, Wendy and Sedge are also around and seem keen to get in on the action.  Only time will tell. July 2014:  Ruby spent the winter of 2013/14 at Slimbridge, never very far from Bart and in early March it was clear that they were a well defined pair of birds.   In mid April they began incubation on South Lake, at Slimbridge.  Incubation continued into Mid May and it soon became obvious that the eggs were not going to hatch.  The nest was visited and the eggs checked to find that one was addled, and one was dead in the shell.  Bart and Ruby soon abandoned their breeding attempt but remain together at Slimbridge in July 2014.   July 2015: Ruby remained at WWT Slimbridge through the winter of 2014/15 along with Bart, and the pair made a nest and began incubation on 8th May 2015.  However, this nesting attempt was short-lived and the pair had abandoned or lost their clutch after a few days.  The pair re-laid in early June and incubated for a month.  This nest was then visited by staff as it became clear that it wasn’t going to hatch.  The nest was found to contain one infertile, addled egg.  February 2016: Ruby remained at Slimbridge through the autumn and winter of 2015/16.  The question is - will she remain with Bart after 2 unsuccessful years? July 16: Remained at Slimbridge through the winter and Spring. Began incubation 29 th April on a former Oystercatcher nest on the Southlake area, but abandoned the nest after 4 days. A second attempt was made in the same area but that too failed.

Crane Champions

  • North Curry Primary School

Photos of Ruby

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