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Christmas Shoes

Profile Picture and Leg Ring Combination Code

Christmas Shoes
  • Black
  • Blue
  • White

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): 25 April, 2011
  • Date of Release: 22 August, 2011
  • Tracking Tag: Radio tracking
  • Status: Possibly paired with Jasper (2012 male) - not clear. 2016: No known nesting attempts. 2017: Paired with Shadow, 2 nesting attempts the first failed and the second produced one chick which died. 2018: One possible nesting attempt which failed (probably at egg stage). 2019: One breeding atempt which failed at egg stage. 2020: One possible attempt, failed early. 2021: One successful breeding attempt raising 2 chicks to fledge. 2022: Possible breeding attempt but no chicks survived.
  • Life Status: Alive
  • Champion Status: Championed
  • Paired with: Shadow

Character profile:

May 2011: Christmas Shoes was one of the first batch of eggs back, and the third chick to hatch in 2011.  She was part of 'A Block' at the rearing facility and has no silbings. She has a very good natured character, and is inquisitive.  She is a fairly dainty bird, small for her age and is keen to keep out of any tussles. She developed the nick name 'Christmas Shoes' on account of having a red and green identifying markers on her legs as a chick! Christmas Shoes had to have one of her legs splinted to try and correct a rather peculiar bowing that was occurring in early July.  August 2011: Christmas Shoes has grown into quite a large crane now! She still has quite small legs for her body size and we are expecting her to have a growth spurt at any moment. She loves to spend time foraging and spends a lot of time around the decoys finding food in places we have left it for then to discover. We are pleased to say the bowing that was occurring has not got any worse and we are confident the splint worked and she will be fine now. September 2011:  Christmas is quite an odd bird who has been exhibiting some rather eccentric behaviour, but seems to be integrating well with the older birds and her group.  She has exceptionally short legs so can look quite goose-like at times but is a lovely bird none-the-less! September 2012: Christmas Shoes has adapted well to life with the Somerset flock and she and her cohort are all behaving as naturally as any wild cranes.  They have spent the summer feeding on the un-seasonally flooded grasslands of the Moors and Levels in small fragmented groups, but as Autumn rolls in they are starting to flock again and follow the harvest, hoovering up any spilt and wasted grain in farmer's fields.  January 2014: 2013 was largely uneventful for Christmas Shoes, spending the spring and summer on Aller Moor and West Sedgemoor and the winter very much as part of a tight-knit flock on Stanmoor, near Stoke-St.Gregory. We hope that she will pair up this year, although at 3 years old she is still very young to make a breeding attempt.  We also hope that her slightly bandy legs don't put the male birds off ! August 2014: Christmas Shoes remained un-paired during spring and summer 2014, spending most of her time on West Sedgemoor.  We think that she was one of the few 2011 birds not to undergo a moult this year.  Perhaps 2015 will be her lucky year? July 2015: Christmas Shoes spent the autumn and winter of 2014/15 around the Levels and Moors with the main Somerset flock.  She disappeared for a month or so during April/May but was seen again in late May along with Jasper & Regina.  It is not clear whether she was paired with Jasper – or Regina was – or there was a bit of a three-some going on!  No breeding attempts are known to have occurred this year.  Perhaps 2016 will be her lucky year?! February 2016: Christmas shoes spent the winte rof 2015/16 on the Somerset Levels and Moors with the main flock.  It's not yet clear if she is paired up.  Nov 16: There is no evidence of either pairing or nest preparation this season but in July was seen with Shadow showing pair behaviour.   Nov  17:  In early March Shadow & Christmas Shoes were  observed on Kingsmoor and again  during April.  However, Christmas was also seen in Northamptonshire with Viridor on 9th of April. Back together  on Kingsmoor, on 30th April a nest containing one egg was reported, but the birds abandoned the nest.  They were still together in this territory at the beginning of May and on the 5th May they were seen nest building and incubation started soon after.  This was confirmed on 10th May and they were still sitting on 19th and 30th May. On 9th June one chick was seen and photographed with the pair, but the chick was not seen again after this and is presumed to have died.  Both birds were back with the flock in the Autumn.Sept 18:  Christmas Shoes paired with Shadow and were seen together in January and February.  Observed with Shadow on Kingsmoor on April 7th and again on 22nd April.  Incubation thought to have started 30th April as she was observed feeding on her own 4th May.  After that it was difficult to assess what was going on.  Evidence suggests  a nesting attempt must have failed at egg stage.   Sept 2019:  Observed nesting in late April in the Kingsmoor area of the Somerset Levels and Moors, but by mid-May were seen feeding together without chicks.  In August they were observed with the flock on Aller moor.   In September Christmas shoes was recorded at WWT Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.          2020: Observed on Kingsmoor, Somerset with Shadow in early March and later feeding on her own (an indication that Christmas may have been sitting).  However, there was no evidence of a nest and by the end of March the pair were seen together so any attempt failed.  She has been observed with the flock on West Sedgemoor in the Autumn.   Sept 2021:   Christmas and Shadow were observed on their territory in the Kingsmoor area, Somerset Levels and Moors, very occasionally but breeding activity was difficult to assess. Eventually they were seen with two chicks on 28th June.  On 2nd July chicks still with parents and they fledged towards the end of August.  The family was observed on West Sedgemoor with flock in September.   Autumn 2022:  Christmas and Shadow were observed on their territory in the Kingsmoor area, Somerset Levels and Moors very occasionally, but breeding activity was difficult to assess.  It is suspected that they did make an attempt because at times one of them was seen feeding alone.  They were observed very seldom but without juveniles so any breeding attempt failed.                

Crane Champions

  • Coates Willow & Wetland's Visitor Centre, Stoke St. Gregory
  • Oak Class, Elmhurst Junior School

Photos of Christmas Shoes

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