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Profile Picture and Leg Ring Combination Code

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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): 27 April, 2012
  • Date of Release: 18 September, 2012
  • Tracking Tag: Satellite tracking
  • Status: Paired with Swampy (2011 female). 2015: 2 chicks to fledging (mid July). 2016: Made 3 nesting attempts one chick survived from the 3rd attempt, fledging in early September. 2017: Paired with Waterwing (2013 female) One possible nesting attempt. 2018: No known breeding attempt.
  • Life Status: Alive
  • Champion Status: Championed
  • Paired with: Waterwing

Character profile:

September 2015: Named ‘Alexander The Great’ due to his size, he did not match with his behaviour until very recently. Alexander is the biggest of the group - but he struggled in the early stages of rearing as he was very shy and nervous, and paced the fence line a lot. His confidence grew, however, and he soon began to live up to his name.   He has adapted well to the Somerset way of life, and has finally started using his size to his advantage by chasing the other boisterous cranes away from his food- but is a bit aloof, and is often apart from the main group. Despite his big size and tendency to strut about - he has remained one of the most 'clingy' to his costumed parents (a big baby really) and spends a while begging for them every time they disappear. On release day, he refused to leave the comfort of the aviary for an hour or so - but did eventually pluck up the courage to follow us out.  January 2013: As autumn turned to winter, the cranes began to flock together to look for food, which they found in plentiful supply in the form of maize left in fields from the harvest.  All 48 have been spending most of their time either feeding in the maize stubble or on Stan Moor near Burrowbridge, completely unperturbed by the surrounding floodwater.  January 2014: 2013 was a largely uneventful and quiet year for Alexander, the most exciting thing that happened was the arrival of the new batch of cranes in the autumn.  Alexander seemed to be particularly affected by their presence and spent a lot of time strutting and pacing about the enclosure, asserting his dominance.  The spring and summer were spent largely on Aller Moor and West Sedgemoor, with the autumn spent feeding on the Stoke St. Gregory Ridge, and Stanmoor, and the winter flood period on pasture land on Stanmoor along with the majority of the other cranes.  July 2015: Early spring 2014 saw Alexander making a tentative pairing with Margaret (2012 female) but the romance didn’t blossom, and he was very much part of the non-breeding Somerset flock through the spring and summer.  He remained on the moors through the winter of 2014/15.  In early spring 2015 he went ‘off the radar’ but in mid May we were amazed to see him tending to young chicks along with Swampy, a 2011 female, previously paired to Mennis on private land on Kingsmoor.  The pair went on to raise two chicks to fledge in mid July – the first Somerset chicks for the project.  Well done Alexander – truly ‘The Great!’.  We think that Alexander is moulting whilst raising the two chicks.  February 2016: Alexander continued to stay with Swampy and his two chicks through the autumn on the Somerset Levels and Moors and returned back to his breeding territory (with chicks in tow) in late January 2016.  At some point he will have to chase the chicks away and, we hope, get down to breeding again with Swampy.  July16: Returned to last year’s territory on Kingsmoor in Somerset. The pair were seen there with their first year young in February though the youngsters soon left . The 1 st Incubation started around the end of April but failed due to a cause unknown. Incubation on the 2 nd nest in a Ryegrass field failed after 12 days, cause unknown. The 3rd incubation started around the end of May and went full term. One chick is known to survive. Sep 16: Alexander and Swampy fledged the chick in early September.  The chick was caught and colour ringed in late August (Red-White-Green).  Fanstastic work for this pair - the most productive pair of all the cranes ... so far!   Nov 17:  Alexander’s  mate of 2015 and 2016, Swampy,  was shot last year and this year he paired with a 2013 female, Waterwing .  They were seen on Kingsmoor in Somerset occasionally but not were not thought to be nesting.  They were possibly the pair that abandoned an egg (found in a Rye grass field)  in late April and  there has been no sighting of this pair since May 1st.  Alexander has not been seen since May though Waterwing has so there is concern about his welfare.  Sept 2018: Not seen during the year - unknown status.

Crane Champions

  • Somerset Local Food Direct Ltd
Somerset Local Food Direct Ltd

Photos of Alexander

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