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Profile Picture and Leg Ring Combination Code

Black White Blue (Pickles)
  • Black
  • White
  • Blue

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): 7 May, 2012
  • Date of Release: 18 September, 2012
  • Tracking Tag: Radio tracking
  • Status: 2016: Unpaired - no known nesting attempts. 2017: No known nesting attempts. 2018: 2 nesting attempts – first failed at egg stage, second hatched chick or chicks, which failed to fledge. 2019:One successful breeding attempt, fledging two chicks. 2020: One successful breeding attempt, fledging two chicks. 2021: One breeding attempt, hatched chicks but chicks lost before fledge. 2022: One successful breeding attempt with 2 chicks fledged.
  • Life Status: Alive
  • Champion Status: Championed
  • Paired with: Patience

Character profile:

September 2012: Pickles is sibling of Jasper.  He is the youngest of the group but despite that, he still tried to become the most dominant bird of the group whilst at Slimbridge - an attempt that sadly failed. During the early stages of his growth, he developed slightly bowed legs.  Metal splints were used to stop the bow from worsening, allowing him to progress normally and to be brought to Somerset in preparation for the release.  Since then, he remains a bold bird but knows his place is a little further down the hierarchy. He socialises well with the dominant birds and loves the water. He also had a growth spurt shortly before transfer to Somerset - and you really wouldn't know that he is the youngest. On release day - he was the first of this years birds to befriend some of the older cohort - boldly flying off with three of them to feed in the meadows all afternoon with a gang of 29 older cranes.  He was 'dropped off' back at the pen by these older birds flying over later in the day. What a star!  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 Stanmoor, completely un-phased by the surrounding floodwater.  January 2014:  2013 was quite uneventful for Pickles.  The spring and summer were spent split between Aller Moor and West Sedgemoor, and as the autumn drew on, feeding was amongst the flock along the Stoke St. Gregory Ridge, and on Stanmoor.  With the deep and prolonged flooding of December and January, the group remained on Stanmoor which was relatively flood-free, feeding in waterlogged fields on worms.  July 2015: Spring of 2014 saw Pickles make no obvious pair bonds with any particular birds and he remained part of the non-breeding flock all summer and autumn.  The winter of 2014/15 was spent on the Somerset Levels and Moors feeding away as part of the main flock.   Pickles disappeared in early April 2015 and has not been seen.  We hope for a re-sighting soon. February 2016: Pickles turned up (much to everyone's relief) in September - perhaps he was moulting?  He remained on the Somerset Levels through the winter of 2015/16 with the main flock. He is not obviously paired with any particular bird.  July 16: Remained in Somerset but there is no evidence of either pairing or nest preparation this season. July 17:   This pair were seen together feeding on West Sedgemoor and Aller moor as well as Westmoor during the season but no nesting attempt was made this year.  Both seen with the flock in the Autumn.    Sept 18:   Seen with Patience away from flock in December and then occasionally in other areas until April when they settled on W Sedgemoor.  Incubation on the first nest started on 17th April but the nest failed on 30th April.  They were back on territory on 5th May and observed mating.  Few sightings from then on but on 5th June incubation of a second nest was confirmed.  They were thought to have hatched from 1st July but the chick or chicks were never seen in the long vegetation.  The chick or chicks were lost by 13th July - cause unknown.                  Sept 2019: Observed with Patience and an unringed bird on Whitmoor, Somerset on 16th February.  The pair were then observed during April in the territory they occupied in 2018 on West Sedgemoor.  Incubation started on 15th April.  On 17th May, parent behaviour suggested they had hatched but no chicks were observed until 21st May.  They stayed in the area close to the nest until the juveniles fledged in early August. An attempt was made to catch the juveniles to ring -but the family proved elusive.  They were observed with their parents in the main flock in late August.   2020: Incubation on West Sedgemoor, Somerset was confirmed on 14th March.  Still incubating 22nd March. Observed with 2 chicks in early May.  Chicks fledged sometime before 14th July.  Pickles and Patience with their juveniles have been observed with the flock on West Sedgemoor during the Autumn.    Sept 2021:  Pickles and Patience were observed regularly on West Sedgemoor, Somerset with their two 2020 juveniles from January to March.  Observed without juveniles on 9th March and incubation was confirmed between 9th and 14th March.  Observed with two chicks on 14th April.  One chick lost c 23rd April and by 14th May the pair were seen with no chicks! No further breeding attempt was made and the pair were observed on West Sedgemoor during September.   Autumn 2022:  Pickles and Patience were observed regularly on West Sedgemoor, Somerset Levels and Moors from January to March.  They started incubation on 26th March and successfully hatched 2 chicks which went on to fledge in July.  Another very successful year for this pair.  They are seen regularly on West Sedgemoor.


Crane Champions

  • High Ham Primary School

Photos of Pickles

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