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Latest News

Latest updates and news from the project

Tough old birds!

  Flying over Oath Lock (Paul Hockey)

A brief respite

cranes in flight with mud on their feet

  Mennis, Michael (with the white face) Tamsin, and two other unidentifiable cranes in flight with mud on their feet! Photo: Kevin Harris

Fog, frost, ice and snow!

view of the released cranes flying

The released cranes flying over Aller Moor. 

The last couple of weeks of extremely cold weather has been a tough time for many birds - the cranes included.   With the help of local landowners, we have been carrying out additional supplementary feeding to ensure that the cranes remain in good condition.  In future years, once the cranes have developed and increased their knowledge of the local landscape and become less naive - this supplementary feeding should not be neccessary.

Plumage development

Cranes on the Moor

A few of the birds are starting to show a development in plumage with their adult colours starting to appear. The necks of the birds are starting to change colour and the white on the side of their faces is replacing the once gingery juvenile plumage. One even has a little bit of red emerging on the top of its head.

Muddy feet and ice skating practise!

In the last month the water levels have risen bringing an expansion of the watery areas the cranes like to hang about in. As the landscape changes due to wintery weather the roost areas chosen by the cranes are moving about a lot. The cold must be a lot to get used to for a young crane, alongside having to suddenly share the Levels and Moors with an increasing number of wintering wildfowl and flocking starlings!


A few weeks ago Tamsin, one of our female birds disappeared for two days. This was a real worry to us and we were relieved to find her again. However, when we did find her she was in a bit of a sorry state sitting down in a watery ditch. We managed to pick her up and transfer her to our recuperation facility, and after giving her a check discovered she had a large tear down her wing accompanied by swelling and bruising. This indicated she had flown into something meaning she could not fly and stay with the others.

Cranes in the Community

crane decoys

The Great Crane Project has just hosted two fabulous Nature in Art Community days, where people from the local community came together with local artists and volunteers to get inspiration from the wildlfie and habitats on the RSPB's wetland reserves and then create their own painted wooden cranes.  This is part of an intergenerational project, run by Somerset Art Works.