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Latest updates and news from the project

Bird Bling!

A busy week coming to a close.

Much debate this week over the intricacies of monitoring of the cranes following their release - and we are getting close to reaching a decision based on what is best for the welfare of the birds and what is neccessary for the long term success of the project. 

A young crane swims his way to fitness

Larry the young crane takes a swim

Extra PE lessons are being given to a common crane to help him keep up with the rest of his classmates. 

'Lazy Larry' – as he has been nicknamed – stands out from the 24 birds being brought up at Crane School 2010 as he seems to lack a bit of get up and go.


A Leap into the unknown

A busy week catching up after the excitement and travel of the last fortnight.  It really feels that there has been a quantum leap forward in the project now from what was a very long and sometime arduous and circuitous planning phase into new territory,,,,an unstoppable straightline phase with only one outcome.  The birds are growing at a phenomenal rate and the regular updates from Nigel and the team are incredible....hearing mid week that the largest chick was now over 500 grammes...or a pound (half a bag of sugar) in weight....was really unbelievable.


Rolands notes from the second week in Germany

After an amazing first week in Germany seeing a vast array of species and collecting eighteen eggs, all of which were successfully brought back to Slimbridge after an epic fifteen hour drive, courtesy of a certain volcano in Iceland. Now it was time to turn straight back around and go back to Germany (thankfully flying this time), for another week of collecting, this time we would be trialling another method which involves, only taking a single egg from each clutch as hopefully the cranes would still incubate the remaining egg.

Egg collection phase now complete

One week old  crane chick 8/5/10

Arrived back in the UK (Hull P+O ferry port) early Saturday morning having driven with Richard all the way from Angermunde to Rotterdam over Friday.  Friday’s journey was painless and pretty uneventful  -  approx 10hrs drive on easy roads in dull, overcast and occasionally rainy weather with little traffic.

Over our last few days in Germany we re-visited some of the sites where we had removed eggs a couple of weeks ago – and were really relieved to find that at least two pairs so far have re-layed, or at least, a pair of cranes has used the same nest site.


The chicks are growing

The following week Roland has returned with the remaining eggs, which are all close to hatching. A lot has changed since he has been away, even though it has only been 7 days, and the place is full of the ‘cheeping’ and ‘purring’ sounds of hungry and feeding chicks!


The journey with the eggs back to the UK

Back in the UK now - at Slimbridge and have been feeding the chicks....They're feisty little blighters with a real strength and determination - and are (although I may be biased) incredibly cute little birds. There is something of the reptile about them at this age - the oldest is just over a week and is about nine to ten inches tall with big sturdy legs and it really grabs the feeding spoon with some force! All that have hatched (now fourteen) are feeding well and there four more that are 'pipped' - ie they have made a hole in the egg and are fighting their way out.