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Marking of cranes
old marking rings
The old rings were not completely coloured so that in some cases the colour got rubbed off or faded.
new marking rings
The new plastic rings are completely coloured and therefore fading or rubbing off is impossible. Nevertheless, some birds loose one or more rings and can not be identified clearly anymore.

In the course of a year, cranes appear in most of the European countries either for breeding, resting or wintering. But detailed biological knowledge about certain life phases of this attractive bird is still missing. These information gaps shall be closed by collecting detailed data of individually marked cranes.

In an Europe-wide project, the marking of cranes is standardized by the agreements of the European Crane Working Group since the middle of the 1980ies. The scientists use coloured rings made of plastic and for some cranes additionally radio transmitters to mark the birds. Six colours (black, white, red, green, blue, yellow) are used for ringing. On the left leg is the country code, on the right leg is the three-coloured individual combination. The rings are 2 cm wide and consist of two parts, that are pressed together to fix the ring on the tibia. In addition to the plastic rings, the birds get metal rings from the responsible ornithological station. After a few minutes, the crane is weighed, measured, marked and can be released.

new marking rings

Mostly, juvenile birds are ringed between an age of 4 to 10 weeks, when they are still flightless. Sometimes it is also possible to catch an adult crane, because every third or fourth year, cranes moult and therefore become flightless for about five weeks. The colour combination as a “personal identity card“ makes the crane unique and allows people to identify this specific bird on its way across Europe.

If the caught crane weighs more than 3.000g, a radio transmitter of 65g is fitted on the bird in addition to the coloured rings. The radio tag is attached to the crane´s back like a rucksack with elastic black straps that are 1 cm wide. Each radio tag has its own frequency. Every 1,5 second a signal is emitted by the transmitter that can be heard with a special receiver. The used band is between 148 and 149 Mhz (used frequencies). Depending on vegetation and relief, the distance to receive the signal varies between two and seven kilometres. The life expectancy of the transmitter is about four years.

A sponsor can adopt a crane: That means he finances the transmitter, chooses a name for the crane and will be informed about the whereabouts of “his“ crane every half a year.

After analysing the collected data, important information about migration routes, wintering sites, distribution, partner loyalty, breeding, territory and life expectancy can be gained for the crane predection.

 
   

 
marking of an estonian crane
Günter Nowald (right), Thomas Fichtner (middle) and Volker Günther are ringing a juvenile crane on Saaremaa (Estonia).
crane with rings and radio transmitter
A marked crane. You can easily see the antenna of the transmitter between the feathers.
 
   

 
Report observations

The crane ringing project needs your help! Please report your ring readings to the appropriate country coordinator.

We would like you to give us as many extra information as possible: date, location, age (adult, immature, juvenile), flock size, type of feeding ground, behaviour, social status (juvenile with adults and sibling, unpaired, paired, with offspring,…).

We also collect reports about migrating cranes to be able to analyse changes in migration patterns (temporal and spatial). You can send your observations online by filling in our migration registration form (in German) . Thanks a lot!

 
   

 

Country codes as PDF file: [ Farbringtafel2015EN.pdf ] - Größe rund 329KB
Country codes as JPG file: [ Farbringtafel2015EN.jpg ] - Größe rund 193KB

 
   

 
Used country codes nach oben
Germany - adress masked - spam protection
blue
blue
blue

long - blue
blue
white
blue

blue - white - blue
blue
red
blue

blue - red - blue
blue
black
blue

blue - black - blue
blue
blue
red

blue - blue - red
blue
blue
white

blue - blue - white
blue
blue
black

blue - blue - black
blue
yellow
blue

blue - yellow - blue
blue
blue
yellow

blue - blue - yellow
yellow
blue
blue

yellow - blue - blue
Finland - adress masked - spam protection
yellow
yellow
yellow

long - yellow
yellow
red
yellow

yellow - red - yellow
yellow
black
yellow

yellow - black - yellow
yellow
white
yellow

yellow - white - yellow
yellow
blue
yellow

yellow - blue - yellow
yellow
yellow
red

yellow - yellow - red
yellow
yellow
blue

yellow - yellow - blue
yellow
yellow
white

yellow - yellow - white
blue
yellow
yellow

blue - yellow - yellow
red
yellow
yellow

red - yellow - yellow
black
yellow
yellow

black - yellow - yellow
white
yellow
yellow

white - yellow - yellow
Sweden, Norway  - adress masked - spam protection
red
red
red

long - red
red
white
red

red - white - red
red
blue
red

red - blue - red
red
black
red

red - black - red
red
red
white

red - red - white
red
red
blue

red - red - blue
red
red
black

red - red - black

Estonia, Lithuania
adress masked - spam protection & adress masked - spam protection
blue
blue
blue

white - blue - white
white
black
white

white - black - white
weiß
gelb
weiß

white - yellow - white
Latvia
adress masked - spam protection
green
white
white

green - white - white
Lithuania
Adresse ausgeblendet - Spamschutz
white
green
white

white - green - white
England
adress masked - spam protection
black
blue
black

black - blue - black
France
adress masked - spam protection
black
red
black

black - red - black
Israel
adress masked - spam protection & adress masked - spam protection
green
red
green

green - red - green
black
yellow
black

black - yellow - black
Poland
adress masked - spam protection
green
green
green

long - green
Russia
adress masked - spam protection
white
white
white

long - white
Czech Republic
adress masked - spam protection
white
red
white

white - red - white
Türkei
Adresse ausgeblendet - Spamschutz  Adresse ausgeblendet - Spamschutz
black
black
schwarz

long - black
Hungary
adress masked - spam protection
black
white
black

black - white - black
 
   

 
Active crane transmitter nach oben

Dear crane friends and ornithologists with a receiver, dear radio trackers,

following, you find a list of the active frequencies. You will receive a pulsating “beep“ (ca 1 beep/sec). Please report your detections to the Crane Information Centre - thanks a lot!

Frequencies of German cranes:

2007: 148,024 - 148,044 - 148,2023 - 148,211 - 148,215 - 148,314 - 148,322 - 148,332 - 148,335 - 148,379 - 148,4914 - 148,514 - 148,644 - 148,690

2008: 148,013 - 148,0635 - 148,081 - 148,090 - 148,1025 - 148,142 - 148,304 - 148,5034 - 148,534 - 148,544 - 148,5933 - 148,660 - 148,670 - 148,855 - 148,964

2009: 148,053 - 148,243 - 148,353 - 148,394 - 148,403 - 148,463 - 148,475 - 148,584 - 148,632 - 148,774 - 148,783 - 148,793 - 148,823 - 148,942 - ­148,951 - 148,994

2010: 148,037 - 148,069 - 148,113 - 148,163 - 148,293 - 148,443 - 148,453 - 148,624 - 148,703 - 148,724 - 148,744 - 148,754 - 148,835 - 148,981

2011: 148,053 - 148,149 - 148,192 - 148,223 - 148,261 - 148,283 - 148,370 - 148,434 - 148,564 - 148,5730 - 148,615 - 148,652 - 148,763 - 148,804 - 148,865 - 148,896 - 148,915 - 148,974 - 150,529

2012: 148,274 - 148,555 - 148,733 - 148,784 - 148,713 - 148,422 - 148,683 - 148,124 - 148,363 - 148,922 - 148,232 - 148,178 - 148,171 - 148,000 - 148,889 - 148,343 - 148,133 - 148,841 - 148,483

2013: 148,024 - 148,042 - 148,123 - 148,204 - 148,212 - 148,224 - 148,253 - 148,262 - 148,314 - 148,324 - 148,332 - 148,343 - 148,492 - 148,513 - 148,523 - 148,604 - 148,642 - 148,689 - 148,697 - 148,784 - 148,815 - 148,876 - 148,904 - 148,933

2014: 148,092 - 148,102 - 148,532 - 148,503 - 148,303 - 148,663 - 148,011 - 148,082 - 148,541 - 148,592 - 148,888 - 148,916 - 148,314

2015: 148,031 - 148,063 - 148,070 - 148,145 - 148,231 - 148,243 - 148,381 - 148,434 - 148,471 - 148,620 - 148,624 - 148,672 - 148,696 - 148,854 - 148,963

Frequencies of Estonian cranes:

2007: 149,503 - 149,524 - 149,551 - 149,574 - 149,602

2008: 149,205 - 149,221 - 149,254

2009: 149,314 - 149,324

Frequencies of Swedish cranes:

2012: 151,605 - 151,615 - 151,635 - 151,645 - 151,665 - 151,675 - 152,145

2013: 151,605 - 151,615 - 151,635 - 151,645 - 151,650 - 151,665 - 151,675 - 151,685 - 152,145

Swedish transmitters are active every day between 10:00 - 12:00 am. Transmitting time frame can be modified on request.

 
   
   
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