A ring for a crane
Towards midsummer, many young cranes spread their wings for the first time. With their new developed feathers they are now able to fly. It took only ten weeks for the chicks do develop from an orange sized fluffy ball to a fledged young crane. At this time they are almost as tall as their parents.
But, shortly before they fledge, some of the young cranes will be equipped with colored rings. Due to the individual colored rings the crane can be identified everywhere around the world. This is very important, to get a better understanding of the animal’s movement and behavior. Especially in times of climate change, the behavior can change rapidly.
For this reasons, a team of crane friends and scientists was searching for young cranes in northern Germany. The result was terrifying. The most breeding territories were without offspring, or not occupied at all. A reason for the low breeding success is the ongoing drought. Due to the low water level in the breeding habitats, predators can more easily reach and destroy the clutch. Additionally, intensive agriculture with monocultures and pesticides reduce the food availability with dramatic impact on the high energy demand of young cranes.
Nevertheless, even this year we could ring some young cranes and we are excited to see which migration route they will choose, in which region they will stay over the winter and, in a few years, where they will start to breed and raise their own chicks.
Are you curious how a ringed crane looks like? Visit us at the KRANORAMA in the next autumnal rest. Most likely you can see one or more ringed individuals in the middle of the great spectacle when thousands of cranes gather in front of the observation platform. Sightings of ringed cranes can be reported at the web page iCORA. As a return, you can see every sighting about this individual.
If you want to support our work, you can donate to Crane Conservation Germany or start a godparenthood for a ringed crane. As a godparent, you can directly see all sightings of your crane in the internet.