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Breeding success for common crane at Norfolk wetlands centre

Crane chick Credit: WWT, Mark Hughes

The Welney Wetland centre in Norfolk is celebrating after the common crane Grus grus bred there for the first time since arriving in March.

The chicks are only about 6 inches tall but are quickly able to walk, swim and run.

Sightings of the normally shy birds have become more regular in recent years, 30 were spotted at the centre last Autumn.

A pair of cranes Credit: WWT, Kim Tarsey

'The area of wetlands that the cranes have chosen to nest on is less than ten years old, and was previously arable farmland.

The development of this habitat was specifically for wet springs, such as the one we have experienced this year, when the Ouse Washes are storing water to protect the surrounding land and communities.

This most recent breeding success is adding to an increasingly impressive list of species which include the black-winged stilt and black-tailed godwit.’

– Leigh Marshall, Centre Manager
Crane and chick. Credit: WWT, Roger Rawson

The cranes have done well to protect the eggs from the cold, wet weather we have had this spring.

Staff and volunteers monitored the cranes and their nest, this meant we could glean insight into some of their most secret behaviours, ensure that they weren’t disturbed, and react quickly to prevent the nest from flooding.’

– Hetty Grant, Warden