Over 220.000 common cranes in Spain each Winter!
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Common crane is a graceful, chiefly gray bird with long legs, an extended neck and drooping, curved tail feathers.
Huge squads of common crane with thousand of individuals cross Spain in this time. They sound like Kruu-kruu and song with a continuous and characteristic loud trumpeting call. Groups adopt a characteristic “V” formation when they fly.
They arrive to Spain in November and stay here until February. We can observe them in big crews, eating in several spaces like pastureland or croplands while they show their big and slim figure with grey colours by our landscapes, giving satisfaction to people who see them, walkers, birders, photographers and wildlife nature lover in general.
Common crane in its adult stage is remarkable for a plume tail which make us to remember the Carnival party because they display a wonderful exhibition of beauty.
Spain is the main wintering area for common crane. Usually they come from the centre of Europe. Andalucia concentrate up to 15.000 individuals, every winter which are spread in 17 roosts, Doñana (Huelva), Fuente de Piedra lagoons (Málaga), Alto Guadiato (Córdoba)… The Real Bird Watching team have been following them in some of these places.
If you visit Alto Guadiato areas you will have the opportunity to observe another species, more difficult to see like great bustard or black-bellied sandgrouse.
Each group is formed by families, which are together while they eat. You can recognize adults because in this stage, they have a White and black face with a red mark in their Crown. Usually parents with one or two pups, which will stay together over one year.
Stay relaxed, quiet and shut up if you want to see common crane and use camouflage wear. This is the way to do not repelled them. In Spain Winter is cold (not as Northern Europe) but come with warm clothing.
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