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Slimbridge

Love is in the air

... and it's not even February yet!

Wonderful photos here of Monty and Chris mating, and Ruby and Sedge having a bit of a stand-off, taken by Paul George, from the BBC - a huge thankyou for sharing with us.

 Monty & Chris mating - 11th Jan 2014

Wild Naked Legs and wandering cranes

 60 cranes in flight over Somerset - October 2013

Moving on...

 The transport crates all ready....

The cranes have now all been ringed,  we have the all-clear from the blood tests, the Somerset pen is all up and ready, and the birds are good to be transported down to Somerset first thing tomorrow morning.  

Exciting times!   

55 days and counting!

 The baby of the bunch - Black Green Yellow

I visited the team up at Slimbridge rearing the cranes on Friday.  The chicks are all doing really well - and looked in fine fettle.

  One of the noisiest ... begging away!

The first of the Great Crane Project birds display nesting behaviour!

In the last couple of days there has been a great deal of excitment at WWT Slimbridge. Two of the four birds which have been visiting the WWT reserve reguarly in the last few months have started to show signs of nest building! We are exceptionally lucky that they have chosen to do this right infront of one of the bird hides so we can watch the process without disturbing them!

The 2012 cranes first few days - an illustrated guide...

 

1. The egg is 'pipped' ie the chick has pushed its beak through and made a hole.  The chick can now take up to 24 hours to get out of the egg, where it has been developing for the last 28-30 days. 

First hatchling of 2012

Nige, Amy and Harry arrived with the eggs around midnight on 20th April and the first egg hatched in the wee small hours of the morning.  A truly beautiful sight  -and what an immense effort for the chick to break out of such a thick-shelled, chunky egg. Incredible!   Three more are due to hatch shortly too.

Feathers and flight

This week it is really noticeable how quickly the cranes are starting to grow their proper feathers. On a windy day some of the larger birds are starting to jump into the air with wings stretched and show the feathers protruding from the sheaths. This picture shows blue/yellow/white's primary feathers appearing and the one below is white/green/white's tail feathers coming through.

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.