Common Eurasian Crane - Grus grus

The area covered by this website is on the migration route for many species coming up from North Africa, through Spain and across France to Scandinavia in the spring and making the return journey in the autumn. Every year, in late February to March, and again in October, strings of Common Eurasian Crane Grus grus can be seen flying over (and heard -- they call to one another loudly and continually in flight).  They navigate by following geographical features such as rivers and will use wetlands such as the Brenne as rest and recuperation stopovers. In recent times a few cranes have taken to overwintering in the Touraine Loire Valley and Brenne.

Note that if you see a flock of big, black and white, long necked, long legged birds flying silently overhead, these are White Stork Ciconia ciconia. The pale grey Cranes can look black and white in flight, but the key difference is that they are always very noisy in flight, Storks are always silent.

The crane migration is monitored by a network of observers who record their sightings on

Further information about Common Eurasian Cranes can be found on ARKive.

Cranes over our orchard, February.
Cranes flying over our house. Photographing them and counting them is a good way of determining how many there are in each flight. This photo has been modified to facilitate counting the individuals. There are 622 cranes in this photo. Click on the image to enlarge so you can see each individual bird.

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