Wolfgang Praegler & Gudrun Mirbach-Praegler
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Photos of the Week
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The cranes are back! The great migration has started
      In   autumn   cranes   start   their   great   migration   from   the   breeding   grounds   in   northern   Europe   and   Russia   towards   their   winter quarters   in   southern   France   and   Spain.   On   this   flight   they   make   a   stop   in   our   area   for   feeding   to   accumulate   energy   for   the long   flight.   Depending   on   weather   conditions   they   stay   here   for   some   time   before   they   continue   their   flight.   Usually   families fly together: Both of the parent birds with one or two squabs.       When   feeding   cranes   are   not   picky.   They   take   everything   from   small   mammals,   snails,   worms,   insects   to   grain   of   any   kind. But   they   depend   on   safe   sleeping   places:   They   need   a   wide   shallow   water   to   stand   in   during   night.   Then   they   are   safe   from enemies.       They   spend   the   whole   day   on   their   feeding   grounds. At   sunset   they   fly   up   to   the   sleeping   grounds   in   shallow   water.   Some arrive   late   after   sunset   during   darkness.   Here   lovers   of   the   cranes   wait   for   them,   getting   happy   when   they   hear   the   loud “trumpeting”,   how   the   shouting   of   the   cranes   is   called.   In   the   boglands   of   our   area   about   40,000   cranes   accumulate   during migration.
Cranes arriving on our fields Small and bigger groups are landing On harvested fields of maize cranes are looking for leftover grains On these fields cranes are looking for mice, worms, and snails They need energy to continue their flight southwards Cranes are not picky: They take everything A crane family: In the centre the parent birds, and left and right the young ones On the right we can see an adult bird, and on the left a young one Here we can see two adult birds standing On these harvested fields of maize there is always some food left for the birds The adult birds have a typical red blot on the head At sunset the cranes fly up At sunset the cranes fly to their sleeping places Cranes look for shallow water to stand and to sleep in. There they are safe from enemies Even during darkness more and more cranes arrive at the sleeping places Even in the darkness after sunset there are still cranes arriving