Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Common Crane
Photography © Debbie Bozkurt
Steinish - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
Our Common Crane photographs
- Common Crane
- Grus grus
- UK: AMBER LIST 4 pairs (summer) BTO
- WI: Very rare visitor (five or less records). Previous record 1906
- Breeds: Remote places. Nest mound of vegetation. Reedbeds in lakes, Bogs in Northern Forests. Scandinavia, Russia
- Winters: Spain
- Diet: Plant material, insects
- Huge bird - up to 6 feet tall! (Length 96 -119cm, wing-span 180 -222cm). Very long legs, long narrow neck. Ostrich-like bulky "tail" plume (dark). Plumage mostly pale blue-grey, flight feathers grey-black. Breeding adult often has brownish stain on back. Head & upper neck black & white. Hindcrown bare, red coloured. Sexes similar.
In June 2008 a Common crane came to Lewis, it has been sighted near Stornoway in the Steinish area, on a ploughed and sown field near the airport and also around Melbost farm.
Read more about the common crane sighting in Lewis:
Common Crane records in the Western Isles
Very rare visitor (five or less records)
Previous record 1906
The chart below shows how abundant the Common Crane is during a month or when you are more likely to see it.
(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)
Common Crane records in the UK
"For common cranes I notice you have designated them as Accidental for the UK. I agree they are for the WI (depending on which version of the definition for 'Accidental' is eg. Accidental species are those that are sighted approximately every five years or less. Though I seem to remember common crane was seen last year at or near Steinish.
They breed in the Norfolk Broads and have done so in small numbers 3-4 pairs since 1981 tho' I don't know if it has been every year since.
This RSPB web page reckons ca. 6 pairs http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/c/crane/index.asp
Then of course there is the work done by WWT to re-introduce them to UK ongoing as well. http://www.wwt.org.uk/text/464/eurasian_cranes.html"
Debbie's online photo album
Other local bird photographs
Sources of information for the bird sightings section