I'm trying to find out more about some large birds I saw recently in Cambridgeshire.
There must have been at least 15-20 birds kept in a large network of pens, giving the impression that they were being farmed or bred. Each was around 1.5m tall with white feathers apart from a black tail and neck. They had long pointed beaks, and made a very loud high pitched call which they would do in unison every so often.
Apologies for the poor quality photo! I didn't take this myself but plucked it later from google maps. I'd be grateful for any ideas or suggestions.
There is a WWT place in Cambs (Welney). This is where the Common Cranes bred in 2018. I've never been to this one but if it is like other WWT sites they may also have captive/breeding birds of other non-UK species in enclosures, including Red Crowned Cranes (which these look like). Perhaps this spot is part of that establishment.
Thanks everyone for your contributions! Based on their distinctive calls I would say I'm quite certain they're cranes of some sort.
So what I'm wondering now is why there's a large group like this in captivity in Cambridgeshire?
Interesting Article HERE
Note that Roy Dennis foundation supporting.
TeeJay said:They look a bit like White Storks although it's hard to be sure from that photo. I've read that there is a project to try to reintroduce them to the UK see HERE. This seems to be centered in Sussex and Surrey but I've
White Storks have a white upper body and red bill. You are right though that they could be Storks, the photo lacks sufficient and I would agree that they aren't Common Cranes as per the Crane Project.
Hi Will, I hope you will let us know if you learn anything more about these birds. While I am no expert and hope that experts will set us straight, I'd say that their posture looks to be more Stork-like than Crane-like, so for now I'm voting with TJ.
Try contacting your local wildlife trust William they may give you some info if you give them the location https://www.wildlifebcn.org/
Thanks TeeJay, sorry again for the poor quality photo. I'm quite certain their necks were black, so I'm leaning towards the crane hypothesis.
thanks! i think they might be red-crowned cranes.
why would they be being bred in the uk? for zoos?
They look a bit like White Storks although it's hard to be sure from that photo. I've read that there is a project to try to reintroduce them to the UK see HERE. This seems to be centered in Sussex and Surrey but I've also heard that other private landowners are involved. I wonder if that's what's going on here.
Cranes of some type.
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654