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Common Crane

Grus grus

A family of common cranes, the young in the middle. Photo Aaro Toivio.

General information. The cranes are recognized by their enormous v-shaped flight formations when migrating in spring and autumn. In Finnish mythology, the crane is associated with wisdom and longevity. This partially holds true since the common crane is one of the longest living birds, with some living up to 20 to 30 years. The common crane is a protected species under the European Union bird directive.

  • Length 115 cm
  • The nest is built on the ground in moorlands or reed beds
  • Winters in North Africa
  • Feeds on insects, snails, frogs, moles, berries and grain

Habitat. Preferred habitats are moorlands and similar wetlands, such as waterfront reed beds. During recent years, the population of nesting cranes has grown and cranes can nowadays even be observed in the smallest moors and meadows.

Distribution in Vaasa. Observations indicating nesting abundance were made in about 70 survey blocks. Some of the observations may be of non-nesting birds that move over vast areas during summer. During spring and autumn the common cranes gather in large flocks in the vast farmlands of Söderfjärden in Vaasa, during which it is even possible to observe them close up. Distribution map is not published due to species protection reasons.