Crane, Trana, Trane
The dancing Cranes of Hornborgasjön.
An adult male crane
( Grus grus ) one out of 5900, croaking in the wetlands of
Hornborgasjön, mid Sweden, in the first light of Tuesday April
the 4. 2006.
This elderly bird has obviously eyed me out, but its croaking
disapproval gets only little attention from the younger birds
Sitting in a wooden box three by seven feet. Expenses
considerably higher than that of the hotel in Skara I’ve used
for two nights. More like a room on Broadway, but this one is
You’re waking up surrounded by 5000 Cranes.
Denmark only houses
12 breeding couples of Cranes, but every spring, the end of
March beginning of April we are having the pleasure of the
better part of the entire Fenno Scandia population of Cranes
flying across our countryside. Mostly the island of Bornholm but
Zealand too enjoys the sight of these harbingers of spring.
and Swedish cranes that, as they, unlike white Storks,
readily cross wide stretches of water, unfortunately, find
no reason to stop over, but simply continue their trip,
heading for the breeding grounds further north in upper
Scandinavia, having spend wintertime in Extremadura Spain.
But, then again, what a sight. And they are not to far away.
Every year 10.000 of these cranes if not all of them roost
in the wetlands of the lake Hornborgasjön, mid Sweden, only
110 miles from Copenhagen, an event that attracts even a
greater number of spectators and where these pictures are
taken during three days in April, Monday the 3. Tuesday 4.
and Wednesday the 5th.
se my feet, carrying the 35 kilos of computers and
photographic equipment, notebooks, food, water and coffee
the 500 meters. My hide was the one situated farthest out in
the wetlands, well away from the roads, and in the dark I’d
had to leap over a small pond to unload the gear through the
tiny box door, and head back to the car again supported by
my small flashlight. It’s dark in Sweden at three o’clock am
everything worked out fine and well fit. All set, as planned
after the drawing of the box I received beforehand from
Katharine, the girl helping me. And a minute later I fell
asleep on the double layer heavy duty matte, confident that
the birds would wake me up just before sunrise.
The swans did not let me down.
In the solitary, in pairs or in flocks. Throughout
the year, for various reasons or for no reason at all. How
should we know, but like with humans, dancing is said to
strengthen the bonds between pairs and Cranes, I´m told,
live their lives mono-
pair-bond. The dancing
involves, parade-march postures, running in circles, bows,
jumping and the beating of the wings. The Cranes dancing is
very spectacular, and the reason thousands of people every
year find time to go to Hornborgasjön.
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