Common cranes in flight by Jeremy Bone 1/3
Common crane by Diane Gilbert 2/3
Common cranes in flight by Yves Gisseleire 3/3

Common crane Grus grus

The common crane is one of Europe’s largest birds with a wingspan of between 1.8 to 2.2 metres. Once common across East Anglia, a small breeding population established itself in the Norfolk Broads in the late 1970s.

Conservation status

The crane is on the UK Amber conservation list for birds, as it has such a small breeding population. The Great Crane Project championed by the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust in partnership with the RSPB and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust has an objective of reintroducing a viable breeding population at suitable sites within the UK, securing its future as a British breeding bird.

Details

Did you know?

The crane has a deep sonorous call that can be heard at a distance of over three miles. In Homer's Iliad the sound of migrating flocks was likened to the sound of armies approaching in battle

More English place names are named after the common crane than are named after any other animal (Cranbrook, Cranfield and Cranleigh, for example)

How to recognise
Where to see
When to see
How to help

Related questions & advice

When and where can I see common cranes in Norfolk?
How can I learn bird songs and calls?
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