Look What the Crane Brought!

 

After a number of failed attempts in recent years, the couple incubated two eggs carefully and have hatched one chick successfully. The chick was first seen on Sunday 11th June and is becoming more and more adventurous.

Ruby and Bart were hand-reared in 2010 and released as part of the Great Crane Project, a partnership between WWT, RSPB, Pensthorpe Conservation Trust and Viridor Credits, which reintroduced nearly 100 cranes to the West Country. The project’s aim is to restore cranes to their former haunts across the UK. They were heavily hunted and eventually driven to extinction when large areas of wetland were drained in the 1600s.

Ruby and Bart made their first attempt to breed in 2014 but failed to hatch either of their eggs and have since had more disappointment. At seven years old they are relatively young for cranes and this year’s success proves they have learnt from their experience.

Martin McGill, WWT Slimbridge Senior Reserves Warden said: “We’re absolutely delighted at Ruby and Bart’s success this year. Reserve staff and volunteers work hard to give them the perfect environment, including creating the shingle island last autumn, which the pair have chosen to nest on. The cranes worked tirelessly through torrential downpours to raise their volcano-like nest and protect it from flooding. The Hogarth Hide offers fantastic views of the family, at a great enough distance so as not to disturb them. It will be a complete joy for staff, volunteers and visitors to watch the bond grow between parents and youngster, and we wait with baited breath to see what happens to the second egg.”

The centre and Hogarth Hide are open to the public 9:30am – 5pm daily. It is recommended to bring binoculars to get a close-up view of the cranes but they can also be seen with the naked eye. Guides will be present in the hides at certain times and welcome questions about the cranes and other wildlife.

To save 10% on admission to Slimbridge Wetland Centre visit http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/slimbridge

 

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