Crane - Grus grus

Large, solemn-looking bird, especially famous for its elegant courting and greeting rituals.

It moves over the ground and shallow waters at a very moderate pace; it appears to be very large in flight with its long wings and neck and legs held out straight.

The pairs remain stable and are faithful to their nesting grounds. They seem to have a very developed social behaviour and their dancing is not limited to courting but also takes place outside the breeding season.

The nest is built on land on the margins of lakes or bogs, preferably in undisturbed areas with trees. It usually lays two eggs. It migrates in flocks of various sizes, in linear or wegde-shaped formations.

It is difficult not to notice their passage on account of their loud calls like a nasally trumpeting sound.

At present, the Crane nests over a huge area stretching from the Scandinavian peninsula to east Siberia, but in the past they also used breeding grounds in south Europe, like the Iberian peninsular and north Africa.

During migration, an increasing number of individuals stop over in the marshes and cultivated areas of peninsular Italy.