Not since the middle ages have we seen common cranes breeding in Scotland. However, over the last two years, two chicks have been raised in the north east of the country, suggesting we might be seeing more of these elegant birds.
A common sight in northern Europe, the birds died out in Scotland hundreds of years ago, mainly due to being served up at medieval banquets. Conditions in the north east of the country appear to be favourable, and RSPB Scotland have been working with farmers in the region to ensure that the cranes are here to stay.
Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland said: “Despite their size and flamboyant breeding displays, cranes are secretive birds and are very sensitive to disturbance and we ask that they be given space and peace so they may establish a breeding population in Scotland.”