Cranes opt for extended stay on Germany's Baltic coast

Zofia K Stanley
Zofia K Stanley - [email protected]
Cranes opt for extended stay on Germany's Baltic coast
Photo: DPA

Every autumn, thousands of cranes gather on Germany’s Baltic Sea to rest before continuing their winter migration. This year, birdwatchers in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania are being treated to a premature arrival due to an early harvest.


While the birds normally make their stopover around a fixed date, many have appeared in the region more than a week earlier than usual.

According to ornithologists, around 3,000 birds have already been sighted in the eastern German state’s largest national park – the Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft – much to the excitement of German birdwatchers.

However, it would seem that the early arrival of the cranes is no cause for concern for those planning to come to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s “Week of the Cranes,” which will run from September 27 until October 4.

“The birds search for grain in fields before their winter migration and due to earlier harvests throughout Germany this summer, the arrival of native birds has simply been pushed forwards,” Günter Nowald, head of the Crane Information Centre in Groß Mohrdorf, told The Local.

But he said with the majority of birds coming from further away, the number of early arrivals is relatively low. The region is one of the most important resting places for migrating cranes in Central Europe and approximately 70,000 birds are expected to arrive by October.

And Nowald said birdwatchers could look forward to the cranes extending their sojourn in Germany, rather than prematurely heading south.

“There is no reason to expect the birds to leave the region any earlier,” he said.


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