Cranes II


A few more photos from Lake Hornborga, since it is one of the major events in southern Scandinavia, especially for natur photographers. About 150.000 people visit this place during a few weeks of bird migration. That is a lot, but it doesn’t feel crowded, maybe because people visit at all times during the day. Many find the early morning best, at sunrise, since the birds are flying in from their resting places in the middle of the lake then. I found it also interesting to see the crowds of birds during daytime, especially since they hardly react on people, contrary to what they do in nature. They have learned that the people stay behind the fences and are of no danger.




Above is a lovely couple, volunteers from the local community that runs a small café next to the church in the period of the crane dance. No fuss, just ordinary and Swedish. I like that. There are also two information centeres by the like. I like that too, good service and a lot of information about the birds and the history of this place.




The cranes used to rest in this place going north because of leftover potatoes from the farms. The potatoes were used in liquor factories, but they closed a long time ago. Today the nature managment is feeding the birds with barley, actually tons of it, since the birds get about 300 grams each every day. Markus Ekman (above) are one of the volunteers, and the buckets are not for the main bird population but for people who are going to spend the night in photo hides, to get close to the birds in the morning. Otherwise the birds feed is distributed by specially designed tractors. By the way, there are a lot of cranes at the lake just now, I checked the statistics, and on 25 September there was 10.840 cranes there. They are counted every other day in the season. There are more photos in my Hornborgasjön photo gallery. And if you missed my other post on the cranes, here is a link. I also made a short post in April, just after visitinmg Hornborgasjön, and here is that link. And I can recommend this post by my blogging friend Leya, she was there at about the same time as me and here is her post.





56 thoughts on “Cranes II

  1. Thanks for more photos. I so love the cranes. They look very much like the ones we have here, but not quite. I can’t recall which we have, but it’s not grus grus. I will do a posting on the cranes this winter, complete with name. I only wish I could capture them as well as you do!


    1. I believe you showed me a link to sandhill cranes, Emilie? if so they are not that different. I looked at the information about them, and they were also more or less the same size, if so. Looking forward to your posting. The reason I got reasonable lucky with my captures was that I got so close, and to so many. I hardly ever see them at home, just hear them.


  2. After your first post about the cranes, I was wondering what they all eat. Now you’ve answered that question. I was amazed at the size of the lenses that those fellows are using to take pictures. They can probably get close ups of the birds’ nostrils with those camera lenses. Lovely birds. Thanks for this great post!


    1. They are fed for different reasons, one of them to protect the farms in the area. The lenses, yes, typical for bird photographers. Mine is smaller, and cheaper… Thank you Anneli.


  3. Very beautiful photos. I love them and the birds are so magical with the trumpet sounds they make. But I guess it’s a little strange to feed those wild birds. We have some resting places for cranes nearby, but never heard of feeding them.
    Ha en kjempefin ukestart. 😀


    1. The trumpet sounds are magical, that is for sure. Yes, it is strange to feed wild birds, but they only do at these resting places. The do the same in Germany and in Spain. For more than one reason. In Sweden to keep the birds in one area to protect the nearby farms, among others reasons.


  4. OK, now I have to read again Nils Holgersson’s wonderful journey and its great crane dance because of your beautiful photos!! (oh my, with the insidious raid of Smirre the fox)… 😀


  5. Magnificent. We have a few cranes that breed in the marshes of Norfolk where I live in eastern England. They are hard to find and see but at least they are there (they were absent from the UK for at least a couple of hundred years before this). I would love to see this amazing phenomena in Sweden one day though


    1. I learned about the return of the cranes to UK after googling these birds. They are normally hard to find and see in Norway too, but I hear them a lot every spring and autumn. It certainly is an amazing phenomena to get so close and seeing so many.


    1. The photo hides are really small, especially since you have to be there about 17 hours and can’t get out even once (to protect the birds). I know my friends who used them reserved them many months in advance. I am not sure it that is necessary, but I know they are popular, and few.


  6. Oh what an exciting event this must be. Your photos are terrific Bente. It is so fascinating to see all the preparations made by people to get closer to these remarkable birds. Thank you for sharing.


  7. I love the narrations you add to your photos. It’s just amazing to see how you expand, expand, expand, Bente. Your posts are just wonderful; I especially enjoyed this one.
    Best wishes, Meredith.


  8. How lovely to see everyone working together to enjoy this special event. The cranes are very lucky to have chosen a stopping place in Sweden. Not all countries are so hospitable to the wild birds that pass through them. Amelia


  9. Love all your photos.
    Good to see the volunteers and people ‘behind the scenes’ too.
    I feel thrilled to just see all your images of these lovely creatures in the wild – can only imagine how you must feel being there on the spot.


  10. Bonjour Bente,
    Quelle chance de pouvoir vivre ces migrations. J’imagine et je rêve. Chez moi, je n’ai pas ce genre d’oiseaus ni de migrateurs. Merci pour ce beau partage.
    Bon week-end.


  11. These are stunning Bente! Love the reflections in the last shot. Must be an amazing experience to see these cranes in such huge numbers.


  12. Some serious bird lovers there Bente ! What an informative post . Would love to see a host of these birds take to the skies all dangly legged and frayed wings .. you caught them well !


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