Text Aivar Leito
Photo Arne Ader
Estonian text posted 08.03.2018
Monitoring crane with GPS with an aerial. Aivar Leito
Crane Sookurg Grus grus
I am happy to tell you that cranes Ahja 5, Uko and Aivar have set out on the way home from their winter quarters!
Ahja 5 started from the Hula valley in Israel on March 6th at 11 o’clock before lunch towards north and late in the evening of March 7 after a 14 hour and 800 km long non-stop migration flight across Lebanon and Syria almost reached the Atatürk Dam in southern Turkey.
They tried to cross the 3000 m high Central Turkey mountains but courage ran out and they turned back. For the night they stayed at the Atatürk lake. It was interesting that before taking on the dangerous mountain chain they gathered courage circling for a long time above the city of Gasiantep in the evening dusk to gain courage and height but still abandoned crossing the mountain chain at night! Apparently the air above the city was warmer and the vertical air flows or thermals better than elsewhere; it is known that in large cities the air is a couple of degrees warmer than elsewhere in the landscape which favours the growth of local rising air flows and helps the cranes to gain height more easily and save energy. Evidently they will soon continue their way home from there.
At the same time, that is, on March 6th at mid-day, the young cranes Uku ands Aivar hatched at Soitsjärve in last year started their road home from the coast of Tunis in North Africa and after a non-stop 1150 km long migration across the Mediterranean, Sicily, South Italy and the Adriatic Sea reached on March 7th at mid-day the little city of Otok at the borders of South Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina where they stopped. Once more an incredibly long and brave flight without stops across land and sea towards home – because home is calling!
See also the Bird Migration Map internet page where the migration of the cranes described above soon will be loaded : http://birdmap.5dvision.ee/EN/