Forum > Identifying Birds > Is This A Crane

Ticktock Posted 18-Sep-2017 19:17
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Hi I saw this bird on my roof at 6.20 am this morning, it was still slightly dark and I took the picture with my mobile phone. I think it might be a juvenile crane, could anyone confirm?

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Karmann65 Posted 19-Sep-2017 08:38
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It's likely to be a Grey Heron. Do you or one of your neighbours have a garden pond?

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Ticktock Posted 19-Sep-2017 10:26
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It's not a heron it is quite white and the bill looks different to a heron. There are plenty of herons in the area. 

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Karmann65 Posted 19-Sep-2017 13:36
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Cranes are not a native species which makes it an unlikely visitor.

Working exclusively from your picture which shows black areas in front of the folded wings and such a tall pale coloured bird, it's hard to imagine this not being a grey heron.

Small numbers cranes are known to migrate across the south east of the country during spring and autumn, and there a couple of projects to establish native bereeding birds so its not impossible. At approx 4 feet tall cranes considerably taller than a heron (about 9 inches taller) but standing on a rooftop with only ridge tiles to compare against for scale, either would look enormous. Also note that a crane would have a distictive black neck.

How tall would you say it was? What colour were its beak and legs? Where abouts did you see this? There may be details you can give that you saw but don't show so well on your picture.

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Ticktock Posted 19-Sep-2017 18:55
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.I should of said a little about myself. I live on the Isle of Wight,I grew up in a house at the end of a estuary and the upstairs lounge was over looking the marsh land  and I have seen numerous herons over the years.I am pretty good at my waders and waterfowl. I now live about half a mile from the coast and a few years ago have seen 2 cranes flying over at high altitude on a clear day with 2 other people.The bird in question was definitely larger than a heron an had a smooth head which told me it was not a heron,it was light enough to see it had a white front and broader than a heron. This made me think it was a juvenile crane as they are white fronted in their first year.Please have a look at the other picture I have posted on the other post.

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Karmann65 Posted 20-Sep-2017 07:41
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I've found a few images that tend to confirm what you're saying. 

I tried adding a link here but it's being blocked.

Admin: Is there any possibility to activate links in future please?

Smooth head, white neck and body, and has shorter beak than a heron. One thing that struck me as odd about your picture is how the eye stands out as a dot separately from the beak. This again leans away from my heron theory and towards it being something else.

Great spot (but I guess you couldn't really  miss it)    It's fantastic to know they're out there in the UK

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