Crane chicks born in Ireland following 300-year absence

Crane chicks born in Ireland following 300-year absence

BORD NA Móna has announced that a pair of Common Cranes, which were first recorded nesting at a rewetted peatland last year, have successfully hatched two chicks.

The news follows a previous successful breeding attempt last year.

The discovery and return of cranes nesting on two peatlands is of great significance as this species has not bred in Ireland for 300 years and was thought extinct, Bord na Móna said.

There is also great excitement among the Bord na Móna Ecology Team with the appearance of another Crane using several other Bord na Móna sites.

Some of these peatlands have been rewetted through the Peatlands Climate Action Scheme (PCAS) last year. The team believe that this third young adult bird may have been a chick from the original pair of cranes, or an Irish-bred bird.

The precise location of the birds is being kept confidential in order to avoid them being disturbed but the birth of the crane chicks is being hailed as a huge boost for Ireland’s conservation project.

Lead ecologist at Bord na Móna, Mark McCorry, told RTÉ:

"It is particularly significant that these are some of the first cranes born here in centuries."

He said it showed the right conditions for the birds had been created.

"Getting to see this bird slowly flying low over the new wetlands has been a highlight for me this year," he said.

In the wild, cranes normally live for about 20 years, though they have been known to reach 40 years old.