PUBLISHED: 10:46 19 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:46 19 April 2018
Common cranes have bred for the first time at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust’s Welney Wetland Centre.
The rare birds arrived on March 21 and nested within sight of the reserve’s visitor centre.
At 4ft tall, the adults can easily be seen with binoculars. The pair have been seen sharing the responsibility of brooding the eggs, swapping over every couple of hours.
The chicks are only about 6ins tall (15cm) when they hatch, and are quickly able to walk, swim and run. Over the next 10 weeks both the parent birds will protect these precious chicks from predation and teach them how to find the food they need to grow.
Centre manager Leigh Marshall said: “The area of wetlands that the cranes have chosen to nest on is less than ten years old, and was previously arable farmland. The development of this habitat was specifically for wet springs, such as the one we have experienced this year, when the Ouse Washes are storing water to protect the surrounding land and communities.