December 18, 2018, 5:19 pm
A “supermum” crane from Aberdeenshire has helped boost the number of birds in the country to record levels.
The feathery parent, along with her new mate, has raised the species’ only chick in Scotland this year.
In addition, the youngster is one of just 160 cranes to have fledged in the UK since 2000.
RSPB Scotland nicknamed the bird a supermum after she defied the odds two years ago.
She was able to raise a chick to fledgling age despite losing her partner when it was just five weeks old – something that had never been accomplished before.
Conservationists believe there are now around 180 cranes in the UK – the highest number since the species returned to the country in 1979 following a 400-year absence.
Hywel Maggs, RSPB Scotland senior conversation officer, said: ‘’We are absolutely delighted that supermum has raised another fledged chick, along with her new mate.
“This takes the total number of known fledged Aberdeenshire chicks to seven since breeding was confirmed in 2012.
“Each year a team of RSPB Scotland staff and volunteers spend hours monitoring breeding cranes and it is difficult not to become personally attached to these magnificent birds.
“Watching the return of cranes to Scotland has been a real privilege and that they have decided to set up home in Aberdeenshire is an illustration of how important some of the wilder landscapes here are.”