Our Beautiful World

Cranes at Lake Hornborga 2001

Our group at its first meeting with the cranes

Binocular is a must

Lake Hornborga is a nature reserve. The aim is to preserve the lake with the sorrounding water meadows for bird species wishing to rest and breed and to retain the old, small-scale cultura landscape. It is situated just north of Falkoping City east of Gothenburg.

Lake Hornborga is one of the most important wetland areas in Europe. The cranes normally
appear at the beginning of March. A few weeks later the large flocks start arriving. These are
cranes that are returning after a pleasant winter in Spain, and which will then continue northwards, perhaps to a marsh in Lapland.

Huge quantities of potatoes were left in the soil - after harvest intended for the snaps destilleries around the area. Nowadays, no potatoes are available, so the cranes are
instad given grain, which also offers them excellent nutrition. By Mid-April usually some 10.000 cranes are found around the lake, but arrival varies from year to year.
At the time we visited this year, on April 22nd, there were only about 3.000 left - but sufficient for us to enjoy our visit.

The crane, which is the European crane - grus grus in Latin - is the largest bird passing
this area. It weighs between four and seven kilograms and is about 120 centimeter tall.
The male has a wing span of 250 cm. Cranes can live to a maximum age of 25-30 years,
and they are ready to breed when they are between three and four years of age.

Photo from the brochure: 'Lake Hornborga - Nature Reserve In The County Of Västra Götland -
Swedish Environment Protection Agency
(I am sure it is © Copyrighted....)

The famous dances of the cranes have several functions, and can take place at any time -
as an introduction to mating, courting a partner or quite simply for pleasure. High jumps, pirouettes, curtseys, bows and triumphal cries are all included. Most often in the morning
and in the evening.

The cranes stay at Lake Hornborga for two to three weeks and then set off for their
breeding grounds in different parts of northern Scandinavia. They make their nests in wetlands, preferably sorrounded by water. They lay two or three eggs and the male and female help one another with sitting on the eggs and feeding. After 30 days, the
youngsters come out, and they leave the nests after only one or two days.

As early as in the year 1800 they began lowering the level of the lake to recover more
arable land. This was done 4 more times, but in the mid-1960's the Swedish government decided that restoring of the lake should take place. Huge machines had a tremendous job traversing the sea of reeds to destroy their root system. Large areas of woodland had grown on the shores of the desolate lake. 400 hectares of forest were felt. Over a five year periode the water was then raised to the final water level, about 90 cm (three feet) above the previous level, and now the nature reserve covers more than 4.000 hectares.

Just couln't help it - just had to show you those pictures, too, including links to more info:

Left: from the brochure: 'Lake Hornborga, Nature Reserve In The County Of Västra Götaland.
Issued by Naturvårdsverket /Hornborga Naturum - <http://www.hornborga.com>
Right: from the Visitor's Map, Falköping, by the Tourist Office <http://www.falkoping.se/turism>

From the brochure: 'Skara, An exciting little city', issued by Skara Turistbyrå <http://www.skara.se/skarakommun/turism.htm> (not valid as per Sept.2010)

Our trip this year was made possible by the kind assistance of:
Falbygdens Fågelklubb
..and I am sure you also are most welcome to enjoy this fantastic event next year!

All pictures, except where otherwise stated - are my own.
If copying for commercial use - don't forget I need the money....
Otherwise - an E-mail will do.

Lake Hornborga 2005
Main Menu - Hovedmeny
Cranes in the Air - Traner i luften
Cranes on the Ground  Traner på bakken
Swans at Lake Hornborga  Svaner ved Hb-sjön
Other Birds etc  Andre fugler osv.
Previous years: Tidliere år:
Cranes   Traner
Visiting once more in 2001  Besøk igjen i 2001
They're still there! 2012  De er fremdeles der!
Cranes - Gruidae - Traner - Gruidae

 www.hornborga.com English


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