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Cranes Gruidae (2)

(Banner photos: Common Crane by Richard T. Mills)

Common Crane Grus grus
Former resident now a rare vagrant.

25 records involving 88 birds up to the end of 2014. Largest group seen was ninteen at Midleton between 13th and 25th November 2011. 63 birds seen during an exceptionally high influx in October to December 2011.

Locations where birds have been seen include: Ballydehob, Ballymacoda, Castletownrocche, Churchtown South/Ballymaloe, Cork City, Croagh Bay (near Schull), Durrus, Dursey Island, Fota Island, Kilcolman NNR, Kinsale, Pearson's Bridge (near Ballylickey), Unionhall.

All records between August and March.

Distribution: A widespread summer visitor to northern Europe (occurring more patchily
farther south), which holds >50% of its global breeding population. Formerly bred in Ireland.

Sandhill Crane Grus canadensis
Rare vagrant.
One county record up to the end of 2014.

1905 Galley Head, 12th to 14th September when shot, now at National Museum, Dublin. A. R. Nichols, Irish Naturalist 16:          209-211. This is the first Irish Record.

Distribution: Sandhill Cranes are the most abundant of the world's cranes. They are widely (though intermittently) distributed throughout North America, extending into Cuba and far northeastern Siberia. The three migratory subspecies (Lesser, Greater and Canadian) are distributed across a broad breeding range in the northern U.S. and Canada as well as eastern Siberia, with wintering grounds in the southern United States and northern Mexico. The three non-migratory subspecies (Mississippi, Cuban, and Florida) have restricted ranges in the southern United States and Cuba. (International Crane Foundation)