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Scientific name : Grus grus
Family : Gruidae
L de 100 à 120 cm, E de 180 à 240 cm
The Common cranes migrate through France from north-east to south-west, and stay mainly in Champagne (Lac du Der) and in the Landes, while others continue their migration towards Spain.
The Camargue is not on their usual transit area, but more and more Common cranes make a stop in this region and stay there all winter. This phenomenon, which has been observed since 2006, was particularly important in 2016. Common cranes return to their nesting sites in mid-February to early March.
In some regions such as the moors, cranes are attracted by corn fields to feed on the residues after the harvest of it, in the Camargue are the rice fields which offer them the main part of their diet. They can be observed in large numbers in the rice fields which have been harvested but not yet plowed.
On the other hand the Common Cranes are extremely distrustful and suspicious, and need large open spaces to monitor their environment and possible intruders (predators and photographer ...) These are very difficult to approach, and fly away as soon as they detect a human presence that is approaching.
After the Greater Flamingo, the Common crane could become the other emblem of the Camargue.