Spring is taking its time in Sweden just as pretty much everywhere. But there are signs it is on the way. One such sign is the arrival of the Common Crane to Hornborgarsjön outside the town of Skara.

Bird watcher Lennart Ljuhs first spotted the crane: “I saw it come in, flying together with two geese,” he says.


The cranes come from the south and land at the southern tip of Hornborgarsjön, eventually preparing for their mating dance. The crane Ljuhs spotted is so far alone with the geese, no other cranes have been seen.

“It was the same thing last year,” says Ljuhs. “First there’s a single crane and then the others appear a day or so later.”

The Common Crane is also known as the Eurasian Crane. It is about 40-52 inches long with a 71-96 inch wingspan and a weight of 10-13 lbs. The Common Crane is grey with a white facial streak and a bunch of black wing plumes. Adults have a red crown patch. It has a loud trumpeting call, given in flight and display. During its mating dance, it leaps with wings uplifted. The crane breeds in wetlands in northern parts of Europe and Asia, the global population is in the region of 210,000-250,000, with the vast majority nesting in Russia and Scandinavia.

More info on Hornborgasjön: Hornborgasjön, Sweden