International Crane Day

What day is it?

It is celebrated on the second Sunday of September in different countries of the world International Crane Day. In 2022, this holiday falls on September 11. The purpose of the holiday is to draw the attention of the world community to the problems and difficulties that befall these graceful birds. According to statistical data, these birds are on the verge of extinction. Therefore, we must sound the alarm and do everything possible to preserve the population of cranes on our planet.

How did the idea to celebrate International Crane Day come about?

For the first time, International Crane Day was celebrated in the United States of America back in 2002. Environmental scientists did everything possible and impossible to save one of the species of the American crane, which was in danger of extinction. They put his eggs in the nests of other birds nesting in cozy and safe places. The date when the brood of whooping cranes was saved became a significant environmental holiday. Today, the very image of a crane adorns the symbols of all environmental organizations around the world.

It so happened that International Crane Day falls on the time when the count of these birds takes place, which is carried out every year before their departure to the south. On this day, numerous contests, promotions, festivals are held, as well as excursions to the habitats of these birds.

Biologists believe that the first ancestors of cranes existed back in the era of dinosaurs, more than 50,000,000 years ago. The homeland of these majestic birds is the North American continent. It was there that the first birds appeared, which in the process of reproduction migrated to other continents – to Eurasia, Australia, Africa.

Today, the habitat of cranes is the whole world except for South America and Antarctica. Birds go to India, Pakistan, Iran for wintering.

The life of cranes

Cranes are a genus of birds that belong to the large crane family. It includes 10 different species. The way of existence of cranes is closely related to marshy places. They differ from other birds by the presence of characteristic growths on the head and hair cover in some areas.

For food, birds consume berries, various seeds, insects, worms, and slugs.

Two types of cranes are common in our country: “white” and “gray”. Gray cranes belong to nesting birds, they are more common. But white ones are extremely rare in Ukraine. The latest statistical data indicate that large-bodied white cranes are on the verge of complete extinction, and gray cranes are listed in the Red Book.

Interesting facts about cranes

  • The legs of these birds have a special shape (the long back toe is missing), so they cannot hold on to branches. Only crowned cranes living on the African continent have it.
  • These are the highest flying birds in the world. So, adult Australian cranes are 160-170 cm tall and have a wingspan of up to 2 meters. Representatives of this species weigh 6-7 kg.
  • Black cranes are the rarest. Ornithologists first discovered the nest of these birds at the end of the 20th century. According to approximate data, the population consists of 9,000 individuals. These birds live on the territory of Russia and neighboring countries.
  • In Japan, it is believed that if a person collects 1000 paper cranes, he can make a wish that will surely come true. Sadako Sasaki, a twelve-year-old girl who died as a result of the nuclear bombing of Japan, tried to make exactly this number of cranes. But unfortunately, she did not have time, so her friends collected the cherished thousand cranes.
  • Cranes have one drawback – after the end of nesting, they begin to shed a lot. During this time, they lose 70% of their feathers, which makes them unable to fly. During this period, they become easy prey for predators.
  • In captivity, these birds can live up to 80 years, which is extremely long. In natural conditions, their lifespan is 15-20 years.
  • Cranes are in monogamous relationships, that is, they find one partner for life. Although it also happens that cranes start new relationships.
  • These birds nest near water. Some species of cranes build nests in trees. In large nests, the female lays no more than two eggs.
  • The closer the cranes live to the water, the longer their legs and neck are.
  • Eggs are hatched by a male and a female alternately. It takes at least three, and in some cases, five weeks from egg laying to hatching. It all depends on the type of cranes. Chicks leave the nest 5-7 days after hatching. However, they live with their parents for up to 3 months.

Threats to the species

Every year, the number of these birds is rapidly decreasing. This trend is observed in connection with the destruction of natural habitats of cranes – forests are cut down, swamps dry up, etc.

Problems with crane habitats are observed both in Ukraine and in other countries. A few centuries ago, cranes in large numbers inhabited all parts of Eurasia with a temperate zone. However, in recent centuries, a rapid population decline has been observed due to the draining of swamps, poaching, and the use of eggs by humans. In addition, the fields are polluted with pesticides, which also negatively affects these birds. Where recently there were whole flocks of cranes, now you can’t find any. For example, the gray crane stopped inhabiting the territory of Northern Ireland 2 centuries ago.

How to celebrate International Crane Day?

On this day, in different cities of the world, promotions, festivals and many different activities are held to protect these animals. Ornithological scientists conduct interesting lectures where they talk about the peculiarities of the life and habits of these birds. After attending such a lecture, you can learn a lot of interesting things.

What can be done on International Crane Day?

  • Find out how you can help organizations working to protect these birds.
  • Visit a zoo or a place where you can see cranes with the whole family.
  • Small children can be read a fairy tale about a crane, for example, the Ukrainian folk tale “The Fox and the Crane”. Older children can be interested in stories from the life of these birds. Make a small play, the main character of which will be a crane.
  • Make as many paper cranes as possible and decorate the house with them.

When will we celebrate International Crane Day??

Year Date Weekday
2021 September 12 Sunday
2022 September 11 Sunday
2023 September 10 Sunday
2024 September 8 Sunday
2025 September 14 Sunday

International Crane Day


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here