Migrating Demoiselle Cranes

Migrating Demoiselle Cranes

Udaipur city is called the city of lakes and many migratory birds come here to spend their winters.

 
Migrating Demoiselle Cranes

Udaipur city is called the city of lakes and many migratory birds come here to spend their winters.

On 22nd March 1986, at about half past three in the afternoon, a big formation of Demoiselle Cranes appeared in the sky over Udaipur coming from the east. They started circling and descended quite low.

Thirty-six birds rose from the lakes and joined the formation. After collecting their comrades, the advance party used thermal currents to ascend. After flying for sometime they changed the formation into a broad V shape.

They had travelled about 1000 yards when another formation of Demoiselle Cranes, also coming from the east, followed the formation ahead. Two more formations of cranes followed suit. In all, four formations, each with about 300-350 birds, with equal gaps of about 1000 yards between each formation, headed in the north-western direction.

The peculiarity about this migration of Demoiselle Cranes is that the advance formation that arrived in Udaipur and collected their comrades on the way back to their summer grounds was so precisely timed that by the time they had descended, collected their comrades, ascended and headed for the north-west, the second formation had reached a distance of 1000 yards heading them.

In the northwest of Udaipur there are no big lakes to attract migratory birds so I think that this gap was probably maintained until the next stop, far away from Udaipur.

Published in Tiger Paper (Regional Quarterly Bulletin on Wildlife and National Parks Management): Tehsin, R. (1987) Migrating Demoiselle Cranes (Anthropoides virgo). Tiger Paper 14 (4): 26.

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