Crane (Grus grus)
No other bird symbolises the changing of the seasons more than the crane. With their aerodynamic V-formation, the crane's migratory movements represent the start of spring in our region upon their arrival and the beginning of winter with their final departure. A process which is one of the most moving observations to witness, as these big, stately birds boast an impressive wingspan of 2.2 meters, yet do not fly more than 100 meters above ground. Their dominating presence in the sky is further coupled with their signature loud, melancholic trumpeting calls. Upon a careful listen within this thundering chaos one might recognize a layer of peeping voices nestled within and hypothesize that these are not produced by the cranes but by songbirds. However, these squeaky calls actually belong to younger cranes still in development, which have yet to transition to the wide-ranging vocal capacity of full maturity. The ability and formation of the crane's impressive echoing voice is due to the enormous size of their trachea, which can reach a surprising 1.6 meters in length. Cranes are well known to be extremely social by nature and form pair-bond relationships, spending the majority of their lifetime with the same partner and remain faithfully together in their family units even during migratory seasons.