Spectacular phenomenon of migrating cranes has always belonged to the landscape of Hungarian Great Plain. Roosting in masses of ten thousand individuals on the country’s natural and semi-natural wetlands while heading to South creates excellent opportunities to observe this amazing natural wonder.
Breeding range of Common crane (Grus grus) stretches from Western Europe to Eastern Siberia and they migrate in flocks to their wintering grounds in Spain, France and Northeast Africa to spend the cold season there. Huge number of birds breeding in the Baltic states or Northwest Russia choose Hungary as a resting place on the long way South, therefore in certain time periods of autumn even more than hundred thousand of birds can stay at the same time in the country.
During their resting time crane groups mostly feed on agricultural lands and consume seeds – especially maize – dropped in harvest, and they gather on dried-off fishponds and shallow sodic lakes safe from predators for the night. Gathering on Hortobágy peak in the second half of October, and while moving forward the number of migrating cranes on South Great Plain reaches the maximum by mid-November. This time of the year cranes arrive in flocks of more than thousand individuals to our natural sodic lakes like sodic lakes of Pusztaszer or lake Fehér of Kardoskút and in groups of more than ten thousand birds to the dried-off units of lake Fehér of Szeged with every sunset.
Formerly known several thousand of roosting cranes exceeding thirty thousand individuals by the millennium on South Great Plain and the number of seventy thousand cranes resting only on lake Fehér indicates increasing significance of Hungary in crane migration.
Our guided crane watching tours allow guests to admire the sight of arriving crane flocks in the sunset in a close distance. Binoculars and professional guidance are provided in the program, which means that normally non-visitable areas of Lake Fehér can also be accessible to enter during the tour.