Cranes prolong stay in Germany during winter

These cranes are putting off their annual migration to the south

and are spending their winter in Germany instead

Location: Linum, Germany

(SOUNDBITE) (German) LISA HOERIG, ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION OFFICER AT LINUM'S STORK NURSERY, SAYING:

"Bird migration is changing and we know that because we see a large proportion of bird species arriving here much earlier in spring, reproducing much earlier and then leaving again later in autumn, so they stay longer before they move on again. And a large number of bird species even spend the winter here. There are more and more cranes, more and more kites, more and more starlings that actually spend the winter and no longer migrate, as they used to."

Ornithologists are worried by this behavior

as they risk remaining in regions too cold for them to survive

Warmer temperatures are also posing concern

by drying out the soil in their habitats

(SOUNDBITE) (German) LISA HOERIG, ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION OFFICER AT LINUM'S STORK NURSERY, SAYING:

"There are bird species which need rain in order to have enough food. A good example for that is the stork which needs moist soil in spring so that it has enough worms for its offspring. Cranes, for example, like to build their nests in damp areas surrounded by water, and they won't even build their nests or breed if they don't have enough wet areas, interconnected areas. That of course then has a very negative effect on the breeding and the reproduction of the birds."

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