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    Annual Crane Count to Begin at Sunrise in Poleski National Park, Lubelskie

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    The annual counting of cranes in Poleski National Park, Lubelskie is set to begin at sunrise on Saturday. Currently, around 800 cranes have gathered near Bubnów Bog in preparation for their autumn migration to warmer countries.

    In a conversation with PAP, forest officer Sławomir Wróbel from Poleski National Park revealed that cranes have been massing in the vicinity of Bubnów Bog for the past two weeks. “Sometimes, you can see up to 800 individuals live, but at the peak, there will be around 2,000 to 3,000,” he announced.

    According to his estimation, the first departures of cranes will still be about three weeks away. “If autumn lingers, the cranes will not be in a hurry to migrate. Moreover, they no longer fly all the way to Africa, but rather to closer destinations like southern and western Europe,” explained the expert.

    He further explained that the cranes are currently in a period of intensive foraging to build up strength and energy for their autumn migration. That’s why each day, they disperse to nearby meadows and fallow fields in the early morning, with their favorite spots being fields of freshly harvested corn. “After spending the whole day, they return to the vicinity of the marshes in the evening to rest. The best time to observe them is early in the morning before 5 am from the observation point along the educational trail called Czahary in Zastawie,” suggested the forest officer.

    This weekend, Poleski National Park will host a “Farewell to Cranes” event. Together with a guide, participants will have the opportunity to join the crane counting activity at dawn and dusk on Saturday. The gathering point for this event is the viewing tower in Zastawie.

    The Saturday program also includes hikes along educational trails, the release of baby marsh turtles, and lectures dedicated to cranes, bees, and marsh turtles. Interested participants can also take part in workshops on butter and unleavened bread making. On Sunday, an ecological picnic is planned in Urszulin, featuring performances by artistic groups, contests and animations for children, educational activities, as well as a culinary competition for a dish made with cranberries, a showcase of crafts and folk art with a crane motif.

    The crane is the tallest bird in Poland, reaching approximately 1.2 meters in height. Its wingspan can reach up to 2.4 meters, and it weighs between 4 to 6 kilograms. The distinctive trumpeting of cranes is produced by their looped windpipe, making it audible from several kilometers away.

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