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Cranes in Sweden

Updated on January 25, 2014

Every spring in March there is a shout in Sweden: The cranes are arriving!

They come in thousands and rest at Hornborgasjön. There they dance in a beautiful choreography, throwing sticks into the air and make this trumpetlike sounds.

To see them you have to go to Sweden and then drive to Hornborgasjon. They have fantastic service for tourists and birdwatchers. There are many from other countries that want to see the crane-dance. Scroll down to the link about Hornborga and read more! March 2009 we had a all time high peek of 18 500 cranes at Lake Hornborga!

Buy the flying cranes in Sweden at

2012 - how many will come?

2012 - The first three has landed!

Great crowds

Sign that winter is ended - our cranes are coming back

There is one place where you can see them dance, feed and hear them trumpet!

The Cranes (latin Grus Grus) - The messenger of spring and always just as eagerly awaited. The cranes' dance and trumpeting call are a sure sign of spring and they attract at least 150,000 visitors to Lake Hornborga during a four-week period. It is a real experience to watch the graceful cranes hopping around in their lively dance!

On their way from their winter quarters in Spain to their breeding grounds, some 10,000 cranes rest at Lake Hornborga. They usually stay for a week or two to eat, dance and rest.

The ones that are heading furthest north arrive last, as they have to wait until spring arrives at their final destination. At most, there can be more than 10,000 cranes here on any day during the Crane Dance. Last year´s peak was 13 900 at April 1st.

They Eat, dance and sleep

In the past, there were large potato fields around Lake Hornborga. In the spring, there was a plentiful supply of frozen left-over potatoes in the fields. The cranes love these sweet, sticky lumps of food!

Potato growing stopped in the 1970s and the cranes are now fed with grain that is specially laid out for them. During the peak season, more than a tonne is distributed every evening.

The cranes also eat frogs, small fish, insects and plants. So they really enjoy an all-round diet!

They prefer to spend the night standing in shallow water, so that they can feel safe from wandering predators.

At dawn, they can be seen flying to their feeding place, where they spend most of the day eating and dancing. This bowing, hopping and wing-flapping is a way of strengthening the ties between the pairs of birds. At dusk, they return to the lake.




Lake Hornborga

How can we count the cranes? Do we count the legs and then divide by the total two? The counts are made in the evening when the cranes fly out into the lake to sleep. This usually takes more than an hour and it is therefore relatively easy to count the small flocks that slowly fly past. The people who count the birds stand high up and have a clear view of the southern part of Lake Hornborga. The cranes have been counted since the end of the 1960s, so we have a great deal of experience. In good weather, the number of cranes can be counted very accurately. On days when the weather is less good, it is difficult and sometimes impossible to count them.

Lake at Dusk, Hornborga Lake, Vasterg...

Panoramic Images

42x14 Photograph...

Buy From

Official site that have all the information about Hornborgasjön - You can pre-book view points

How to watch them. Bring binoculars!

This site has all information you need in English!

Cranes of silver or paper - Treat yourself

Give your guest bed a lovely towel art! How to fold here.

Origami - a world wide art of paper cranes and other animals. Here is also a video that shows how to fold step by step!

binoculars are very important to bring - Buy a good one

For crane watchers

Learn how to make paper cranes - For children too

For twenty-five years, middle-grade readers have been moved by this telling of Sadako Sasaki's spirited battle with leukemia. She was two-years-old when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II, and dizzy spells began when she was twelve. She faced the disease with an irrepressible spirit and focused her energy (and that of everyone who knew her) on folding 1000 paper cranes, which Japanese legend held would prompt the gods to make her well again. Eleanor Coerr crafted this story of Sadako's twelfth year after reading the book of her letters her classmates compiled after her death.

Sadako 1000 Paper Cranes PMC 3.99 Promo (Puffin Modern Classics)
Sadako 1000 Paper Cranes PMC 3.99 Promo (Puffin Modern Classics)

This special edition contains a bio of Eleanor Coerr with details about her work on this book and instructions for folding paper cranes.


Books on these birds - There are many kinds

In Sweden the spiece Grus Grus are for watching

Beautiful Crane Statue - Made of aluminium

Make a sleek statement on your patio with these graceful crane statues

Megrating birds - A long way to travel for a small crane

Reader Feedback

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    • GramaBarb profile image


      6 years ago from Vancouver

      I am on an angel quest for the letter "C" and your cranes lens is #1 on my list - well done!

    • GonnaFly profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      How beautiful. This would be so good to see and hear!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love birds and cranes - of course. Sweden is a beautiful country - no doubt.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      7 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      lovely lens. i enjoyed the vids. ~blessed~

    • Philippians468 profile image


      7 years ago

      they are such elegant birds! delightful lens! cheers

    • KarenHC profile image


      7 years ago from U.S.

      I'd love to see the cranes in your area! We see sandhill cranes in the fall as they all congregate to fly south -- such an impressive bird!

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Very nice lens.

    • elyria profile image


      7 years ago

      Such a unique Lens, really enjoyed it!

    • tiff0315 profile image


      7 years ago

      Very awesome! I love to see the wildlife in my hometown....and would love to visit other places in the world. Thanks for the great lens!

    • norma-holt profile image


      7 years ago

      Beautiful lens on a wonderful bird and wildlife necessity. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Angel Blessings for Dogs on Squidoo - Other Animals

    • CruiseReady profile image


      7 years ago from East Central Florida

      We live near a wildlife preserve in Florida, and have a lone Sandhill Crane that regularly visits our backyard. He is big and beautiful!

    • ZenandChic profile image


      7 years ago

      Love the crane posters!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      7 years ago from Vermont

      I love wildlife, and especially enjoy watching birds. The cranes' return in spring must be a wonderful nature experience. Last March we saw thousands of white snow geese in a Pennsylvania local corn field. They were on their way back to Northern US and Canada after the winter. It was an amazing sight.

    • annieangel1 profile image


      7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      nice one, sprinkling some green angel dust on St Patrick's day - I will feature this on my Wild Bird lens to be published later - cheers

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image


      7 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love cranes, the majestic white creatures flocking near the ponds. This lens has captured the beauty of cranes in perfect manner.

    • howtocurecancer profile image


      7 years ago

      I love spring with all the flowers, birds, butterflies and warm weather.

    • LouisaDembul profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      I love cranes, they are so gracious. Imagine seeing so many at the same time!

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Wow they are indeed a beautiful bird. I love your opening image.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      I loved reading about these cranes. They have different markings from the cranes we have here (sandhill cranes). I've taken hundreds of photos of our cranes and should make some more lenses about them. I have 2 so far.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 

      7 years ago from Royalton

      I love to walk through the Everglades to see the cranes. It is rare to see them in Vermont. Thank you for introducing me to the cranes of Hornborgasjön. I hope that some day I will be able to go there to see them for myself.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 

      8 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      Very nice lens. We get sandhill cranes about an hour north of where I live. I've gone to see them a few times. I often hear them flying over my house actually when they migrate back and forth. A very distincitve sound! Enjoyed the videos.

    • missbat profile image


      9 years ago

      How awesome to get to see so many cranes! Great lens!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I love photography birds of all kinds -- the cranes visit our community daily along with the blue herons, mallards, Canadian geese. I could sit and watch them for hours!

    • AnimalGuy profile image


      9 years ago

      Beautiful lens I would truly love to see Sweden someday!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Cranes are so fascinating, they are one bird we stop to watch no matter what they are doing. I love that prehistoric look they have about them in flight, we get to watch them all summer. Great information and you are getting everyone wanting to come to Sweden to visit the cranes! I've never quite noticed when they arrive here, this year I'll pay attention. I am able to pinpoint the arrival of our Ruby Throated Hummingbirds, always within a day or two of Mother's Day, so I understand how your wait for the cranes.

    • KiwiGayle profile image


      10 years ago

      What a wonderful lens. I am lucky enough to work for the International Crane Foundation in Wisconsin, USA and ocasionally I meet people that have seen the cranes at Hornborga. Hopefully I will to one day.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      10 years ago

      Beautiful lens! I wish I could afford to travel to Sweden to see them.


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Awesome! Thank you for educating me :)

    • JonitasKalimpo profile image


      10 years ago

      great lens this one!! A superb job, irene. 5 stars.

      You may also like to see my lens about Decorative Bird Houses

      If you like, please join our group Wild Birds

    • NAIZA LM profile image

      NAIZA LM 

      10 years ago

      I've never seen an actually birds in person! How amazing they are soaring around the sky. Wonderful lens about cranes feels like I've been there in Sweden...Definitely, a fabulous five!~Naiza

    • GramaBarb profile image


      10 years ago from Vancouver

      My dream is to visit Lake Hornborga when the cranes are there! Very informative lens. Thank you for sharing.


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