The Common or Eurasian Crane is similar to the iconic Manchurian (Red-crowned) Crane of oriental art, but is grey rather than white and has a larger bustle (raised back wing feathers).
Dancing courtship and breeding in the wetlands of northern Europe and northern Asia (mainly Scandinavia/Russia), they migrate to southern Europe/Asia and north Africa for the winter.
Cranes are gregarious, forming herds, and mate for life but reinforce their partnership each year through courtship dancing.
"Common" Cranes used to be common throughout the UK (forming the names of more UK places than any other animal, eg Cranford, Cranbrook) but became extinct in the UK through hunting and habitat loss.
A few re-colonised the Norfolk Broads and, more recently, there is a current WWT project to breed and release/re-introduce cranes to the Somerset Levels.
Juvenile Common/Eurasian Crane