I went to Germany’s most famous Common Crane roost north of Berlin recently. My goal was to
make sound recordings of a really large number of Common Cranes arriving at roost. In this case
around 20.000 individuals.
It is certainly arguable whether it is right, in times of continuous habitat loss, to bring people just
to those places to reconnect with nature. Since several Common Crane roosts have re-established
in Germany, a veritable hype has been created about it. The idea of conservation gave way to the
desire to make money with a natural resource, with minimal protection for the species and its habitat.
So here we are: fields where birds used to search for food on are now crowded with people, small
villages look like car parks in front of shopping malls and the roosts themselves are like funfairs,
only the wurst stalls are missing. Of course all these people came to this rather rural place by car.
For me as a field recordist this meant another time: not a good place for sound recording due to
the massive anthropogenic noise. Nevertheless, I recorded some smaller flocks further away
instead of the 20.000 at the actual hotspot, yet with considerable noise.
PFR15961, 191020, Common Crane Grus grus, Germany