The rest area Darß Zingst lagoon chain and Rügen
The area Darß Zingst lagoon chain and Rügen (formerly called Bock Rügen region) is one of the most important stopping station for cranes on the Western European migration flyway. The area is known as a resting area for at least 200 years. The positive development of the breeding populations in the countries of origin (Sweden, Norway, Poland, Baltic States, etc) has leaded to an increase of the numbers of resting areas and roosting places in the region, which covers today an area of over 1,000 km².
On the autumn migration from the beginning of September until the beginning of November up to 70,000 cranes with tens of thousands of geese (White-fronted, Bean, Greylag, Canada and Barnacle Geese) and ducks can take a rest there, in spring there can be for a short time up to 15,000 cranes.
Overall, over 20 sleeping places are known, seven of which are regularly used. The roosting places are almost all in the Western Pomerania Lagoon National Park and more precisely in two European bird reserves.
During the day, most birds feed on the land on the stubble fields around the Crane Information Centre (NABU, WWF, Lufthansa) located in the village of Groß Mohrdorf, 14 km northwest of Stralsund. In the permanent exhibition open all year round, you have the opportunity to learn almost everything about the cranes. Informative panels, audiovisual media and supplements give an insight into the life of this impressive big bird. You can discover the best observation places and get update information on the migration.
Very good viewing opportunities are possible on a platform at the feeding site of the Kranichschutz Deutschland (Organization Responsible for the Crane Protection in Germany) at the lake Günzer, 4 km SW from the Crane Centre.
There are special hides for photographers (info at the Crane Centre).
In addition to his informaton work to the public, the Crane Center carries out scientific research projects and coordinates protective measures at national and international levels. This includes, among others, the monitoring of ringed birds (colour rings) and the equipment in transmitters of some birds - in cooperation with some crane protection associations from other European countries, which enables the identification of behaviors during wintering and migration and the information on biological breeding.
Informations : Dr. Günter Nowald, Kranich-Informationszentrum, Kranichschutz Deutschland