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Nepszava.hu reports that, on Friday afternoon, due to the thick descending fog, the migratory cranes, taking their time in Szeged, lost their navigation skills and approximately, 40 of them were involved in an accident.

The incident happened when they were flying back to the White Lake (Fehér-tó), their night spot, reports Béla Tokody, the project manager of the Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society (MME).

Besides the fact that the fog descended all of a sudden, it was also very thick. The flying cranes were unable to navigate through it and that is why many of them bumped into electrical cables or blocks of flats.

The Kiskunság National Park was also alerted by the locals who found bird carcasses. These were collected by the colleagues of the National Park who also took care of the wounded animals. As far as we know, around 40 birds were involved in accidents due to the fog. Unfortunately, most of them died, and around 12 got severely injured. The broken legs and wings were treated in the National Park.

Some birds survived the unexpected fog because they landed in populated areas.

Locals reported that in Hódmezővásárhely and Szeged, cranes were walking in the streets and among the houses, while others shared on social network sites that they heard the desperate cries of cranes at night.

Most probably, they were looking for the right way back to the lake at that time.

A crane being released at the Szeged National Park after a successful recovery
photo: MTI

This year, the number of cranes staying at the White Lake of Szeged exceeds the records of previous years.

One week ago, around 65,000 were counted. This number is remarkable and unprecedented around the White Lake.

Most of the cranes travel through the east part of Hungary in the end of November. When winter sets in, they leave Hungary in order to stay in the southern parts of Europe or in North-Africa during the cold weather. In October, they arrived in Hortobágy and took their time at  the artificial ponds. After they had gained some energy, they continued their journey along the line of the Tisza river.

By November, they reached the Kiskunság National Park as turizmus.com reports.  On several occasions, guided tours were organised in November, in the city of Szeged for those interested in birdwatching, where the visitors could witness the night spots of the cranes and obtain further information about their lifestyle.

This recent incident and the death of the cranes is very woeful, as it is only within the last few years that cranes arrive in such big groups in Hungary.

Given that from the 1910s onwards, they were hunted down for their meat and their plume that was prestigious at that time, this meteorological calamity is a very sad case for everyone.

Source: nepszava.hu; turizmus.hu

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