Rare crane chick is the first born at Wicken Fen site in 120 years

One of Britain’s rarest birds is the first to hatch at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve in at least 120 years, the National Trust has revealed. Picture: NATIONAL TRUST.

One of Britain's rarest birds is the first to hatch at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve in at least 120 years, the National Trust has revealed. Picture: NATIONAL TRUST.

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One of Britain's rarest birds is the first to hatch at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve in at least 120 years, the National Trust has revealed.

The crane chick was born at the beauty spot last week and captured on a wildlife cam by supporter Michael Holdsworth.

The common crane is on the UK Amber conservation list for birds, with only about 54 pairs nesting each year.

The 4ft-tall (1.2m) birds became extinct in the UK in the 17th century through hunting and habitat loss.

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National Trust bosses say that the family are doing well and visitors to the reserve should be able to spot the new family once the young crane starts exploring.

However, filming the cranes will not be possible for conservation reasons.

Speaking to the BBC, Martin Lester, countryside manager at Wicken Fen, said: "The successful breeding of this chick is a reflection on the conservation work that we have been carrying out, particularly over the last 20 years.

"This work includes extending the reserve, and allowing diverse habitats to evolve that have resulted in the return of other species such as otters and water vole."

A record 54 pairs produced 25 chicks in 2018, bringing the national total population to about 180 birds.

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