Skip to main content

Cranes in Ibiza and Formentera

24 December 2023

Cranes are large birds belonging to the family Gruidae. They are wading birds, specifically the largest wading bird in Europe. As such, they have long legs with which they travel on foot through the areas they frequent, which are large open spaces such as marshes, wetlands, pastures and similar areas. Their wingspan is about 115 centimetres, and they can weigh up to 6 kilos. It is important to note here that the weight of all birds in general, in relation to their size-volume, is relatively lower than that of a mammal, i.e. birds are generally less dense. This is thanks to the design of their bones, feathers, air sacs, etc., the result of an evolutionary process that allows a light body, without reducing its size or power, in order to minimise energy expenditure and thus make flight possible in an effective and efficient way.

Cranes are migrant birds: they have breeding areas, transit areas and wintering areas. For cranes, Ibiza is a transit area.

There are 15 different species of cranes; however, the only one we will be able to see in Ibiza and Formentera (either in flight or stopping over for a few days or weeks) is the common crane (Grus grus). The common crane breeds in northern Eurasia, and spends the winter in northern Africa and southern Eurasia. They also winter in some parts of southern Europe, such as the dehesas and wetlands of the Iberian Peninsula and France.

cranes Ibiza and Formentera

crane natural park of Ses Salines de Eivissa i Formentera

Cranes feed on seeds, tubers, roots, insects and even crabs, minnows and rodents.

cranes eating in Ibiza and Formentera

Cranes are monogamous birds that mate for life. However, this does not exempt them from performing annual courtship rituals consisting of a dance of hopping, bowing and strident calls: monogamous does not take away from the romance of the affair. When they settle on their breeding or wintering grounds, they normally gather in groups and pairs. They do not form complex social units, but simply group together for the safety of the group, especially during migration.

Thus, Ibiza and Formentera are transit points where only a few isolated specimens will stop over for a few days. During migration, flocks of up to 400 birds can gather in those regions where they are most frequent.

When the cranes fly, they do so in the characteristic V-shaped formation or in a diagonal line.


Text: own elaboration.


Photographs: unless otherwise specified, Borja Pérez; and unless otherwise indicated, all photos were taken in Eivissa or Formentera.

Find out more:

- Grulla común.
- La grulla común invernante en España (miteco.gob).
- La grulla común en extremadura
- La grulla común (fotos)

About Nova Falcons:

Nova Falcons is a company specializing in wildlife control and environmental services.

-Controls on birds, mammals y reptiles.

-Wildlife surveys, censuses and monitoring.

-Survey and control of invasive and protected species.

-Environmental impact studies and environmental consultancy.

-Pest and microorganism control.

-Consult other services without obligation.

nova falcons tagline

If you have any questions or doubts, please do not hesitate to contact us.


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

+34 604 048 298

Wildlife control in Ibiza