On their way from their winter quarters in Spain to their breeding grounds, some 10,000 cranes rest at Lake Hornborga. They usually stay for a week or two to eat, dance and rest.
The ones that are heading furthest north arrive last, as they have to wait until spring arrives at their final destination. At most, there can be more than 10,000 cranes here on any day during the Crane Dance.
Eat, dance and sleep
In the past, there were large potato fields around Lake Hornborga. In the spring, there was a plentiful supply of frozen left-over potatoes in the fields. The cranes love these sweet, sticky lumps of food!
Potato growing stopped in the 1970s and the cranes are now fed with grain that is specially laid out for them. During the peak season, more than a tonne is distributed every evening.
The cranes also eat frogs, small fish, insects and plants. So they really enjoy an all-round diet!
They prefer to spend the night standing in shallow water, so that they can feel safe from wandering predators.
At dawn, they can be seen flying to their feeding place at the information centre Trandansen, where they spend most of the day eating and dancing. This bowing, hopping and wing-flapping is a way of strengthening the ties between the pairs of birds. At dusk, they return to the lake.