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Crane Watching in Hortobágy – Lake Tisza

One of the most spectacular events of nature takes place each Autumn in Hortobágy, the spectacle of bird migration. 

The Cranes visit on their way from their northern breeding grounds, staying in large numbers within the Hortobágy National Park, a place of safety and food in abundance.

From the beginning of September, an increasing number of cranes visit the area. Such is their impact, that the Crane has become synonymous with Hortobágy, and is even on the coat of arms of the national park.

The birds that stay here enter the resting place in groups at dusk and fly out to the surrounding feeding areas at dawn and sunrise. At these times there is a great opportunity to observe the “dance” of cranes. The term dance is used when describing a flock of cranes. This can be experienced by approaching the cranes under the guidance of specialists from the national park, and then by visiting crane teams at feeding sites.

The program is implemented in an area of ​​the national park that is usually off-limits without the presence of a national park employee.

From 19th September to 1st November 2020, the Directorate of the Hortobágy National Park welcomes visitors with a film screening and a field program with professional guidance. 

The tours are expected to take place in several locations within the following types of tours:

Pusztai (Hungarian Great Plains) by Four Wheels – own vehicle.

See the cranes pulling their overnight places in the national park. The first part of the program starts with the screening of the film “Crane Bird in the Sky” made in 2018 at the HNP Visitor Center (Hortobágy, Petőfi tér 9.), followed by short information about cranes. Afterward, following the guide, the guests approach the field with their own car, which is located up to 20-30 km from the village of Hortobágy.

Hortobágy-Halastavi Bird Watching by Railway.

We take our guests by a small train to see the cranes arriving at their overnight resting places. The program starts at the Halászbárka Reception Center (Hortobágy-Halastó; off the main road 33 at km 67 in the direction of Hortobágy-Halastó) with the screening of the film “Crane bird up in the sky” made in 2018, this is followed by a short information piece about cranes.

The field program starts with an excursion by a small train to Lake Kondás (journey time approx. 30 minutes), where the evening hauling of cranes gathering for the night is watched with a guide, then departure on a small train.

Pusztai Crane Watching with Horse Drawn Carriage

The program includes watching a film about the life of cranes and a briefing, a carriage ride to the observation point, which is located in a closed area of ​​the national park and accompanied by a guide. view indentation. Considering that the program will be at a stall, we will not miss the sight of the Hungarian greyhound.

Small Train at Dawn – See the Cranes Dance

Tens of thousands of cranes spend the night in the drained riverbed of Lake Kondás and then head to their feeding places after sunrise. They fly out first in smaller and then in larger flocks (a dance of cranes), which is a beautiful sight in the background at sunrise. To see the take-off, we invite our guests on a small train tour starting at dawn. The small train line is 4 km long, with a further 1 km walk to Lake Kondás for participants to avoid disturbing the birds.

Dawn Crane Watching by Car

Thousands of cranes spend the night in the drained riverbeds of the fishponds around Hortobágy and then head to their feeding places after sunrise. They fly out first in smaller and then in larger teams, which is a beautiful sight in the background at sunrise. We invite our guests for a car tour to see the pull-out. By car approx. We make a 10-15 minute walk on a paved road to the destination, then a 5-10 minute walk awaits the participants from there, thus avoiding disturbing the birds.

Daytime Observation of Feeding Cranes by Bicycle

The program includes watching a film about the life of cranes and a briefing. The observation site is located in a non-accessible area of ​​the national park, so it can only be visited with a professional guide and is accessible by bicycle. Another special feature of the place is that here the birds gather in larger groups in the hours before being brought in to a nearby nocturnal place, and their various forms of social behavior, such as teaching their chicks or the crane, are still well observed. Following the film screening, access to the field site will be by electric MTB bikes provided by the national park.

Nature Guard at Work

An exclusive Bird Watching Tour – with a guide and off-Road Vehicle.
Special off-road tour, during which the feeding areas are accompanied by a nature guard, an experienced birder, a field specialist, and the birds are spied on and watched. observing any ringed specimens and then viewing the crane pull at dusk.

Details of the tours can be read on the website of the Hortobágy National Park: http://www.hnp.hu/hu/szervezet-egyseg/turizmus/707/daruvonulas-turak-2020

Photos: Attila Szilágyi

More information about the Hortobágy National Park:
HNP Visitor Center – Tourinform Hortobágy
Tel .: 52 / 589-000 • 52 / 589-321 • 52 / 369-140
E-mail: info@hnp.hu