Geese & Crane Birds

Geese and cranes spend every year a time in the lagoon of Villafáfila where they feed and breed before the arrival of winter.

Planet Doc Full Documentaries

A Spanish lagoon called Villafáfíla holds many secrets. Every year it is visited by migratory birds that pass through here on the way to Extremadura and Andalusia. 

The birds do call loudly when they sight the lagoon, they do it in order to stay together.

About a thousand cranes stop over here for several weeks. They find everything they need, especially food in the form of plant stems, small animals and tasty bulbs. 

When autumn ends they’ll again take flight to spend the winter in Extremadura and Andalusia. 
 But cranes aren't the only ones to visit Villafáfila. Naturalists, a few tourists and the simply curious also come here at the end of September when the sky is full of wild geese. 
These migrants began to visit us here in 1975. At first there were just a few individuals, but word must have gotten around because now there are nearly 23,000.

Geese are very unusual in that they choose their mates for life. Even if their mate dies they never remarry. Instead they become solitary. They eat grains and seeds and have plenty of food.
Flying on those who continue the journey will fly south to the marshes of the River Guadalquivir. 

The bustard also likes to hibernate here. It is the largest terrestrial bird in Europe. In Villafáfila, there is a stable colony of about 2, 000 bustards.
The male is considerably larger than the female –something common to many species– and weighs about 40 pounds. That's why it flies only short distances and if it can't fly, it runs. 

Spanish bustards find everything they need in this area, so they don't migrate. They have thoroughly adapted to this countryside and to this salt water lagoon. 
When spring comes, the bustards begin their courtship. They divide up into two groups: males on one side and females on the other.

The males display their attributes, above all their white feathers, and the more the better… hoping that a female will show interest.  While the females consider their options, the male will take flight in order to fluff up his wings…

Tell us what you think!