Last western Siberian crane ‘Omid’ lands in Iran

MNA – The last remaining western Siberian crane ‘Omid’ has returned to its winter home in Iran for the tenth consecutive year after a twenty-day delay.

Having clocked up an incredible 78,000km journey, the last remaining western Siberian crane ‘Omid’ – the Persian word for ‘hope’ – has finally made it to its winter home in Fereydunkenar wetlands in the north of the country on Saturday morning.

Every year since its first journey to Fereydunkenar in 2007, ‘Omid’ has been making regular trips to Iran in the first week of Aban which falls on the last week of October. This year, the rare bird was 20 days late, which had greatly worried environmentalists and birdwatchers.

‘Omid’ is 135cm long and its voice is gentle, melodious and resonant, its feathers pure white, hence its alternative name ‘snow crane’.

There are only 3,200 Siberian cranes left in the world, most of which belonging to the eastern population and wintering in the Poyang Basin in China, while ‘Omid’ is the last remaining bird from the western population which prefers to spend winter in Iran and, previously, India.

Fereydunkenar wetland on the Caspian Sea has one of the richest ecosystems among the northern cities of Iran and hosts thousands of migratory birds each year, including various types of coots, ducks, herons, grebes, and swans.