Cranes at Hornborgasjön, 2021 and 2012

Map of Lake Hornborga (clickable)




We visited this nice area at Hornborgasjön (Lake Hornborga) some days in the beginning of April 2012 (when some snow had fallen) and at the end of March 2021. We stayed at some local places and mainly visited the lake for watching the huge amount of cranes, but also looked at some historical places around.

At Lake Hornborga tens of thousands of cranes gather on their way from southern Europe to the northern parts of Sweden. After restoration in the second half of the 1900’s, the lake is a suitable place. In earlier days, potatoes were grown in the fields and eaten by the cranes but nowadays barley is grown. In order to avoid damage to the crops of the farmers, barley is spread out on the fields close to the lake in the evenings when the cranes leave the fields for spending the night on the lake.

The surrounding plateau mountains create thermal winds making it easier for the cranes to lift.

At the lake the cranes stay some time, before continuing north. They find partners, and the male and female perform nice dancing before breeding.

There is also a lot of other birdlife in the lake, e.g. Whooper swans and geese.

The cranes gather at the southern part of the lake, where there are also viewing points and an Info center Trandansen. You can come rather close to watch the cranes and hear the massive sound. Before sunset the cranes leave the fields in large groups for spending the night on the safe place on the lake. At sunrise they return to the fields.

There are normally most cranes at the lake in the last week of March and the first week of April, normally around 15 000 to 20 000 (the record is 27 300 April 3rd 2019). Depending on temperature and winds, the times can vary. Using the links below, you can see statistics for the last years.

At the eastern part of the lake, there is a Naturum visitor centre with trails. There are no cranes here, but a lot of other birds.

In the surroundings there are a lot of historical places. The Varnhem and Gudhem monastery ruins and churches originate from around 1150. The Crusades Trilogy with the main character Arn Magnusson, written by Jan Guillou, is inspired from these areas.

Useful links:  (statistics)

Photos, and a short description, will be found when clicking on the photos. Some short film sequences are also included.

Cranes 2012 (snow)

Cranes 2021

Monasteries and churches

Some short film sequences below

Cranes 2012

Cranes 2021




Hem (Mats och Camillas hemsida)