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A giant bird that has been part of Irish folklore and was often kept as a pet in medieval times could be returning to the island after an absence of more than 300 years. A pair of cranes are nesting on a rewetted peat bog in the Republic of Ireland’s midlands. It is hoped they could be the first of the species to breed in Ireland for centuries. The cranes are on land owned by former peat producer Bord na Móna. The location is to remain confidential to protect the birds. In January, Bord na Móna ceased peat harvesting for good and has been rehabilitating thousands of hectares of boglands, rewetting the drained sites.

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