Russian scientists have launched a flying school for birds that are nervous of making a 5,000 kilometre migration.

A glider is playing the role of mother to encourage a group of four-month old cranes to join other species and make the journey from Siberia to south-east Asia.

There are only 20 of the ‘sterkh’ species of crane left in the wild.

Biologists will only know if the school has been successful if the cranes’ chicks return in around six years time.