The red-crowned crane, also called the Japanese crane, is a large east Asian crane and among the rarest cranes in the world. In
some parts of its range, it is known as a symbol of luck, longevity and fidelity.
Adult red-crowned cranes are named for a patch of red bare skin on the crown, which becomes brighter in the mating season.
Overall, they are snow white in color with black on the wing secondaries, which can appear almost like a black tail when the birds are
standing, but the real tail feathers are actually white.
This species is among the largest cranes, typically measuring about five feet tall. Across the large wingspan, the red-crowned crane
measures 7 ft 3 in–8 ft 2 in. Body weight can range from 15 to 23 pounds.
Red-crowned cranes are widely dispersed across eastern Hokkaido during the breeding season, but in the winter they are
concentrated in a complex of damp fields and marshlands to the north of Kushiro.
At one location, the cranes were fed a few fish at 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon which resulted in an invasion of white-tailed sea eagles.
At night, these cranes slept in the river. This picture was taken in the early morning light. The cranes slowly woke up and then did
some dances before flying off to the rice fields.