Hokkaido, Japan

Beautiful Red-crowned crane dancing on snow. That bird jumps high into the air while raising its wings while lifting its right leg higher as the left leg while looking at you.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 17 July, 2023

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This photograph was captured with a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/7.1
  • Exposure time: 1/2000s
  • ISO: 400
  • Focal Length: 600mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 3127 by 3127 pixels (WxH).

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Red-crowned crane dancing on snow. That bird jumps high into the air while raising its wings, lifting its right leg higher than the left leg. The red-crowned dance is a ritual between a pair. They usually perform this with their partners. This behavior is to strengthen their lifelong bond with each other. They perform this graceful dance together for many years. We call it Dance of Love. A red-crowned crane stands up to 1.5 meters / 5 feet with a wingspan of 2.4 meters / 7.8 feet. This gorgeous bird was nearly extinct. Conservation efforts have brought the population of these birds up again on the island Hokkaido in Japan.

Dancing Red-crowned Cranes

To see a beautiful red-crowned crane dancing, a graceful behavior, is indeed impressive. These elegant birds also perform this dance on their sleeping grounds as well. Sleeping fields are little islands in a river, protecting them from predators. In wintertime, the temperature can drop to below -25 C / -13 F, but these magnificent birds don’t seem to care much.

That elegant red-crowned crane is a large East Asian crane. Unquestionably one of the rarest and largest cranes worldwide. We also call it the Manchurian crane or Japanese crane. Japanese tradition says the crane lives 1,000 years and symbolizes longevity. Red-crowned cranes are also the symbol of fortune in Japan. You will find them in feeding stations and sanctuaries on eastern Hokkaido.

Red-crowned crane species, Grus japonensis, is classified as endangered.

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1 comment for Red-Crowned Crane Dancing

  1. Clare

    Amazing photo! I love it!

    • Anette Mossbacher

      The graceful cranes do such beautiful dances. Thank you, Clare.

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