Hokkaido, Japan

A graceful Whooper swan in flight while it is coming to land, with its wings fully spread. You can see in this black and white fine art photograph its belly and legs still on the body.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 8 September, 2020

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

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Exposure time: 1/2000s
  • ISO: 800
  • Focal Length: 278mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 3946 by 2631 pixels (WxH).

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A beautiful Whooper swan in flight while it is coming to land, the swan has its wings fully spread. You can see in this black and white fine art photograph its belly and legs still on the body. Behind the bird is the misty. There is much fog above the snow and in front of the trees. Whooper swans spend most of their time in the Siberian Arctic. During wintertime, they migrate to Japan. Locals in Hokkaido feed them with grains. Therefore, they lose their fear of humans pretty quickly. They fly to the Lake Kussharo. It is a caldera lake with hot springs, which naturally heat the sand. It is the sixth-largest lake in Japan located in the Akan Mashu National Park.

Whooper swans require large areas to swim in. The large lake-like Kussharo is a welcome sight for them. But in the wintertime, this lake freezes over completely. Only the areas with hot springs will be more or less ice-free. In these free patches of water, they will gather during the winter to feed or to be fed by locals with the grain. Indeed, Whooper swans pair for life. Red-crowned cranes also pair for life. Their cygnets will stay with them for the whole wintertime. Flying as a flock, Whooper swans will use a variety of signal movements to communicate with each other.

Whooper swan in flight, Cygnus cygnus, are of least concern on the IUCN red list.

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