Hokkaido, Japan

Beautiful Whooper swan flock flying. A group of seven birds flies into the Kussharo lake in Hokkaido. They keep a remarkable formation in their flight just above the mountains behind them.

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: 140mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 5184 by 3456 pixels (WxH).

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Beautiful Whooper swan flock flying. A group of 7 birds flies into the Kussharo lake in Hokkaido. They keep a remarkable formation in their flight just above the mountains behind them. That flock of white birds balances fantastic against the blue sky, with their wings spread fully. In the wintertime, they come to Hokkaido from the Siberian Arctic. Whooper swans spend most of their time there, but during wintertime, they migrate to Japan and other places. Arriving at Lake Kussharo, they gather together at free spots on the ice with hot springs. During winter, the Lake Kussharo freezes totally. Only the hot springs spots along the lake will be more or less ice-free. Through the hot springs, the sand of some beaches heats up naturally. Lake Kussharo is the sixth-largest lake in Japan and within the Akan Mashu National Park.

Undoubtedly, the Lake Kussharo is a welcome sight for the whooper swans. These beautiful birds need large water areas to swim in. Also, locals feed them with the grain. Undoubtedly, the feeding took all their fear of humans away. When spending time there, you will see one whooper swan flock flying in after the other. It is a process that goes on all day. Always coming in and flying out. Like the red-crowned cranes, whooper swans pair for life. The offspring will stay with them during the whole winter before they go their ways. When a whooper swan flock is flying, they use a variety of signal movements to communicate with each other.

Whooper swan, Cygnus cygnus, is of least concern on the IUCN list.

Explore our wildlife photographs portfolio from Japan or the black and white whooper swan photograph. All our nature photographs are for sale of license and photo prints.

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