Whooper swan flying with its wings spread. This beautiful bird is landing at Lake Kussharo. Both wings spread, showing its belly, legs are still tight on its body. The tips of the wings show every single feather. It is flying in a soft curve just before touch down. Behind the beautiful whooper swan, you can see snow on the solidly frozen lake. Therefore is a bit of fog floating above it. Far in the distance, you see blurred trees covered with ice and snow. Whooper swans require large water areas to swim in. But lake Kussharo is solidly frozen during wintertime. Only a few hot springs spots have open water. In these areas, the swans will gather together. Locals feed them with grain, and they also eat whatever they find in the lake.
On some days, there is one whooper swan flock flying in after the other. A Whooper swan always flies in with its wings fully spread to brake and slow down their momentum. Indeed these beautiful birds spend most of their time in the Siberian Arctic. During winter, they migrate to the south or like here to lake Kussharo on the island Hokkaido, Japan. Lake Kussharo is a caldera lake with hot springs, located within the Akan Mashu National Park. Furthermore, it is the sixth-largest lake in Japan. Whooper swans pair for life like the red-crowned cranes. A couple of cygnets will spend most of the winter with their parents.
Whooper swan, Cygnus cygnus, is of least concern on the IUCN list.