【Series】Spirits of the Kamuy landscape (24) Spring is a season for goodbye, red-crowned cranes leave their parents
The place is a Japanese larch grove in the Eastern Hokkaido village of Tsurui, the time is just before dusk. A red-crowned crane flock hurries to their roost for the night.
March marks the beginning of the mating season for red-crowned cranes. It is also a season for parting with offspring born in the previous spring. Parents stop taking care of their young, and encourage them to become independent by pushing them away if the young approach. Young that had followed their parents around up through mid-February start to go off on their own more and more, and stop following their parents altogether when the snow melts.
Red-crowned cranes were plentiful throughout Hokkaido in the 1800s. But in the early 1900s, sighting reports died out and the cranes were thought to have gone extinct. After being rediscovered, conservation efforts bore fruit, and population numbers started increasing mainly in the Kushiro Marshland area. In the 2000s, young cranes seeking new breeding grounds on their own have started gradually expanding their habitat into Northern and Central Hokkaido.
After leaving their parents, mature red-crowned cranes join their mating partners to gradually repopulate areas that have not seen cranes in their skies for over a hundred years.
Runway encroachment issues are causing bird control headaches at Wakkanai Airport in Northern Hokkaido. Encroachment has greatly increased since 2019, and at the peak from summer to autumn, several...
- May 7
Yezo sika deer have survived a winter that blankets the earth in snow and deprives them of sufficient food sources, and now they eat the soft, newly sprouted grasses and rejoice in the coming of sp...
【Series】Spirits of the Kamuy landscape (27) Swans thread through iridescent clouds towards Russian Far EastApril 28
From late March through April, the skies above Eastern Hokkaido's town of Kushiro are filled with birds returning north. Swans feed on aquatic plants and the like at migratory resting areas to keep...