Two red-crowned cranes visit Biratori rice paddies
In late June two red-crowned cranes, a nationally protected species, flew into rice paddy area in the town of Biratori in the Central Hokkaido Hidaka region, where they were seen spending time and feeding.
At around 10:00 a.m. on June 21, nearby resident Fukui discovered the two red-crowned cranes feeding in rice paddies from his car. The cranes were still resting their wings in the same area for two days after that, so Fukui contacted the town municipality office on June 23, upon which Nishikino Yuta from the town office came to photograph them.
According to Fukui, the cranes could be seen in rice paddies and pastures around Fukui’s house every day up to June 29. He commented, “This was the first time I have ever seen red-crowned cranes in Biratori, so it was surprising. They were so beautiful.”
According to Hidaka Institute for Ornithology Director Tanioka Takashi, red-crowned cranes feed on prey including tadpoles, grasshoppers, and earthworms. Director Tanioka commented, “We have started to see red-crowned cranes in the Hidaka Subprefecture these past four or five years, but a sighting in Biratori in this season is rare. The red-crowned crane population in Hokkaido is increasing, so the Hidaka Subprefecture could wind up becoming a new living area for them in the future.”
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