Guide to some birds of the Okhotsk region

EurasianJay StellarsSeeagle Redpoll BlakistonsFishowl LathamsSnipe JapaneseCrane Skylark LongtailedTit JuvenileSwan
Whooper Swan White-tailed Sea-Eagle Stellar's Sea-Eagle Hazel Grouse
Japanese Crane Far Eastern Curlew Latham's Snipe Ross's Gull
Blakiston's Fish-Owl Ural Owl Black Woodpecker Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Eurasian Skylark Long-tailed Tit Snow Bunting Common Redpoll
Tree Sparrow Eurasian Jay Northern Raven Buller's Shearwater*
Swan Goose* Ashy Minivet* To Checklist To Bird Guide Top

Japanese Crane   Grus japonensis   Tanchou

It is no exaggeration to say that the Japanese Crane is the best-known species of crane indigenous to Japan. It has been the subject of Japanese paintings since ancient times, and more recently has also appeared on Japan's 1,000-yen note. Even if they have never actually seen one, when many Japanese hear the word "crane," this is the one that invariably comes to mind.

The Japanese Crane was once thought to have become extinct, but persistent efforts to protect it have brought back its numbers to more than 1,000 as of 2009. They breed only in eastern Hokkaido, and until recently it has been very rare for them to breed in the Okhotsk region.

If you happen to see families of these cranes during the breeding season, please do not approach them and try to take photos; just quietly observe them from a distance. This consideration applies not only to cranes but to all wild birds. Even humans do not like to be disturbed too much.



Adult, feeding in a field by a national highway
(Koshimizu, 22 March 2003)




Adult, same individual as the one above. What looks like a black tail are actually wing feathers known as secondaries and tertials on both sides of the bird. Its real tail is white.
(Koshimizu, 22 March 2003)



Adult in flight
(Tofutsu Lake, 1 October 2003)