Winter Wildlife in Japan – Red Crowned Cranes

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High in the air, a duo of red crowned cranes perform their dance on the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

Red Crowned Cranes – the most regal aspect of Winter Wildlife in Japan

In the first of our series of blog posts on Winter Wildlife in Japan, Nicola (Billows), one of our guests on our recent Japanese Winter Wildlife tour has very kindly sent us some of her favourite images to share with you.  This first blog post showcases the regal Red Crowned Cranes.  These beautiful birds are among the largest of the crane family. They are so named because of a patch of bare, red skin on the crown, which gets brighter during the mating season.

The early morning sight at one of the red crowned crane roosting sites photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday A pair of Red Crowned Cranes in the snowy Hokkaido landscape photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

A red crowned crane having just landed on the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

In Japan the Red Crowned Crane is said to live for a thousand years & a pair of them are featured in the design for the 1000 yen note. Cranes are also said to grant favors in return for acts of sacrifice. They are also known for their fairly elaborate mating dance that helps them in forming & maintaining the pair bond. This dance begins with the two cranes moving rhythmically closer until they are close enough to touch each other. They will then tilt their heads back & sound off with a fluting call together. This call will frequently trigger other such calls to start this dance, which has been beautifully captured by Nicola.

A pair of red crowned cranes perform their dance on the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayA dancing pair of red crowned cranes perform their courtship on the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayA solitary red crowned crane isolated within the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayA trio of red crowned cranes perform their dance on the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayA duo of red crowned cranes perform their dance on the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography HolidayHigh in the air, a duo of red crowned cranes perform their dance on the snowy landscape of Hokkaido photographed by Nicola Billows during the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Holiday

DO YOU WANT TO PHOTOGRAPH WINTER WILDLIFE IN JAPAN FOR YOURSELF?

With the 2018 trip full, we have opened up bookings for the 2019 trip, this is an opportunity for you to undertake photography of blakistons fish owl, red crowned crane, snow monkey, stellers sea eagle, ural owl, white tailed sea eagle, whooper swan & more in the wintery landscapes of Japan for yourself; the cost for a single traveller is £5749, with single occupancy accommodation throughout, no sharing & no single supplement!

To secure your place on this photographic tour, we require a 20% deposit – the balance will fall due on 16th November 2018 – we include all ground transportation within Japan, transport to & from shoot locations, dinners & breakfasts, accommodation, entrance fees, boat fees for six boat trips & guidance/tuition; the dates for the NaturesLens Japanese Winter Wildlife Photography Tour are February 9 – 22, 2019.

If you are a pair of travelling companions or a couple then you can share accommodation & book two places for £5175 each instead of £5749 per person! Quote JAPANPAIR in the referral code text box to have the discount applied to your booking – you can book now & hold your places with 20% deposit only! Please note, both bookings, for the travelling companions or couple, must be made at the same time & the dates for this trip are February 9 – 22, 2019.