I knew that I wanted to post about cranes (the birds) today because our crane (the machine) is supposed to be arriving by barge tonight so it can sink our poles tomorrow. When I went looking for crane inspiration, the fine looking couple above stopped me dead in my tracks.
Among the largest and rarest birds in the world, the red-crowned crane stands 5 feet tall, has a wingspan of up to 8 feet and weighs between 15 and 26 pounds! That’s a lot of bird!
In Japan and elsewhere in Asia, red-crowned cranes are known as a symbol of luck, longevity, and fidelity. The glorious creatures typically live between 30 and 70 years, and they mate for life. In addition, they are known worldwide for their elaborate, joyous mating dance, which makes them a popular motif in traditional Asian textiles and fine art.
In the early 20th century, after years of over hunting and the loss of wetlands to farming, the birds were thought to be extinct. Then in 1926, a pod of 20 birds were discovered in Japan. Thanks to conservation efforts across Asia. there are now roughly 2,750 wild red-crowned cranes. While the species is still on the endangered list, much has been done to try and preserve the incredible, elegant birds.
While red-crowned cranes are typically found in Russia, China, and Mongolia during spring and summer, migrating south to Korea and Taiwan in the colder months, there is a mostly stationary population of the birds in the Kushiro Wetlands, located in eastern Hokkaidō, Japan. Local farmers have been feeding the birds for generations, causing the flock of nearly 1,000 cranes to stay in the region. The video below by BBC Earth is about this particular population of red-crowned cranes.