22 February 2017

On this day (February 22nd)......................


February 22nd 2014.

A White-tailed Eagle amongst the Cranes at Akan Crane Centre 3 years ago today.

This location, a place where a large flock of Japanese Crane overwinter and are fed by a farmer, is a very well known place for bird photographers visiting Hokkaido in winter: when we were there there were probably more big white lenses than big white birds and I heard it was even more crowded in subsequent years. The staff at the Crane Centre throw out food for the cranes and the eagles swoop down to pilfer some. A bit contrived but still great fun, if you can brave the crowds.

Due to worries about bird influenza I heard this place is closed to visitors this winter. Actually there are plans to close it (or at least scale it back) long term as a) the Cranes are no longer in need of such protection and b) such a concentration of individuals could be catastrophic if there was a major disease outbreak. So you may not be able to witness such scenes anymore.

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