Feeding Time …

The Red-crowned Crane is on the way back from the brink of extinction in Japan. Protection and active assistance have helped. In return the cranes have added to the local economy by becoming quite a tourist magnet. There are several crane reserves where supplemental feeding mean that good numbers can be seen and photographed in the winter. In the summer breeding season they are widely dispersed, harder to find and hard to approach.

At one of the reserves spring feeding includes fish, added protein to assist in breeding readiness.

Red-crowned Crane
Red-crowned Crane

A free feed is obviously going to attract other eager participants. There are two common crows in Japan, this is a Carrion Crow, the other is the Large-billed Crow which is easily distinguished by its steep forehead.

Carrion Crow
Carrion Crow

Also common and always happy to share food that it doesn’t have to catch for itself is the Black-eared Kite. In some taxonomies this is included in Milvus migrans, the widespread (including Australia) Black Kite.

Black-eared Kite
Black-eared Kite

But sharing top billing with the cranes, a large and very impressive eagle …

White-tailed Sea Eagle
White-tailed Sea Eagle

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