©Wolfgang Kaehler

Japan Day Four

A pair of Japanese Cranes calling

A pair of Japanese Cranes calling

All photos © Wolfgang Kaehler, phototours.us

By Michelle Alten

Today whooper swans joined the cranes at the feeding station.  The white tailed eagles were nowhere in sight.  Could they have been deterred by the wind?  But on cue, two minutes before the man appeared with a bucket of food for the cranes, there they were–about 20 eagles, ready to swoop down and steal the fish.

A group of Whooper swans

A group of Whooper swans

The cranes mate for life and the museum director told our guide a story of devotion.  There was a pair that had an injured female that couldn’t fly.  Each night she had to walk to the river for the night and her partner flew above her circling her and encouraging her until she reached the water.  In the morning the male accompanied her again to the feeding grounds, always staying with her as she made the journey back to the field.  The female eventually recovered and could fly, but the story of the male supporting its hurt partner touched the director as a sign of the strength of their special bond.

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