Red-crowned crane

Grus japonensis

The red-crowned crane is regarded as sacred in Japan and is a symbol of fidelity, love and longevity. The fact that it is depicted on the country’s 1,000-yen note is an indication of its significance.

Weight: 7-10 kg
Height: 150 cm Wingspan: 220 - 250 cm

The cranes live in large territories in wetland areas such as marshland, river banks and paddy fields. They are omnivorous, with a diet of insects, fish, amphibians, small rodents, reeds and grasses.

Cranes pair up for life. In the spring they build nests from reeds in the wetlands, or even on islands in shallow water. The female lays two eggs and the parents take turns incubating them. The cinnamon-brown chicks hatch after a month, and a few days later they follow the adults when they go in search of food.