On January 21st, we arrived in Hokkaido at 9:00 a.m. Our goal for the day was to make the 5 hour drive across the island and arrive at the Akan Crane Center in time for the daily 2:00 p.m. feeding of the cranes. The reserve feeds over 100 endangered Red-crowned Cranes during the winter months. The fish they put out for the cranes is often stolen by opportunistic White-tailed Eagles and Black Kites. With exactly 5 hours to reach our desired destination, we knew we’d be cutting it close. Luckily we arrived at 1:45 p.m., just in time to get set up for the feeding frenzy. The result was amazing. Take a look:
Here’s some of our other favorite shots from the day:
The next morning, as the sun was rising, we positioned ourselves along a famous bridge crossing the Setsurigawa River. This location is known worldwide by wildlife photographers as it affords a picturesque view of Red-crowned Cranes awakening from their river roost. It was a great way to start our first full day in Hokkaido.