Tanchô (Japanese crane) - タ ン チ ョ ウ
The Japanese crane symbolizes longevity and loyalty, hence its iconic side. It can be found on the backs of 1000 yen bills and in origami lessons.
It is one of the largest birds in the world, it can reach 280cm for a total mass of only 10kg.
Its body is entirely white except for the tips of the wings and the neck which are black. The top of its head is red and the legs are solid black.
Japanese cranes nest and feed in deep water marshes, the presence of dry grass lawns is essential for them during the nesting period. They can also be found in agricultural areas, such as rice fields.
They have an omnivorous diet. They feed on insects, aquatic invertebrates, fish, amphibians and rodents as well as reeds, grasses, heather berries, wheat and other plants.
Hunting and urbanization have largely contributed to the decline of the species. In 1952, only 33 individuals inhabited the island of Hokkaido. That year, winter saw record colds and these animals should not have survived it. Farmers and school children fed and saved them. This is how the tradition of feeding cranes in winter was born and feeding sites are maintained. The population then stabilized at around 600 to 900 specimens.