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BirdNote: Red-crowned Cranes Dance On Hokkaido

Francesco Veronesi

On a snow-covered field in northern Japan, two majestic Red-crowned Cranes face one another, raise their heads toward the sky, and call in unison. As they call, the pair begins to dance. They bow to one another, then throw their heads over their backs, then bow again.

The pair leaps into the air, at the same time raising their wings. The Red-crowned Cranes' unison dance is a ritual the pair will perform together many times over the years, to strengthen their lifelong bond. In Japanese tradition, the beloved crane is said to live 1,000 years and symbolizes longevity. "

Fold a thousand cranes and the gods will fulfill your heart's desire."