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Crane ID needed - Tokyo area (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Dear All,

On a business trip last week, whilst travelling by taxi to Tokyo from Narita airport, I had a close view of a crane walking / feeding along the side of a rice field in an area of fairly open agricultural land. The view was short, maybe 10 seconds, so I was not able to get a photograph.

The bird appeared to be a Gray-crowned Crane, Balearica regulorum, the crown on the head being very prominent. On checking the Oriental Bird Club and the Mangoverde World Bird Guide websites, this species does not seem to be present in Japan, so I am perplexed by my sighting.

Please could someone help me confirm this sighting?

Does this species occasionally frequent Japan? If not, I would be very grateful if someone could suggest what I may have seen. It's possible that the bird was a captive bird, but this seems unlikely to me and it appeared to be free-roaming.

Any help anyone can provide would be very much appreciated.

(note - also posting this message on the bird ID Q&A forum.)

Thank you

Charles Harper

Double-posting makes me wonder whether I should bother answering here. Unless it was an escapee, what you saw was a Grey Heron.

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