We conduct aerial surveys of nests in Hokkaido over crane's habitats in
the breeding season.
Aerial surveys are an efficient and effective way of locating nests. It
is much easier to locate cranes in the wetland from an airplane than on
the ground. Also, we are able to survey nests without disturbing the cranes.
Each survey team consists of two to three observers, and each observer
is assigned to a specific task such as navigation, geo-referencing, photographing
It is possible to locate a red-crowned crane from an airplane flying at
200-300 m above the wetland because of the crane’s mostly white feathers.
Once an active nest or a crane is found, the location is mapped, and photographs
of the nest and surrounding habitat are taken.
By conducting aerial surveys over many years, we have learned not only
about the locations and number of nests but also about possible changes
in the quality of nesting sites.