The number of eggs in nests of the Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus himantopus in areas in Tokyo Metropolis and Chiba Prefecture, around the Tokyo Bay was investigated. The mean ± SE number of eggs in nests was 3.50±0.06 (n=384, range 1-10). Instances of five or more eggs in a nest were suggested to have been produced by two or three females. The mean ± SE of clutch size by monogamous pairs was 3.36±0.05 (n=362, range 1-4).
Possible seed dispersal agents of a pioneer tree Mallotus japonicus were observed on Iriomote Island in the summer of 2003. When the fruit is ripe, the shell opens and exposes a clump of blackish lipid-rich seeds. The seeds attract many species of birds. Observation for four days (34hrs) at the tree stands revealed four species of birds, the Jungle Crow Corvus macrorhynchos osai, the Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus loochooensis, the Brown-eared Bulbul Hypsipetes amaurotis stejnegeri, and the Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica yamashinai, to visit and eat the seeds. These endemic sub-species of birds are regarded as important seed dispersers of this pioneer tree.
A single Daurian Jackdaw (Corvus dauuricus) was observed on 6 February and 16 March 2003, at farmland in Shiranuka, Hokkaido. The bird has pied plumage, a dark iris, and was half the size of a Carrion Crow (C. corone). This is a first observation record of this species in Kushiro Subprefecture, Hokkaido.
Cutting of the eggshell of an extinct ratite, the Elephant Bird (Aepyornis), was undertaken to obtain the egg contents previously observed by Computed Tomography, for the aim of extracting DNA from the egg contents for future analytical study. Furthermore, in addition to obtaining uncontaminated samples from the eggshell, it was also required to establish an accurate cutting method that permitted egg reconstruction. We here describe in detail a technique of use in cutting invaluable half-fossilized eggshells, based upon a method using hand-worked bow saws.