We studied the relationship between activities and seasonal changes of vocalization of the Okinawa Rail (Gallirallus okinawae) in northern Okinawa Island. The vocalization of this species is recognizable as three patterns: ‘kek’, ‘krr’ and a duet song of a pair. The ‘kek’ song was most frequently recorded from April to June. Moreover, the time period when the ‘kek’ song was heard changed with seasons. In March to June, August to October, and November to February, the ‘kek’ song was heard most frequenctly from 6:00 to 9:00 and 15:00 to 18:00, 18:00 to 21:00, and from 12:00 to 15:00, respectively. Because the ‘kek’ song was recorded in April to June, the breeding season, a relationship between the ‘kek’ song and breeding behavior was suggested.
I examined six names documented for the Japanese Crane Grus japonensis during the Edo era. Historical material of the Edo era includes names for a wide variety of Cranes; however, the classification system used in the Edo era differs from that used in the West and present-day Japan, and a variety of names were used for animals. Therefore, the names mentioned and the corresponding species differ depending upon the period and researcher. Discrepancies were detected within historical material. Furthermore, by studying differences in definitions among different regions it was evident that some local names do not match common names. In most cases “鶴 Tsuru” represents the Japanese Crane, but there are some cases in which it represents the White-naped Crane G. vipio or the Siberian White Crane G. leucogeranus. At present, “丹鳥Tancho” represents the Japanese Crane but there is a variety of interpretations in historical material, and there is no clear species-specific reference. In most cases, “白鶴 Sirozuru” refers to the Siberian White Crane, but may represent the Japanese Crane in some regions. “琉球鶴 Ryukyu-zuru” is not the specific name of one species, but a generic term for Cranes that was introduced from abroad via the Ryukyus. There are instances of “朝鮮鶴 Chosen-zuru” representing the Japanese Crane, but it is rather a general term for the Crane and was derived from Korea. When attempting to match names from the Edo era and modern classification, regional differences and discrepancies identified in historical material should be noted.
The Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius was censused along one to three 2-km transects (a total of 1,036) situated in 920, 5-km quadrats (4.5 km×5 km), in Hokkaido from late April to late July, 1976–2012. Based on census results, records from the literature, and personal records of amateur ornithologists, Black Woodpeckers were recorded over almost all Hokkaido, except the plains. They occurred in 21.0% of quadrats in which censuses or observations were conducted. They were observed mainly in evergreen, mixed and deciduous broad-leaved forests, with occurrence rates (No. of transects of occurrence / No. of transects censused) of 11.8%, 16.6% and 6.2%, respectively, and at altitudes below 950 m.
Daily food intake and changes in body mass of five, hand-reared sub-adult Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo hanedae were measured in an outdoor cage over 117 days during winter and spring. During the period of the study, the five birds maintained almost constant body masses, despite variation in their daily food intake (they were fed ad lib). Daily food intake mass per unit body mass of individuals decreased significantly as the ambient air temperature increased, but daily body mass increment per unit body mass of individuals did not. These results indicate that the daily energy expenditure of cormorants decreases as ambient air temperature increases, probably because of the suppression of thermoregulation costs.
The Vangidae, an endemic family in Madagascar, provides one of the most striking examples of adaptive radiation. However, basic information on the breeding biology of each species is still lacking. To provide additional information on the clutch size of the Chabert’s Vanga Leptopterus chabert and on the mating system of the Red-tailed Vanga Calicalicus madagascariensis, we studied the breeding ecology of these two species in southwestern Madagascar between October and November, 2011. The clutch size for Chabert’s Vanga was 3 or 4 (n=5 nests). Both mates of the Red-tailed Vanga shared duties in egg incubation and brooding, and delivered insects to the nestlings in the single observed nest. These results suggest that the Red-tailed Vanga is a socially monogamous species.
By the 1940s, the Snow Goose Anser caerulescens was considered to be extinct in Japan. From 1970 to 1993, it was recorded as an irregular visitor in Honshu, while from 1969 to 1991 twelve geese were recorded in Hokkaido. In 1993, an international project was carried out to restore the Far East population of the Snow Goose. We had monitored the number of Snow Geese at Ogata Reclaimed Land, Akita Prefecture, for 40 winter seasons from 1971/72 to 2010/11. This species had been recorded as an irregular visitor until the 1990/91 season. Since 1993, when the restoration project started, this species has been recorded regularly, and the number of individuals has shown a general increase, reaching 39 individuals in 2010/11. They were observed mainly along the west channel of Hachiro-gata, and 728 foraging sites were recorded in this area.