We investigated conditions of stubble used by Bewick's Swans Cygnus columbianus for foraging at a rice Oryza sativa field zone of Nishikanbara area near Lake Sakata in Echigo Plain in Niigata Prefecture, where many Bewick's Swans winter. Field observations were conducted on 23th November and 21th December 2003, and 12th January and 15th February 2004. Swans seemed to select stubble on unplowed land where the degree of vegetation cover was low and the cover degree of scattered rice straw was high.
We monitored the breeding performance of Black-tailed Gulls Larus crassirostris on Kabushima Island, which has been connected to Honshu Island by a man-made isthmus since the 1940's, from 2012 to 2017. The mean clutch size from 2014 to 2017 (2.01–2.16) was higher than in 2012 and 2013 (1.57–1.64), but the productivity (no. fledgling per egg) from 2014 and 2017 (0.01–0.09) was lower than in 2012 and 2013 (0.23–0.29), especially the lowest productivity in 2017 (0.01). Poor productivity in 2017 might be attributed to disturbance by Red Foxes Vulpes vulpes that were observed at Kabushima Island during the breeding period in 2017.
To determine the mating system of the endemic Helmet Vanga Euryceros prevostii in Madagascar, its nest-building behavior was studied from 27 September to 11 October 2015 on the Masoala Peninsula, Northeastern Madagascar. We found one nest which was open cup-shaped placed on the horizontal branch of a tree. Two birds were individually identified through differences in the spot and shape of the mandible. The two birds (probably male and female) made the nest. This result suggests that the Helmet Vanga is a socially monogamous species.
Mr. Shigenobu Tachibana donated his private bird collection to the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology. The donated collection totalled 276 specimens, consisting of 255 skins, two fluid-preserved birds, three feather sets and 16 eggs. Many of the specimens were collected from the Sanriku coast, northeast of Miyagi Prefecture, from 1949 to 2008. This area was damaged by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and many museum specimens were lost. Therefore, these donated specimens from the Sanriku coast which were not destroyed by the earthquake are especially valuable for ornithology in Japan.
In 2017 we continued the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) program in Fukushima, Japan, using constant-effort mist netting and banding. Preliminary results from six years of data, including adult abundance index, productivity index, and apparent adult survival rate, were analyzed. Adult abundance of the Japanese Bush Warbler Cettia diphone in Fukushima City gradually increased from 2013 to 2017, while that in Minami-Soma City was relatively stable. In Iitate Village, adult abundance of this species fluctuated greatly, with a low in 2016. Adult abundance of the Oriental Reed Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis in Minami-Soma City was higher in 2015–2017 compared to 2012–2014, while that in Fukushima City was low in 2015 and 2016. Adult survival of the Oriental Reed Warbler from 2012–2013 to 2015–2016 in Minami-Soma City was 0.23–0.34 (Ave=0.27), while that in Fukushima City was 0.12–0.22 (Ave=0.16).
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries reclaimed Isahaya Bay to promote agriculture and prevent natural disaster, such as a storm surge. As part of surveys being conducted to monitor the environmental impact of this reclamation project we recorded bird species observed in Isahaya Bay and counted the number of individuals belonging to some orders, such as waterfowl and shorebirds. We divided the whole study period into three, based on the establishment of a sea levee and the completion of the project, and then compiled the change of avifauna corresponding to those periods. Before the reclamation project, Isahaya Bay was a major habitat for the birds living in tidal flats that represented the shorebirds. The establishment of the sea levee resulted in disappearance of the tidal flat; consequently, Pluvialis squatarola, Numenius qrauata, N. madagascariensis, Calidris alpina, Tadorna tadorna, Larus saundersi decreased in number. The project also established a regulating reservoir; thereafter, Anas strepera, A. falcata, A. penelope, Aythya marila, A. ferina, A. fuligula, Podiceps cristatus, Fulica atra increased in number. It is noteworthy that since 1997 when reclaimed land was created, the following endangered birds were regularly observed: the genera Anser (including A. fabalis and A. albifrons) and Grus (including Grus vipio and G. monacha), Circus spilonotus, Glareola maldivarum, Sterna albifrons and Falco peregrinus. As a shrub community including Mallotus japonicus, Ulmus davidiana and Celtis sinensis grew in the Phragmites australis community, the following species that inhabit the forest landscape increased in number; Aegithalos caudatus, Troglodytes troglodytes, Poecile varius, Eophona personata.