We studied the ecology of Ospreys Pandion haliaetus from 1998 to 2000, along a 30 km east to west stretch of Tokushima Plain, from a 3 km section of seacoast to 27 km up the Yoshino River. Ospreys, including wintering birds, were resident throughout the year and numbered 10 to 20 birds. In the breeding season of 2000, six pairs nested and at least eight chicks fledged successfully. Five of the six nests were dispersed loosely-colonially within a few kilometers of each other. The prey were fish, both marine and freshwater species. The main hunting sites were just below the Daiju Dam throughout the year, and the seacoast area in the non-breeding season: the former 2 km area supplied 43% of total food to the Osprey population during the breeding season. Hunting sites of loosely-colonial pairs overlapped markedly and were concentrated just below the Daiju Dam. Large numbers of fishes seemed to be aggregating there, making this location an attractive hunting site for Ospreys.
Asakusa Hanayashiki, an amusement facility in Tokyo, began to keep animals in earnest around the end of the Edo period (1603–1868). They actively collected popular foreign animals during the Taisho era (1912–1926). In 1915, they obtained the first living penguin in Japan. I found a postcard showing that two other penguins arrived between 1915 and 1921. The sketch drawn by the bird illustrator Shigekazu Kobayashi revealed that the penguins arrived between May and September 1919. The two individuals were identified as Humboldt Penguins Spheniscus humboldti, and at least one was a juvenile. The arrival of these penguins was not reported by newspaper; it seems that the value of newsworthiness of penguins had decreased at that time and that not all individuals could survive for long periods. Also, on two occasions when penguins arrived at Hanayashiki, lectures on the Shirase Exploration of Antarctica were presented and the penguins became widely known to public. At the lecture, Captain Shirase showed pictures of the magnificent sights of the Antarctic and the penguins. In comparison, the small penguin exhibited at Hanayashiki might have proven disappointing for customers. In addition, penguins were already kept at the nearby Ueno Zoo at the same time, which also may have drawn away potential customers.
Only two feather mite species, Compressalges nipponiae Dubinin, 1950 (Astigmata, Freyanoidea, Caudiferidae) and Freyanopterolichus nipponiae Dubinin, 1953 (Astigmata, Pterolichoidea, Kramerellidae), are described from the Crested Ibis Nipponia nippon (Temminck, 1835) in Russia. Both mites have never been reported from other birds and are probably species-specific to the Crested Ibis. However, after the original descriptions, no collection records on the type host have been reported. We investigated the feather mite species compositions on forty nine specimens of the Crested Ibis, comprising the original Japanese population (six specimens), specimens raised in Japan but originating from Shaanxi Province, China (thirty two specimens), birds from the original Korean Peninsula population (nine specimens), and two specimens of unknown origin. As the result, F. nipponiae was found in all areas, but C. nipponiae was not found on any of the samples originating from China (Shaanxi Province). Specifically, species composition was the same in Japan and the Korean Peninsula. However, compared to that of these two regions, that in inland China (Shaanxi Province) differed. Recent genetic analysis detected systematic differences in Crested Ibis depending on the regions. For understanding the detail, we need to survey the symbiotic status in China. However, our results indicate partially that the difference between symbiotic feather mite corresponds to differences in the origin among the Crested Ibis populations.
On 25 December 2018, a Hair-crested Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus was observed in Fukue Island, Goto Islands, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. This is the first record of this species in Nagasaki Prefecture. This solitary individual was discovered perching on an electric wire, and was observed to flycatch and to drink the nectar of Camellia japonica.
In the wild in Hokkaido, Japan, unison calls were observed in two female Red-crowned Cranes Grus japonensis under the age of two. The subsequent situation was unknown in the male and female observed in October 2014, while it was confirmed that the pair observed in October 2018 had been together until at least December 2019.
On September 16, 2009 and July 7, 2018 we observed six Wilson's Storm-petrels Oceanites oceanicus on six occasions in the Northwest Pacific off Hokkaido. These are first records for Hokkaido and the northernmost records in Japan.
Japanese names are a useful tool for Japanese speakers to communicate scientifically about birds. However, over 30 years have already passed since the most influential book treating Japanese names for all modern birds (Yamashina 1986) was published. During that time, the classification of birds has undergone major changes. Here we provide a revised list of Japanese names for family-level taxa of oscines, which adopts the latest classification system (Gill & Donsker 2018).
A Fairy Pitta Pitta nympha was observed on Oshima Island in the Danjo Islands, located in the northeastern East China Sea on May 30, 2019. This is the first record of this species from the Danjo Islands.