This paper describes and illustrates the feather tracts in three species of Hawaiian Honeycreepers: Nihoa Finch, Amakihi, and Apapane. The author believes, with others, that the ancestor for the honeycreepers was a cardueline finch, and that this ancestor probably reached the Hawaiian Islands from Asia, and not from North or Central America.
The notarium, a group of fused thoracic vertebrae, is characteristic of birds of five orders and is found in one or more families of five more orders of non-passerine birds. Sixteen patterns of variation in the number of vertebrae in the notarium and of unfused vertebrae between it and the synsacrum were found. The occurrence of these patterns in the groups having a notarium is tabulated. Selective factors favoring the evolution of fusion of these vertebrae may have included the shock induced by landing on hard substrates or of striking prey and the prevention of downward bending of the ends of the thoracic portion of vertebral column while the birds are in flight. Phylogenetic implications of the presence of a notarium in several groups are discussed.
A total of 197 Bull-headed Shrikes Lanius bucephalus were examined for this study. Out of 756 nestlings banded for a population study, 38 were re-captured more than once and examined. Their plumage was checked for the presence of buff-tipped greater primary upper coverts (BTGPUCs), and the process of replacement of the buff-tipped coverts was followed. Similar examinations of BTGPUCs were also made on 6 juveniles and on 153 other captured birds whose age could not be established. At least some proximal juvenal BTGPUCs, almost without exception, were retained until the second fall molt. Thus, the presence of these juvenal feathers in the greater primary upper covert (GPUC) series is a reliable criterion for designating first-year birds in this species.
We report the discovery of a new population of the Ground Thrush Zoothera talaseae from Bougainville Island, North Solomons, Papua New Guinea. The population is described as a distinctive new subspecies. With this new information, we examine variation and distribution of populations of Zoothera dauma, talaseae, and margaretae in northern Melanesia. We redefine the species-limits of talaseae to include margaretae, and postulate a history of colonization of these island archipelagoes by Zoothera.
The nine genera of eagles with feathered legs (hence "booted") are reviewed. Of the nine, six were monotypic. One of the six, Ictinaetus, is very distinct and is probably not a member of the group. Of the other monotypic genera Polemaetus is here combined with Hieraaetus, and Lophaetus, Oroaetus, and Stephanoaetus with Spizaetus. The remaining monotypic genus, Spizastur, is for the time being retained because, while very close to Hieraaetus in characters, it may in fact prove to be a New World offshoot of Spizaetus stock. The genus Aquila with 10 species is left as presently constituted. All of the five genera recognized are diagnosed; their way of life briefly characterized, problems at the species level discussed, and the species of each listed in a recommended sequence.
The single-copy DNA sequences of the Bank Swallow (R. riparia) and the Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) were radio-labeled and compared with the DNAs of an array of other oscine species, using the technique of DNA-DNA hybridization. The results indicate that the swallows shared a most recent common ancestor with the sylviine-timaliine cluster, and that the divergence probably occurred ca. 50 mya, in the Eocene. The white-eyes (Zosterops) are also related to the swallow-warbler-babbler complex, as are the titmice, kinglets, bulbuls, nuthatches, creepers, wrens, verdins, and gnatcatchers. The fringillid-ploceid assemblage is the sister group of the swallow-warbler-babbler assemblage, with the muscicapine-turdine, and the corvine assemblages being progressively more distant.
This is the second paper on our comparative study of electrophoretic mobility of mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase (M-MDH) in the pectoral muscle or red cells of 100 species of birds belonging to 34 families. Falconidae and Accipitridae showed the same mobility value of 140, while Cathartidae showed 100, which may suggest their terrestrial origin. In Alcidae two groups of the mobility value of 190 (Uria, Cepphus, Brachyramphus and Synthliboramphus) and 100 (Ptychoramphus, Cyclorrhynchus, Aethia and puffins) were distinctively recognized.
Nineteen avian species were tested whether they respond to angiotensin II (AII) or not by drinking. Most species responded to intraperitoneally injected AII by drinking, but carnivorous birds and those originating in arid areas were insensitive to AII in drinking. Thus, the dipsogenic effect of AII in birds is different depending on their habitats and diets. It seems that AII-induced drinking mechanism has evolved as a part of thirst mechanisms during the evolutionary adaptive process.
The annual gonadal cycle of the Black Kite indicated that during the breeding season the birds gained body weight. In the sexually active phase the right testis was larger than the left. All stages of spermatogenesis were observed during the the sexually active phase. Retrogression of the testis occurred during May and June and testes were smallest during the inactive phase. Recrudescence occurred in November when the testis begins to increase in size. During the active phase the single left ovary attained maximum size. The retrogressive phase occurred during May and June and the ovaries desreased in size and weight. Ovarian size was smlalest during the quiescent phase, from July until October. Maturation of ovastarted during the recrudescent phase which occurred in November.
Plasma testosterone, estradiol, corticosterone and cortisol levels together with gonadal testosterone and estradiol concentrations were determined by radioimmunoassay in the embryonic and post-embryonic Domestic Duck, Anas platyrhynchos var. domestica. The plasma testosterone and estradiol concentrations were higher in the female than in the male embryo, whereas no sex-difference was observed either in plasma corticosterone or cortisol. Both the ovarian estradiol and testosterone concentrations in the embryo were much higher in the testicular concentrations. The plasma corticosterone or cortisol concentration reached a peak one day after hatching, and decreased thereafter in both sexes. These results indicate that the ovary of embryonic duck is more active in secreting the sex steroid hormones than the embryonic testes, and suggest that the original sex of the duck (probably of all avian species) should be male (ZZ), and estrogenic hormones secreted from the embryonic ovary has an important role in sexual development (feminizing) of the female in the duck.
Suspended moult is a special adaptive moult strategy which is widespread in long-distance migrants. The replacement of remiges and rectrices in this type of moult starts before migration but then is interrupted during migration. So far, it has virtually not been investigated experimentally. We carried out an investigation on the Orphean Warbler, Sylvia hortensis, an European trans-Saharan migrant known commonly to suspend its moult. We studied 15 trapped adults and 8 handraised young individuals, which were kept in light conditions simulating those to which freeliving conspecifics are normally exposed in the course of a year. In the first experimental year, the adults, caught during breeding, all suspended their moult and retained some old primaries, secondaries, and tertials. In the second experimental year, when the same birds were prevented from breeding, they moulted weeks earlier, and, as a result, completed their moult before the migratory period. Similarly, the handraised birds showed a complete moult in their second year. Thus, the suspended moult of the Orphean Warbler is not based on strictly endogenously controlled moult programs with preprogrammed moult pauses. Moult in this species can be adapted on a facultative basis to various conditions experienced. The course of the moult and its suspension appear to be linked to the preceeding individual breeding season, and some conceivable control mechanisms are discussed in detail.
In connection with indications of the magnetic field detection in migratory birds, the measurements of magnetic remanences were carried out in both the migratory birds (Rustig Bunting and Reed Bunting) and the non-migratory birds (Siberian Meadow Bunting and Tree Sparrow) by means of SQUID magnetometer. Regardless of whether the species was migratory or not, neither heads nor neck musculatures indicated any presence of intrinsic magnetic materials related to the sensory mechanisms. The natural remanence and the induced remanence were of the orders of 10-8-10-7 e. m. u. and of 10-7-10-6 e. m. u. respectively. The magnetic sensor of birds for a compass reception is discussed.
The number of bird species up to 31 December 1981 recorded from the South Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curaçao, and Bonaire, 30-87km distant from the South American coast and 800km from the nearest islands north of the Caribbean Basin, is 231. Among these are 62 breeding species, divided up into 33 land birds, 19 fresh water birds and 10 seabirds. The balance of 169 species (73%) consists of non-breeding visitors, 61 of which (26%) are migrants from North America and 34 (15%) migrants and stragglers from South America; besides, there are 5 species and subspecies of inter-Caribbean migrants. Oversea-flights of land and fresh water birds in the South Caribbean have been studied and the cases recorded summarized. Oversea-flights appear to be a regular phenomenon, though the collecting of facts is largely a matter of chance. In view of the apparent stream of visitors, of which some can be considered as ecological prospectors, it is thought that not the stability of the ecological interactions of the insular land birds, but rather the stability of the specialized, and seemingly unfavourable conditions of aridity are responsible for the image of stability of the avian island faunas in the South Caribbean.
House Finches introduced in eastern North America from western California stock in 1940 have become setablished in the east. The new population has developed slightly shorter wings and tails and markedly shorter tarsi and toes, but significantly larger bills than those appendages of the California population from which they were descended. Shorter wings and tails, if indicative of body size, may be correlated with a more moist climate in eastern North America. Shorter legs and toes suggest adaptation by eastern birds to colder climate in accordnace with Allen's rule, or they may indicate adaptation to feeding from perches rather than on the ground. Increase in bill size may be an adaptation to greater size of food items, such as sunflower seeds at feeding stations, required particularly during severe winter weather encountered in the east but not in California. Small weed seeds are the primary winter food of California House Finches while the new eastern population depends heavily in winter on food provided at feeding stations where sunflower seeds, which are much larger than the native foods, are preferred. Adaptation in ability of indiviadual birds to handle the large sunflower seeds may have favored survival of those individuals with larger bills among the founders of the eastern population.
This report reviews the ecological conditions among the environments in and around Tokyo during the period 1950-1954 and lists those bird species found abundantly in each habitat sector. It attempts to relate these species to month or season and shows numerical differences of each species listed both in a given habitat and in many cases in several habitats. The most adaptable species, such as the Tree Sparrow, were often the most populous species in several habitats or for several months. However abundant specialized species or migrants often dominated the numbers tallied when they were present. There were 157 species recorded during the four years. Among these 88 species were commonly seen in numbers great enough for analysis of distribution by month. There were 41 species included among those that made up the five most common birds in winter and 45 species in summer.
Bird populations were censused by the spot-mapping method in the natural mixed forest in Asahikawa, central Hokkaido, during breeding seasons of 1975 and 1976. Fifty species of birds were recorded during the study. Of these 31 species had stationary home ranges and the other 19 species were visitors in the study plot of 25ha. The total number of pairs for all species was 120.0 in 1975 and 125.0 in 1976. The dominant and subdominant species were Erithacus cyane, Cettia squameiceps, Phylloscopus occipitalis, Regulus regulus, Ficedula narcissina, Parus palustris, P. ater, P. major and Emberiza spodocephala. These 9 species accounted for 70% of the numbers of pairs for all species. The type of bird community structure was similar to that of the natural mixed forest described by Kuroda.
In the Pied Flycatcher clutch size was found to be tied to the date, which confirms earlier results (v. Haartman 1967). In the Starling clutch size was correlated to the order in which the females laid, the relatively early and relatively late clutches having a constant average, independent of the earliness of the year. As a consequence of these modes of clutch size regulation, the mean annual clutch size of the Pied Flycatcher was correlated to the mean laying time of the population, but no such correlation was found in the Starling.
The nesting of Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea L.) on rocks of sea islands of the Great Peter's Bay was observed periodically from 1969. There are the following three colonies, being numbered (in 1982) 630 pairs on Furugelm Island, 23 pairs on the of Gildebrandt Is. and 69 pairs on a small rock off Butakov Cape. The colony of Furugelm Is. increased in number approximately by 10 times from 1969 to 1982 most of all due to establishment of Marine State Reserve in 1980. Evidently, heronries on islands appeared not long ago, migrating here from the continental coast. This species arrives in south Primorye in middle March, egg laying in the insular colonies in the first half of April, chicks appear in the first half of May and nests are left in early July. Most nests are built just on rock ledges or on the ground; material for nests used (n=8) consists of Chenopodium sp. (57.8%) and Artemisia sp. (32.1%). An average number of eggs in clutch, was 3.4 (n=26) in 1972 and 3 (n=25) in 1979; number of fledglings (average) was 1.33 (n=15) in 1980. Behavior of chicks at the age of more than one month is characterized specific features connected with the terrestrial location of nests allowing to move lightly within the heronry in any direction. They taken away food in chicks from other broods (about 15 chicks gather around the bird with food); cases of kill of the youngest ones by oldest both in their own brood and from the others are common, aggressiveness of chicks increase in time of feeding; one case of cannibalism was observed when a fledgling ate two chicks from the neighbouring nest. A main reason of mortality is a slaughter of the youngest chicks by eldest; chicks from the late broods survive rarely being killed from trauma or hunger. Herons forage on the continent. A distance from colonies to feeding grounds ranges from 10 to 35km. Chicks are basically fed with the following fishes occurring in brackish and freshwater reservoirs: Carassius auratus, Phoxinus lagowskii, Leuciskus brandtii, Gasterosteus aculeatus, Hyporhamphus sajori and Gymnogobius macrognatus.
Located at about 30km north-west of Akita City, a colony of the Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) has been maintained at the foot of Mt. Honzan in Oga Peninsula. It is surrounded by a natural 24.8ha cedar (Criptomeria japonica) forest of about 215 trees, approximately 150 years old. We made a distribution map of cedar trees and marked every tree, and their nest sites were indicated. The population size of Grey Herons in this colony was estimated to be about 390 in 1980 and 400 in 1981. All-day observations were done to investigate their feeding behavior. Departure and return to and from the colony were frequent both in the morning and the evening. The dropped foods, dead-nestlings and adult birds were eaten by mice and unknown middle-sized mammals, and decomposed by many insects. The Grey Heron colony has existed very long time, and big old cedar trees are gradually dying year by year. As the result, the whole colony is forced to move toward the north of the forest.
At present, all the basic habitats of G. japonensis (left tributariers of Zeya River, Bureinsko-Arkharinskaya lowland, a basin of Bolon Lake and Khanka Lake) as well as a number of small colonies and separate pairs were evidently found out. Additional information on Grus japonensis inhabiting the South Kuriles was obtained. Numbers of birds nesting annually in Priamurye ranges approximately from 5-7 to 15 pairs (Smirensky & Roslyakov 1982). In 1980 16 pairs were registered in Primorye and in 1981 there were 18-19 successfully nesting pairs. Some pairs of this bird can be assumed to nest on the South Kuriles. Basins of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers are the real limit of G. vipio distribution on north and east. The nesting grounds of this species established recently are small colonies at the margin of the area. Due to approximate estimates a total number of the reproductive part of population hardly exeeds 20 pairs. The total number of G. japonensis and G. vipio stopping in the lower reaches of Tumannaya River every spring, ranges from several dozens to 150-200 birds of each species. Further studies on distribution and numbers of both species are needed (searches of unknown nesting grounds, verification of questionable places for nesting, refinement of limits of known nesting grounds, carrying out the regular censuses and marking).
Ecological studies of Tristram's Woodpecker, Dryocopus javensis richardsi Tristram, were made for five years, 1976-1981 in the central part of Korea. A pair laid 3-4 eggs each year changing their nesting site. All the trees where they nested were situated within 500 meters from permanently running water. The breeding period lasted from late April through late July. The trees where the woodpecker had their roosts or bred were huge old or half-dead coniferous or broad-leaf trees, on average 200 years old. The incubation and feeding periods lasted for 14 days and 26 days, respectively. The parents shared the time of the incubation and feeding but the male spent longer than the female especially in the feeding period. The ratio of time shared by the female and the male with the nestlings was 3:7. The diet of the nestlings consisted of the larvae of Malombyx raddie-71.6% and Myelophilus piniperda-25.6%, and the eggs and the adults of Camponotus berceleanus-2.8%, with small amount of Miriapoda. The home range and the territory of the woodpecker had a radius of 2km and 40m, respectively, with the nesting tree at center. The preservation of old or half-dead trees within 500m from permanently running water is essential. Nest-boxes should be installed to reduce competition among birds nesting in the hollow trees. Food plants such as Cornus controversa should be planted.
The feeding habits of the Thick-billed Murre were studied in the Gulf of Anadyr and the adjacent portion of the Bering Sea during July, 1973; the contents of 369 stomachs were examined. The most important prey was the pelagic amphipod, Parathemisto libellula, which comprised 75.6% of the diet by weight. The overwhelming prevalence of this organism seemed to correlate with the presence of extremely cold water, ranging in temperature from -1.8 to 1 or 2°C, underlying surface waters. These cold waters, resident from the previous winter, may govern the distribution and reproduction of P. libellula. Other prey species such as capelin (Mallotus villosus) and euphausiids (Thysanoessa longipes, Thy. inermis and Thy. raschii) occurred sporadically in the bird stomachs. The accessibility of these organisms to birds seemed to be localized and patchy.
A small population of Dunnocks Prunella modularis in a semi-natural habitat in southern England was studied for 51/2 years. The social organization during the breeding season was complex. Males outnumbered females in the proportion 1.25:1. Some territories were shared by two males, one of which was dominant. All such territories were in high-quality habitat. Dominant males did most of the mating; in a few cases subordinate males mated with females before the laying of a second or later clutch. In addition, one quarter of the males were bigamous. Bigamous males fed the young of both females. There was no significant difference in the breeding success of females associated with one or two males. In five years with mild winters females survived slightly better than males; in one very severe winter males survived normally but all colour-ringed females disappeared. The data suggest that males are more at risk than females during the breeding season, but that females, because they are subordinate to males at feeding places, are more at risk during periods of food shortage. Cutaneous disease was rather common in the population, and affected males more than females. Different patterns of male and female mortality may result in temporally and spatially fluctuating sex ratios in the breeding population, and this may affect pairing relationships; but it is suggested that the main underlying factor involved in the Dunnock's unusual social organization is its feeding ecology, linked with the independence of male and female territories. Foraging on small, well-dispersed food items on the ground in thick cover, Dunocks probably cannot effectively exclude intruders from their territories. Males may thus tolerate an intruder which accepts subordinate status. It may be a better strategy for a male without a territory to accept subordinate status in a territory of high quality (i. e. in habitat where females are densest), with the possibility of eventually taking over the territory, rather than to take up a territory of poorer quality (where females are sparse or may be absent).
In the Great Tit, the compound flocks were formed through the aggregation of basic flocks consisting of constant composition. Some characteristics of compound flocks are important for understanding not only the social relationship of basic flocks but also the characteristics of basic flock itself. The compound flocks were observed from October to March and most of them consisted of 15 birds or less, typically of two basic flocks whose ranges partly overlapped. Two basic flocks whose ranges did not overlap were associated with each other through the intermediary of a flock whose range overlapped both their ranges. Thus the association of basic flocks primarily resulted from the overlap of their basic flock ranges. The compound flocks foraged over all or some of the basic flock ranges of the jointed flocks, but eventually broke up into each basic flock. The break-up of compound flocks also was related to the basic flock range. Which flock remains or leaves depended on the place where the break-up occurred. In the break-up of the compound flock within some basic flock range, the home flock of the range remained there, while the other left to its basic flock range. The dominance relationship between members of different basic flocks was site dependent; irrespective of sex and age, the members of a basic flock dominated others while the compound flock was feeding within its own basic flock range, so the prior occupancy of an area is an important factor determining the dominance relationship between members of different basic flocks. Thus, it is concluded that the social relationship of basic flocks is primarily related to their basic flock ranges.
Since 1977, mating behaviour of the Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola had been observed in a small area of peat lands in Ishikari Plain, central Hokkaido, northern Japan. About 36 bouts of mating behaviour were recorded. The copulation attempts usually occur on the ground during June and July. The postures and movements making up the sequence of mating behaviour are: wing-raising, tail-fanning-walk, ordinary approach, arching (female), mounting, copulation, head-up-lie-flat (male), extrication (male), material carrying, etc. Various sequences of mating behaviour are tentatively grouped in two categories. One is the simple type, usually occurring in three units: "gathering", "movements toward female", and "copulatory acts". The other is a more intricate sequence, with "his wing raising before her landing", "reversal display", and "carrying material". The primary difference between these two categories of behaviour depends on whether or not the male gives the head-up-lie-flat (reversal display) after copulation. The appearance of this specific behaviour seems to be related to the presence or absence of the male's tail-fanning-walk toward the female before copulation attempts. This tail-fanning-walk which precedes mounting may involve both tendencies to stay before female and avoid her, and induces the head-up-lie-flat behaviour. This possibly decreases her tendency to flee.
The vocalization of the Japanese wagtail was classified into location call, warning call, threatening sound and song, each being composed of basic sounds and phrases. The epigamic behavioural sequence to copulation was related to the following behaviours: Female-appeasement display, flying courtship display and repelling; Male-courtship display, bill opening and back showing. Aggressive behaviours (chasing, threatening and physical combat) were most frequently observed between the same sexes. The most intensive exclusiveness was also seen between the same sexes showing the above aggressive behaviours. Spatial relationships between the song and two aggressive behaviours (chasing and threatening) were interpreted in relation to 1) the area which an owner tried to occupy, 2) the dominance relationship between the owner and others which tried to intrude, and 3) the aggressive area where the owner's aggressiveness existed. The border line of territory as "any defended area" was defined here as the outer limit of aggressive area where the neighbour was absent and as the positions of mutual threatening where the neighbour existed.
Territoriality of Tancho or the Japanese Crane, Grus japonensis was studied in Kushiro marshlands from March 1971 to June 1972. Two types of social patterns are recognized: The permanent territorial pattern and the segregation of breeding and wintering areas. The difference of these two social patterns seems to be correlated with availability of winter food supply. Daily life of a pair is confined within a territory. The territory involves three important places for: nesting, roosting and feeding. The daily home range markedly varies, in the period of early parental care, its minimum size being as small as 1/1600 of the largest one. But the territory remains almost constant through breeding season. The alternation of guarding chick and searching food may be most responsible for the reduction of daily home range. To raise their chicks in huge open and bioeconomically poor marshlands, the reduction of daily home range is advantageous for Tancho. The territory occupants exhibit territorial defense at the invasion of alien birds. The sequence of invasion and defense varies considerably according to age of invaders, season, time and weather conditions. Duetting decreases the chance of invasion and increases the withdrawal of invaders. Social units found in Tancho in the breeding seasons are classified as territorial pairs, families, non-territorial two associated yearlings, solitary yearlings and solitary adults.