Electrophoresis was used in the analysis of 24 protein loci to clarify the genetic differentiation and phylogenetic relationships among 12 species of 10 alcid genera. The intraspecific genetic variation, expressed as the average heterozygosity, was 0.019, a little lower than the avian average. The genetic distances between the Alcidae, however, were somewhat higher than the avian average: 0.151 for species and 0.442 for genera. This gives genetic support to the current classification of the Alcidae. By comparative analysis of genetic differentiation among alcid species, this family can be divided into two main groups, Alcinae and Fraterculinae. The results of this study of genetic relationships generally support current classification based on morpho-anatomical and ecological studies. However, two points still remain for further analysis: one is genetic similarity between Uria lomvia and Cepphus carbo, and the other is genetic affinity between Aethia cristatella and Cyclorrhynchus psittacula.
Changes in body weight, food intake and water balance following water deprivation for 10-11 days were compared in the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) and Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). (1) Mean body weight and the mean percentage of the final to initial body weight were less during dehydration in the water-deprived groups than in the controls of both species. The percentage decrease in body weight was less in budgerigars than in Japanese quail during water deprivation. (2) The mean food intake and mean percentage of this intake to body weight were always more in water-deprived budgerigars than the controls. In Japanese quail, the mean amount of food intake and its mean percentage were less in the dehydrated birds than the controls. The percentage of food intake to body weight was significantly greater in budgerigars than Japanese quail following dehydration. (3) No significant change in palsma osmolality could be observed in budgerigars, but a highly significant increase was noted in Japanese quail 11 days after water deprivation. (4) The mean plasma volume decreased 10 days following water derpivatrion in budgerigars but remained the same in Japanese quail. However, the mean percentage of plasma volume to body weight decreased significantly in budgerigars but increased in Japanese quail, possibly as a result of the considerable loss in body weight. (5) The mean blood volume decreased significantly 10 days after water deprivation in both species. The mean percentage of this volume to body weight decreased in budgerigars but tended to increase in Japanese quail, also due possibly to the large loss in body weight. (6) It seems that drinking is induced mainly through the volume receptor in budgerars and mostly through the osmotic receptor and partly through the volume receptor in Japanese quail.
Comparisons of the tissue distribution of heavy metals (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd and Hg) were made in twenty species of birds in Japan and Korea during 1974-1986. The inter-tissue distribution patterns of heavy metals were similar among bird species, regardless of their habitats and food habits. The heavy metals concentrations were generally high in the liver and feathers and low in the muscle; and the levels of manganese, zinc and lead were high in bone, and cadmium high in kidney. However, iron and manganese levels in the feathers of the seabirds, Larus crassirostris, Lunda cirrhata, and Puffinus griseus, were considerably low. And hepatic iron and copper levels as well as bone manganese in Anas platyrhynchos and A. crecca, and bone zinc in the carnivorous birds, Mulvus migrans, Falco tinnunculus and Buteo buteo, were markedly high compared with those of other species. Furthermore, mercury levels in Milvus migrans and Larus crassirostris were higher in the liver than in the kidneys, suggesting differences among species in chemical form of mercury intaked via food and/or the metabolic turnover of hepatic mercury. Based upon these results, the usefulness of the inter-tissue distribution pattern of heavy metals was discussed in ecological and toxicological comparisons of heavy metal levels in birds.
The short-tailed (Puffinus tenuirostris) and Sooty (Puffinus griseus) Shearwaters were counted from the ferry boat during eleven voyages between Tokyo and Kushiro from December 1982 to March 1984. More than 90 percent of both shearwaters were observed during the voyages from April to June, during their spring migration. The appearence of Sooty Shearwaters reached a peak in early May along the Pacific coasts of northern Honshu, one month earlier than Short-tailed Shearwaters. Their early occurrence suggests that these Sooty Shearwaters were adult birds. During the autumn migration season both shearwaters were observed to be limited in the waters off Hokkaido. Only a few birds of both shearwaters were observed in mid summer and winter. The emaciated birds of both species were observed during the voyages in mid June, 1983, but most of them were Short-tailed Shearwaters and they were also observed in late September to early October in that year.
I have studied Black Woodpeckers (Dryocopus martius), especially with respect to behavioral observations, and through sonographic analysis of their calls, in central Europe (Gladenbach, Gammertingen, and Osnabrück in West Germany) from May 10 to the end of July 1985. I gave brief descriptions of habitats of Black Woodpeckers in Germany, followed by an analysis of sonagrams of kjäh-, kürr-, kwih-, and kijak-calls, and the drumming of Black Woodpeckers in West Germany. These analyses were followed by a discussion of the communications among male parent and his fledged female, and compared sonagrams of kijak-and kwih-calls of the young bird with those of adult.
At least three birds of Latham's (Gallinago hardwikii) snipe were found through the breeding season at the Tokorozawa Transmitter Site of the U. S. Air Force, Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, Honshu, during the period of 1984-1986, and 4 young were observed in a drive count on July 12, 1984. Breeding of this species, at least a pair, is highly expectable in the lowland grassland of the Kanto Plain as an uncommon instance.
An one year old female gray-backed thrush (Turdus hortulorum) was ringed at Taira-jima island, Tokara Islands, far southwest of S. Kyushu by the author. Though the ringings of the species were so far recorded 9 times at various areas of Japan, this is the first one in Kyushu southward.