Ecological and morphological characteristics of the Tufted Puffin (Lunda cirrhata) in the pelagic northwestern Pacific Ocean were determined. Using these characteristics the bioaccumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was investigated. The average distribution density of Tufted Puffins was 0.95 birds•km-2 in the entire northwestern North Pacific during the summer season. The birds occurred within the range of water temperatures from 2.0 to 12.0°C. Morphological measurements of bills were larger in males than in females. For example, if the gape length was longer than 44.0mm there was a 72.5% chance that the birds would be male. Based on the changes of measurements with increasing number of bill furrows, Tufted Puffins were divided into three growth stages: young, subadult, and adult. Most of the tissues and organs of males were generally heavier than females. This difference was more significant in the skeletal and muscular systems than visceral organs. The percentage of the skeletal system to body wight was larger in adults than in subadult for male, but larger in subadult than in youngs for females, indicating a difference in growth pattern between sexes. Tufted Puffins were found to feed mainly on squid and fish. Consumption of other prey such as euphausiids and amphipods was largely confined to adults in the Bering Sea. Squid were available in any study sea area from April to July to all growth stages. On the contrary fish were consumed in the south of Aleutian Islands from April to July by youngs but in April and May by adults. The mean concentrations of PCBs and DDE were 270 and 170 ng/g respectively, on a wet weight basis. The mean body burden of each chemicals were 160 and 100μg. There was high positive correlation (r=0.818) between the concentrations of PCBs and DDE in the sampled birds. This suggested that both pollutants had a similar distribution within the habitat of the Tufted Puffin. Concentrations of PCBs and DDE did not vary between growth stages, indicating that equilibrium concentrations of both chemical groups were attained at an early life stage. Sixty four PCB components, mainly penta and hexachlorobiphenyls were detected. The combined concentration of MC (3-methylcholanthrene) and NM (non-metabolizable) type PCBs accounted for 75% of total PCB concentration, while the PB (phenobarbital) type PCBs accounted for only 9.5%. These compositions indicated a high activity of the PB type enzyme system in this species. Percentages of MC and NM type PCBs were higher in females than in males, a difference which could be explained by the difference in growth pattern between sexes. The MC type PCBs decreased with growth, suggesting that the activity of MC type enzyme system was higher in adults and/or that feeding habits altered with growth stages. Sampled birds were divided into fatty or lean groups depending on nutritional conditions. The concentration and percentage of PB type PCBs were higher in fatty birds while the percentage of NM type PCBs was higher in lean birds. These trends suggested that the feeding activity was higher in fatty birds, whereas enzymatic activity of the PB type enzyme system was higher in lean birds.
Adult male Blossomheaded Parakeets were exposed to very long (22h) and very short (2h) daily photoperiods for 45 days during different phases of the annual testicular cycle. Adrenocortical activity of the experimental photoperiodic birds were compared with that of parallely held natural photoperiodic birds with the use of different histophysiological parameters. These parameters are believed to be faithful indices of secretory functions in the steroidogenic part of avian adrenal gland. The study revealed that very short (2h/day) day-length does not influence the activity of adrenocortical tissue in any phase of the annual cycle. Adrenocortical tissue of very long photoperiodic (22L: 2D) birds (i) remains unaffected during breeding phase, (ii) shows the features of inactiveness in the subcapsular zone (SCZ) during late preparatory, early progressive and prebreeding phases of treatment, and (iii) becomes atrophied in both the SCZ and IZ (inner zone) when the birds were exposed during early preparatory and late progressive phases of the annual gonadal cycle. The results of this study are discussed in the light of previous studies into photoperiodic effects on adrenocortical activity in parakeets.
Agonistic behaviour in the Black-winged Stilt, Himantopus himantopus himantopus, was observed at Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture, from April 1985 to December 1987. For convenience, two components, postures and calls, were described separately. Agonistic postures appeared in coactions between conspecifics or with other animals and were classified into nine categories: (1) alert with five types; (2) leaning body; (3) lowering head; (4) repelling water; (5) patrolling; (6) irrelevant behaviours with nine types; (7) attacking with eight types; (8) avoiding with six types; and (9) diversionary display with two types. Agonistic calls were classified into alarm calls, snake alerting calls, aggressive calls, and diversionary calls. These postures and calls are described in detail and situations at which they were observed are described.
Bird populations were censused using the line-transect method in four areas of shrub-grassland along the lower reaches of the Tokachi River in eastern Hokkaido, from mid-May to early July, 1981-87. One transect of 50m width and 2 to 3.3km length was established in each area. A total of 47 bird species were recorded along the four transects. Shannon-Weaver's species diversity indices (H') was calculated based on numbers of birds counted in May and June. The resuslts were: 3.49 in the transect A, 3.13 in the transect B, 3.94 in the transect C and 3.55 in the transect D. The most common species, that is, those with a relative dominance percentage of more than 2 percent, were the shrub-grassland birds: Gallinago hardwickii, Alauda arvensis, Erithacus calliope, Saxicola torquata, Locustella ochotensis, L. lanceolata, Acrocephalus bistrigiceps, Emberiza fucata, E, aureola, E. spodocephala, E. schoeniclus and Uragus sibiricus. These species prefer open habitats. Other less common species were: Streptopelia orientalis, Motacilla alba, Turdus chrysolaus, Locustella fasciolata, Carduelis sinica and Sturnus cineraceus. The occurrence of these species depended upon the presence of woods or open areas without vegetation. More shrub-grassland birds occurred in open habitats along the river than in agricultural lands in the same district. Although riverine and adjacent areas have been modified by various riparian works, they continue to provide an important habitat in the reduction of native grassland habitat in low altitude areas.
Four calls of the Leach's Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa), the Chatter-calls and Purr-calls of both sexes, were played back from a loudspeaker on the ground near the colony in Daikoku Island. All the playback calls attracted birds in flight and elicited Chatter-calls from them. The sex of the attracted birds were judged by analyzing the Chatter-calls. Significantly more birds responded to the playback call of the opposite sex than that of the same sex. It has already been revealed that birds inside burrows respond only to the playback calls of the same sex. Therefore, in this study it was found that the same call can elicit responses from different sexes in different circumstances. Thus, the same call can have different meanings in different contexts.
A number of observations of one or more buff-mutant (schizochroismic) Jungle Crows, Coruvus macrorhyrchos, are reported. These observations occurred between January 5 1987 and February 6 1988. On January 5 1987 a buff-mutant individual was observed near the TBS television station. It appeared to be paired with a normal individual and was circling with its partner. The next observation was on February 3 1987 in the same locality. This time the buff bird was flying together with a partner in a territorial quarrel with another pair. The bird disappeared after four days. Finally, on February 6 1988, a sighting was made near the Hikawa Shrine, 500m from the earlier sightings. The local priest reported a buff bird being chased by other crows. It is highly probable these sightings are all of the same bird. It may also be possible the individual is the same as one previously reported about 500m east of the TBS television station (Kuroda 1986). If so, then the individual has been alive for 14 years from the first sighting.