Diurnal change of activity and social behaviour of Latham's Snipe Gallinago hardwickii was observed at Iizuna and Hotchi, Nagano Prefecture, Central Japan. Diurnal change of calls and flight displays were observed for 24 consecutive hours. The movements of Latham's Snipe with radio transmitters were monitored and their activities were analyzed by actogram. Latham's Snips arrived in the early April and stayed until the end of July in the study area. Seven birds were captured and radio transmitters were attached to them. Most of them stayed in the study area for more than one month. Vocal activities such as flight displays and ground calls were most active just before sun rise and just after sun set. On some days, other peaks of vocal activities were also observed around midnight or in the daytime. Flight display consisted of a circular flight and powerful dives accompanied by rather harsh notes and flapping of wings. The flight displays in the morning and evening were aggressive and each bird circled in a small area, rarely overlapping the flight display area of other birds. Flight display area were concentrated at a marsh. A concentric structure of flight display areas from the center to the peripheral area was formed, whereas daytime flight displays were less aggressive and communal flight displays were often obseved with a group of adjacent members circling together in a wide area. Analysis of actogram showed Latham's Snipes on the ground were most active in the morning and evening, and more active in the daytime than at night. In general, their home range on the ground was larger than the flight display areas and they overlaped each other. They did not defend their feeding area. Two nests found at the edge of marsh, were located outside the flight display areas. Incubations were carried out by one bird. The bird did not call or flight display. From these facts, it was concluded that the birds displaying actively by aerial performance were males and the bird incubating was a female. It was discussed that the flight display area of Latham's Snipe could be regarded as an arena formed in the air and the mating system of Latham's Snipe a lek like system.
The genetic analysis of 23 protein loci in 15 species of Procellariiformes was made The genetic distances between the species was calculated and a dendrogram was formulated of the group. The separation of Hydrobatidae from all other taxa including Diomedeidae agrees with other precedent works. The results of the present study support the basic Procellariid classification system. However, two points still need further study. The first point is that Fulmarus diverged earlier from the Procellariids than did the Diomedeidae. The second point is the position of Puffinus pacificus which appears more closely related to the Pterodroma petrels than to other Puffinus species. These points are discussed.
Observations were made of breeding Black Woodpeckers Dryocopus martius in a mature Todo-fir Abies sachalinensis stand in Hakodate, southern Hokkaido from 1977 to 1989. For 7 broods, the mean number of young was 3.3, ranging, from 2 to 4 young. The combined sex ratio from 7 broods was 1:1. Young fledged between mid-June and late June. There was no significant relationship between dates of fledging and mean temperature during breeding season. All four nests examined were excavated in live Todo-fir. One of the trees was used up to the breeding season in 1981, and had fallen by May of this year. The other three nest cavities were excavated in 1982, 1983 and 1985 respectively. Three nest trees were located 30 to 40m apart. Diameter at breast height of the nest trees ranged from 46 to 51cm. Nest height ranged from 4.0 to 5.9m above the ground. Entrance diameter inside was 90 to 110mm vertically and 70 to 90mm horizontally. Depth from the bottom of the entrance hole to the bottom of the cavity ranged from 310 to 360mm and the cavity diameter from 200 to 270mm. At the nest site, tree density was 594 trees/ha and basal area (the cross section area of tree trunks at breast height) was 55.7m2/ha. Based on fecal droppings collected from the nest cavity after the young fledged, the main foods were ants in the later nestling stage.
We visited Minami-Daito Island (25°50'N. 131°14'E) four times (25th-30th December 1988, 3rd-7th May, 26th-31st July and 8th-11th October 1989). We observed 53 species (21 families) which include 16 species that we newly added. The new check-list of birds of Minami-Daito should include 33 families and 108 species.