In this year ringing totals were 4, 898 (89spp.) and grand totals were summed up to 7, 219 birds (102spp.). Recoveries reported in this year amounted to 22 birds (13spp.), which included a Turnstone from Arctic coast in East Siberia and a Common Snipe from Philippine. During this year 9 birds (5spp.) ringed in abroad were reported to the Institute and these birds were listed in Appendix I. A special project for the study of Short-tailed Albatross was continued and 10 chicks (and 13 chicks of Black-footed Albatross) were ringed by the U. S. rings.
1. With the interest to find out the adaptive influence of ecological factors to be reflected in the egg constitution, the eggs of a few species of herons, sea birds as well as some domesticated birds were compared (also referring the known data given by Romanoffs 1949). 2. Chemical constitution was analysed at Japan Oil and Vitamin Inspection Institute, Tokyo. 3. Eggs of wild birds used were those of the following species: Egretta garzetta and Nycticorax nycticorax (Shinhama colony, Chiba), Larus crassirostris, Uria aalge and Cerorhinca monocerata (Teuri I., Hokkaido) and Calonectris leucomelas (Toshima, Izu Is. Eggs of this species of great interest (Nice 1962) were unfortunately too advanced for chemical analysis). 4. A devise for field egg-inspection by means of a long-type cup (of ice-cream) lined inside with silver paper (for strong light reflection), a flashlight (electric torch) and black cloth to work under, is described and by this test the fresh unincubated eggs could be selected. For inspection of thick and colored shelled eggs perfect darkness was necessary. 5. Yolk color difference was noticed between Sooty Tern (orange) and Noddy (yellow) (Marcus I., Kuroda 1954), among Larus crassirostris (orange), Uria aalge, Synthliboramphus Cerorhinca (yellow) and Cepphus carbo (orange) breeding on Teuri I., and Calonectris (yellow) of Toshima, and between Egretta garzetta (red) and Nycticorax (yellow) of a same colony. It was suggested that fish eaters have yellow yolks, while crustacean food seems to be responsible for orange or even red yolk according to the amount ingested. However, difference in Sooty Tern and Noddy, both eating squids there, might have involved some other genetic factor. 6. The relative yolk weight % for entire egg and egg white is higher in precocial than in altricial birds and in smaller than in larger eggs of the birds of same habit (Romanoffs). The present data support this: the yolk % was low in altricial (semi-altricial by Nice) herons and intermediate in semi-precocial gull, murre and the puffin (Cerorhinca). But, the yolk amount relative to albumen was greater in larger goose eggs than in smaller duck eggs and in larger murre eggs than in smaller puffin eggs. This may reflect the stronger conditions at hatching of goose and murre chicks compared with those of duck and puffin respectively. 7. The shell weight % for entire egg is larger in precocial than altricial, and in larger than smaller birds. The shell is thicker in precocial birds, because chicks hatch in stronger condition (Romanoffs). The thick-shelled Guinea Fowl egg should reflect the adaptation of heat prevention devise for they are laid on tropical dryland, while the shell thickness is adaptively different by the murre populations breeding on rough or smooth rocks (Kartaschew) and the eggs of Teuri population belonged to the thick-shelled type; thickest at the pointed end on which the egg rolls. 8. The amount of water is higher in the eggs of altricial than precocial birds (least so in ducks and geese (Romanoffs)), in which the solid portion is greater. The present data on heron eggs coincided with the reported amount of altricial song birds and pigeons. In the semi-precocial gull and alcids, eggs had precocial type amount of yolk water and rather altricial type amount of egg white water (if Romanoffs' data are referred), thus being intermediate as a whole. 9. The thin-shelled heron eggs were decomposed so soon as three days after having been kept in normal refrigerater. Gull and murre eggs were not affected after 53 days kept in refrigerator, while after 89 days the larger murre egg with extremely thick shell still remained in good shape inspite of the gull egg had been entirely decomposed by this time.
1. A bird census was made during three breeding seasons at Kirigamine grassland plateau, Nagano in central Honshiu. 2. Two methods were adopted. One, the line transect census, was used during 1961-63 and the other, the square census in 1963 with an area of 500m2. 3. The Grey-headed Bunting, Emberiza fucata, the Japanese Reed Bunting, Emberiza yessoënsis, the Black-browed Reed Warbler, Acrocephalus bistrigiceps, and the Stonechat, Saxicola torquata were main species of this grassland habitat. Although they occupied the same area, each species selected the respective niche and there were differences in nest sites and food items. 4. As the result of line transect census, the G.-h. Bunting and the Stonechat were uniformly distributed with the densities of 0.3-0.4 pairs and 0.3-0.7 pairs per 100 meters respectively. Although the densities of the B.-b. Reed Warbler were also 0.3-1.2 pairs, this species was much more patchy in distribution than the two others. 5. The B.-b. Reed Warblers were found in tall grass community at the lowest level and the G.-h. Buntings bordered them on both sides, while these were again bordered by the Stonechats with some overlap. The Jap. Reed Bunting was most local in distribution along the line transect. 6. In the square census, the G.-h. Bunting occurred over the whole study area and the occurrence rates of the other three species, Stonechat, B.-b. Reed Warbler and Jap. Reed Bunting, were below 50%. The Stonechat and the B.-b. Reed Warbler were found localized in somewhat colonial condition on the slopy part and at the tall grass community respectively. 7. The 'specific occupied area' was largest in the Jap. Reed Bunting, decreasing in the G.-h. Bunting, the Stonechat to the B.-h. Reed Warbler. 8. The Jap. Reed Bunting and the G.-h. Bunting similarly selected the nest site at the root of grasses, the Stonechat at a hollow of the ground with some covering, while the B.-b. Reed Warbler nested at 20-50cm above the ground in taller grasses. 9. The breeding seasons in 1963 advanced with the order of Stonechat-Jap. Reed Bunting-G.-h. Bunting-B.-h. Reed Warbler. 10. All the species took Lepidoptera larvae for chicks; many adult Diptera were fed by Stonechats and the Jap. Reed Bunting selected adult Lepidoptera, Orthoptera and spiders, while the B.-b. Reed Warbler preferred the Orthoptera. 11. Thus, the structure of bird community in this grassland consisted of the Jap. Reed Bunting and G.-h. Bunting preferring the short grass, the Stonechat of abandoned habitat and the B.-b. Reed Warbler restricted to the tall grass.
Based on 20 years observation made at Miyako, northern Honshiu, and over 1.000 photographs, the confusing young plumages of L. argentatus, L. schistisagus, L. glaucescens and L. hyperboreus were analysed comparatively. Chief points discussed are bill-shape, plumage pattern and general features which are shown in tables, figures and photographs. Although there are large individual and age variations in the markings and body size, the author could specify the species-specific patterns and the bill-shape was a good specific character. A summary of molting of gulls is given by editor from Dwight (1925).
During May 27-31, 1963, the author made a trip of sea bird survey to Teuri I., Hokkaido. This island, known as natural monument of sea bird colonies, is situated in Japan Sea with another island Yagishiri in 44.4 N, 141.3 E, 28km west of middle Hokkaido. Full time watch of sea bird distribution was made on ferry between the island and Tomamae, the port on Hokkaido coast (Table 1, Fig. 1). The only sea bird other than those breeding on Teuri and commonly found was Puffinus griseus. The island has 7 miles of coastal line and is generally flat but gradually elevated on the NW coast ending as gigantic cliffs extended along more than 2km, with famous Akaiwa Rock at SW point. A few other isolated rocks are along the coast. These part form a sprendid mixed colony of sea birds. The species and estimated number of these birds breeding there were as follows: Larus crassirostris 50.000, Larus schistisagus 100, Uria aalge (possibly no U. lomvia) 8.000, Cepphus carbo 3.000, Cerorhinca monocerata 100.000, Synthliboramphus antiquus a few (?) (Murata 1957 reported as 500), Phalacrocorax capillatus 100. The conspicuously dominant species almost all over the colony is L. crassirostris which arrives the island in late December laying during May and leaves in late July. But far more, possibly twice or even three times, numerous is the Hornbilled Puffin Cerorhinca monocerata whose burrows occupied the entire upper soily part, average 30 meters in vertical width. The burrows, typically semicircular (dome-shaped) with the hight 10cm and diameter 14cm and more than a human arm length deep, were almost evenly distributed with the density of 6-14 along the distance of ten meters, 170 and 183 within two 10 meter squares. Where abundant and without rocks, only the bandles of stronger grasses, Poa macrocalyx and also Adenophora triphylla in western part, were left at somewhat the same distance (70-100cm) but at very windy tops of the cliff even these grasses had disappeared and burrows were found in desert-like sandy soil. By ferry boat observations, the daytime feeding sea-surface of this nocturnal breeder was confirmed at anchovy netting area about 25-26 miles from the island not far from Hokkaido coast. In the early morning all the flocks were flying out to this sea-surface where floating groups were found. In the evening, they returned to the island flock after flock, somewhat like the starlings coming back to its roost! Toward dark (it was a foggy evening), a few birds came over the top of the cliff with great sounds of wing beats, suddenly appearing from the fog and circled away in it. Gradually, the birds increased in number and finally landed in the colony (carefully when it is not yet dark). They stood still looking around in an alert posture, but often flew off into the fog again after more or less 15 minutes. Some and not all had one to three anchovies in their bill and here and there such a bird caused a sudden straggle with the Black-tailed Gulls which had been waiting for it to rob the anchovies from its bill before entering in its burrow. The gulls were breeding at rocky edges within the puffin colony and when one finds and dashes to a returning puffin with fish several others would joint at once, while some were constantly flying around low over the puffin colony. After complete dark, however, the puffins could more successfully return to their burrows to feed the young. They tumbled into the grass on landing and walked to their burrows, but how they can tell their own from those everywhere around is a problem as in the petrels. Many were seen just standing or walking to and fro, and these should include young non breeders. But, unlike the petrels, their colony was quiet, with only a low groom in the nest and rarely the chick voice. It is said that in the early morning they are also resting on the ground and suddenly take off to the sea.