On 29 November, 1963, excellent photographs of a big roost flock of Grey Starling were taken by Mr. Shigemoto Otaka at Koshigaya roost, Saitama Prefecture. Number of birds were counted by checking each bird within 2-5cm squares on the tracing papar attached on the photographs enlarged to 40×23cm. Even minute dots of birds could be checked with light from below. In a photo of distant flock estimates of densities per square were made by counts with sample squares. The results of counts from four (three show part of the flock) photographs well coincided and 15, 000 birds were determined for this roost in the early winter. Former observational counts were 49.690 birds in February and only 1, 500 birds in April, 1960.
In August 1963, Umitaka Maru, a training ship of University of Fisheries, made a research cruise in central Japan Sea. Birds and insects observed during this navigation were recorded with meteorological notes. Twenty or thirty of Streaked Grasshopper Warblers Locustella lanceolata were encountered and one was obtained on August 21 in 36°54'N, 134°47'E and one Middendorff's Grasshopper Warbler L. ochotensis was captured on August 22 in 39°13'N, 135°02'E. On these days a low pressure storm of the maximum wind velocity 15m/s passed this sea area, causing strong NE winds at its front and accompanying heavy rains and SW winds south of it. On both days, dragonflies, Pantala flavescens, also passed near the ship. Apparently, the storm had drifted these birds and dragonflies (which were otherwise found near the coast) to the central Japan Sea while they were migrating along the coast.
The comparative study of the ontogeny of behaviour should be of evolutionary interest, as in the morphological characters. Here some reported data of observations of this sort are extracted for comparison from the works of Barrand (Great Tit, Chaffinch), Blase (Red-backed Shrike), Kuroda (Grey Starling), Messmer (European Blackbird. Original was not available) and Sauer (Garden Warbler). Twenty four behaviour items classified into sight development, physical behaviours (preening, etc.), self protection (crouching, fleeing, etc.), social behaviours (aggressiveness, juvenile song, juvenile nesting, etc.) and food getting (oriented gaping, pecking, species-specific use of bill, self foraging and drinking, etc.) were selected for comparison. It could tentatively be concluded that: 1. The duration from hatching to self foraging does not differ much by species with different habits and duration of nestling life. This should there-fore be the evolutionary basic Passerine character. 2. The hole and open nesters would have developed later adaptively. The nestling life was lengthened in the hole nesters (about 20 days) and shortened in the open nesters (10-15 days) as the result of natural selection against predators, but the basic growth pace was not changed. Thus hole nest chicks that stay longer in the nest are fed by parents shorter time after flying since they are well grown and open nest chicks fly precociously and are fed longer (Thus they retain incomplete adaptation against the danger of predation when flying). 3. This difference of the nestling period caused the difference in the timing of physiological and behavioural growth of early nestling life, such as eye-opening, lateral sight, preening and self protection, etc. These were accerelated in open nest chicks so as they have developed by the time of their precocious flying from the nest. 4. But, this accerelation of the occurrence of behaviours seems to have not influenced the basic timing of the final completion of self foraging. However, at the time when self foraging becomes established species-specific use of the bill (and feet) occurs similarly at around 20-25 days after hatching irrespective of the difference of habit by species. 5. The social habits occur first as an aggressiveness against each other (head forward posture, maintenance of individual distance) at different period by species (this occurs early at about 20 days in strongly territorial species), but always after or when the self foraging is established. 6. These species-specific behaviours (4 and 5) which occur latest during the ontogeny should be the ethological characters which have evolved recently.