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Wildlife – watching In Japan

  The various environments of Japan offer a wealth of chances for wildlife viewing. Important Wildlife Watching Areas This diversity can be observed from a window, on foot or by using another means of transportation, or even from an outdoor hot spring. The southwestern islands of Iriomote, Ishigaki, Okinawa, and Amami-shima provide particularly good opportunity …

Sea ducks like harlequins and others In Japan

Shallow bays, fishing harbors, and the turbulent waters off the rocky beaches of Tohoku and Hokkaido in northern Japan all have something in common: they all draw some of the sea-ducks, who are among the most alluring and dramatic of Japan’s waterfowl. None is more attractive than the Harlequin Duck, which is common along northern …

Life on the Edge in Japan

Japan is a nation of fishermen, and the Japanese diet includes a wide range of seafood because it has one of the largest coasts of any country for its size. Red Foxes frequently forage around the rocks at low tide because a large portion of the coastline is rocky and creates tidal pools that are …

Several Buntings In Japan

Buntings make up more than 20 of the resident and migrant passerines in Japan. Similar to finches in appearance, but usually with a smaller head and a longer tail. While many of those listed in Japan are locals or frequent tourists, some are vagrants. Although only a summer visitor in Hokkaido, the Meadow Bunting is …

Auspicious Birds – Breaking seeds in Japan

The resident and migratory passerine birds of Japan are incredibly diverse. The Japanese Grosbeak and the Hawfinch are two well-known seed-eaters who possess the strongest bites of practically any small bird. Literally translated as “seed-shatterer,” the hawfinch’s scientific name. It has far greater jaw muscles than the majority of other birds its size, which allows …

A Wide Range of Thrushes In Japan

In Japan, there are no fewer than 21 different species of thrush. Others are dependable summer visitors, winter visitors, or spring and fall migrants, while some are vagrants or unintentional travelers. Some migrants are common, like the Dusky Thrush. Several fascinating Asian species are among the summer migrants. These include the elusive birds of the …

Butterflies fly to Japan

Japan has a wonderful variety of butterflies. In contrast to the 71 species found in the UK and Ireland’s islands and the 62 found on New Zealand’s, the Japanese archipelago has an astounding 263 species, attributable to the variety of local temperatures and environments. As with Japan’s other types of creatures, some are restricted to …

Birds on the Move – Waxwings

The waxwings exemplify the close link that exists between birds and berries. Each winter, large numbers of two species, the Bohemian Waxwing and the Japanese Waxwing, migrate to Japan. Waxwings are rovers, staying in one spot just as long as their preferred foods, berries from specific trees, are plentiful, and then moving on to a …

The Black-eared Kite, Japan’s ubiquitous Scavenger

A spread-winged kite tips its head and looks down from a cloudless sky, silent as a spiderling’s gossamer thread adrift on the breeze. The kite twists its tail in a slow, leisurely motion as it looks down. As it examines the ground under it, time is on its side. The delicate movement begins from the …

Biodiversity in Japan

Given the size of the Japanese archipelago (378,000 km2) and its placement off a larger continental landmass, similar sized archipelagos such as the British Isles (315,200 km2) and New Zealand (268,000 km2) are fair comparisons. Size isn’t everything, and the degree and time of isolation, as well as geographic location and climate, make these island …