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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 …

Starlings from Japan

White-cheeked Starlings are a common and numerous bird in Japan. Similar to Common Starling in Europe (or in other parts of North America where it has been introduced), White-cheeked Starling is territorial during the breeding season but gathers in increasingly big flocks after breeding. These typically feed on the ground, probing through short grass and …

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 …

Waves of Colors In Japan

Imagine being able to see a live satellite feed of photographs of Earth on any given day, and being able to zoom in and see how the seasons are changing in real time. Japan would be a fantastic country to visit if you had that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Seasonal changes wash back and forth, up and …

In Japan, there are ancient trees and ancient scents (Camphor)

A tree with a variety of names and purposes grows among the deep shades of central and southern Japan’s evergreen woods. The laurel family Lauraceae dominates these woodlands, and this tree in particular is known in Japanese as Kusu-no-ki and in English as Laurel Camphor, Camphor Laurel, Gum Camphor, or simply Camphor Tree. The Camphor …