Blue-and-White Flycatcher

flycatcherThe Blue-and-White Flycatcher is called ‘oruri’ in japan. It is one of three Japanese  songbirds of the order Passeriformes that can twitter very beautifully. The other two species are Japanese Bush Warbler ( uguisu) and Japanese robin (komadori) In summer we can listen Blue-and-White Flycatcher’s beautiful twittering.
Continue reading Blue-and-White Flycatcher

Lanius bucephalus : butcher bird

butcherbirdThe bird which imitates the cry of various birds is in the world. Performing a complicated song in imitation of the call of various birds (100 birds) which is the origin of the Japanese name, mozu (百舌鳥). Lanius bucephalus’ English name is butcher bird and a (bull headed) shrike. The origin of the name of this butcher bird stabs a twig with meat becoming the bait, and this is because it puts it in the turning point of the branch, and it covers it. By the way, a scientific name is Lanius bucephalus. Continue reading Lanius bucephalus : butcher bird

Japanese Wagtail: Motacilla grandis

The bird is so cute: Motacilla grandis



There are various birds in Kochi. Motacilla grandis represents in Kochi-city. The Japanese name for this bird is “seguro-sekirei”. It means black back wagtail. The birds are so small and cute. They have two colors; black and white. You can see them near water. The common English name for this species is Japanese Wagtail. They are indigenous to Japan. They live in north of Kyushu. Continue reading Japanese Wagtail: Motacilla grandis

Red-billed leiothrix:ソウシチョウ

by E. Fukugawa

image00Red-billed leiothrixes is kind of sparrows. They are animals of foreign origin. Originally, they live in India, China, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Now they live in Kanto, Kinki, Chugoku, Shikoku, and Kyushu in Japan. They look so pretty, but they are feared to break the ecosystem. They expel bush warblers.They are “Worst 100 of Japanese aggressive introduced species”.

Description and Taxonomy
Their total length is 14~15cm. The feather of back is green. The neck is yellow. There have red spot in the wing. The bill is red. They twitter in large voice. They eat insects, fruits, and seeds. Their breeding season is April~October. It is comparatively long. It is less than a month to leave the nest from birth, so it is thought that they can breed several times a year.

Range and Ecology
They live in mountain of 1000 meters or less. Especially, they live in growth of trees and bamboo. Originally, they live in India, China, Vietnam, and Myanmar, but, now, they live also in Japan. They make crowd of 20 birds. In autumn, they make crowd with great tits.

Use and Conservation
In Edo era, they were imported for pet. But, they were imported frequently in 1980s from China. They were much imported because it is easy to take care of them, and it is cheap. Since invasive alien species act was enforced, pet shops had many stock of them. Pet shops did not have much money to feed them, so many of them were set free. It is prohibited to raise them from 2005.

Wild Red-billed leiothrixes may break ecosystem. Specially, it is said that bush warblers are expelled by them. Wild Red-billed leiothrixes and bush warblers live in same place. The number of Wild Red-billed leiothrixes increase, so bush warblers are expelled. So we have to decrease the number of Wild Red-billed leiothrixes. I think we have to catch some of them and decrease their breeding. But it is cruel that they become extinct, so I want to make environment that both Wild Red-billed leiothrixes and bush warblers can live.

 They are feared to break ecosystem. But many people like looking them, because they are so cute. They are in thicket in many cases, so we can look them near the ground. They make crowd, so we may be able to look many of them.

Common Cuckoo

by. C. Ogawa


This bird is a bird with an interesting habit. Parent does not make a nest. Because parents lay eggs in other bird’s nest. Parent is not parenting. Chicks hatched drop out of the nest all egg and chick. Chicks are not raised by real parents. The scientific name of this bird is Cuculus canorus. It is commonly referred to as cuckoo. Currently this bird is registered in the semi-endangered species.

Description & taxonomy

Total length is 33-36cm. the body is slender. Back from the head and wing is gray. Stomach from the chest is white and fine horizontal stripes. The female is gray part types has made a red-brown.

Cuckoo is animalia, chordate, vertebrata, aves, cuculiformes, cuculidae, cuculus, c.canorus.

Range & ecology

They inhabit the forest and grassland in Africa and Eurasian continent. But in Japan, they inhabit the mountains. And they prefer bright and open environment such as grassland, arable land and small forest. They are flying around May. They can be seen from many north central Honshu.

They are not child-rearing. Their eggs will hatch in other bird’s nest. Their chick hatch in a short time. So they are often faster than chicks born owner of the nest. Chicks hatched drop out of the nest all egg and chick. By doing this chick of cuckoo can be in hog feed. There is another individual that lays eggs in the same nest after an individual has laid an egg in the nest. If two individuals hatched at the same time, they are fit to drop. In addition, there are bird eggs of the cuckoo to eliminate. Eggs of cuckoo are being caught out. In that case they are against and mimic the pattern of other bird’s egg.

Use & conservation

The scientific name of cuckoo is Cuculus canorus. Cuculus is derived from cry. Canorus is latin and it means musical. In Russia, have used in folk music as the voice of sorrow to cry.

Currently this bird is registered in the semi-endangered species. So they are the most important biological protection.

Good luck.


by T. Tsujizono

Onagadori is one of the Natural monument in Japan. It is same kind of cocks, and the place of origin is Kochi. Onagadori is known as a “Yokohama” all over the world because Onagadori was exported from Yokohama. It is called other Tyobikei and Nagaodori.

Onagadori was discovered in Edo period in Shikoku. It was one of the kind of cocks farmed by Riuemon Takechi who lived in Ohashimura in Tosa. One day, Riuemon found that one of the cocks had very long tail. That is a mutation where the feather doesn’t come off. Regular cock’s feather comes off once a year. That is very conspicuous, so Onagadori was sent to Edo government about that time. It is said that the Tosa clan concealed the Onagadori at first because the Onagadori had a very valuable, long tail.

Onagadori’s tail grows about 1 meter every year but it comes to grow slowly whenever aging. Onagadori’s tail length is about 7 meters. In Meji period, that length was about 3 meters but Tomebako was developed in Taisho period to let the tail grow longer. Tomebako is a device to control movement and stop tail damage. Today, the Guinness book of Records says longest tail is 10.6 meters.

The natural monument was specified on March 7, 1923, and Onagadori was specified by the special natural treasure on March 29, 1952. This is because of being specially recognized in worldwide or the nation assuming that value is especially high.

When coming to Kochi Prefecture, please see Onagadori by all means. A white, long tail has a beautiful, strong sense of existence. We should protect Onagadori.

Northern Goshawk

by M. Okuda

The Northern Goshawk , Accipiter gentilis is a medium-sized species belonging to Falconiformes Accipitridae. Is common species of Hawk in Japan. It is called then, Taka, generally to Greta.

Morphology & Ecology

The male is approx. 50 cm length, female is full length is 60 cm, length of wingspan 100-130 cm. Variants in Japan characteristic macular white eyebrow and black eyepatch. It inhabited plains up to the mountains. High flying ability, while hunting small birds and small mammals to Satoyama aerial or ground catch bird of prey. And due to its location at the top of the food chain , it a requiresa healthy habitat cannot . Speed flying in horizontal flight is 80 km/h during the descent speed 130 km/h. once hunting stuk it is at relentless and hence hunting time is longer.

Relations with people

After having passed the rugged training, it was used for the hawk hunting by an excellent hunter it. The hawk hunting had already been done in benevolence emperor’s age, and done actively in the middle of Edo period. Because the capture of a domestic goshawk is prohibited, examples of traditional craftsmanship are succeeded now by the goshawk imported from foreign countries.

Danger of extermination

It is a near threatened species (NT) in the Ministry of the Environment red list. It is specified for the national endangered species of wild fauna and flora in 1993.

Kochi and goshawk

Extermination misgivings of large hawk in Kochi as birds of red list. It is registered as kind (CR).

Bird with long tail:Gallus gallus domesticus

by Y. Furuno


The bird that is elegant, graceful, and the tail is very long can be seen at Onagadori center(Nakoku-shi Shinohara 48), the Tosa Ken center(Kochi-shi Urato 6), and the dragon river cave(Kami-shi Tosayamada-cho) in Kochi. Luster and externals of shuttlecock are different from the chicken, but we may think these birds look like usual chickens. These birds are called Onagadori, and are very familiar with people come to go sightseeing.

Description & Taxonomy

The male bird’s tail becomes extremely long and this tail is the longest in the existence birds, but they are a kind of chicken. Therefore, that long-tailed cocks are called “Onagadori”. Onagadori is special natural treasure.
The chicken usually molt once a year but male’s Onagadori grows the rectrix and doesn’t change, so Onagadori’s rectrix becomes very long.

The mean weight is a male 1,800g, female 1,350g, and the kind on the inside includes a white wisteria kind, a white kind, the red bamboo grass kind, five color kind, and the orangutan kind. The white wisteria kind’s tail becomes longest in them.

History & Ecology

It is said that Onagadori was born from mutation of chicken (a breed ”Shoukoku”)that Toshiemon Takeichi was raising in Tsa-koku Omura-cho ( present:Kochi-ken nannkoku-shi) in Edo period.

Though the length of the tail was about 3 meters until the Meiji era, the tail came to became longer because the breeding box that is called “tomebako” were developed in Taisho era. This box is 1.8m in height and one bird put inside, and a structure that extremely controls movement so that the Onagadori should not go out of the box and the rectrix should not be damaged. Breeding member rolls the long rectrix in the hand, when let it out of box to do light movement. Thus the tail came to become longer.

But the tail is 80 centimeters-1 meters in one year when Onagadori is young, speed that tail grows become slow as the chicken aged. When Onagadori lives long, the length of the tail reach 10m and highest record of Onagadori was living for 18 years, becoming length of 13m.

However, the tail doesn’t usually become long too much, and the long one is about 7m now. It specified in the natural monument in March, 1923 and it was specified again by the special natural treasure in 1952.

Use & Preservation

It is said that the probability of the tail grows up long is very low so that about 1 every 1500 pieces from 1000 pieces of the egg, but Onagadori is propagated by human and turned the breeding breed.

Before, people had the spear decorated with Onagadori’s tail wing at the head hangs of daimyo procession, and walked in the Tosa-Han in Edo period. As a result, it is said prestige and power were shown off by Onagadori’s wing attracted attention.

Now, the name is widely known to foreign countries as the most magnificent bird in a lot of kinds of the world, and the appearance is used for illustrations and kimonos of the embroidery and art etc.

It has been understood that it decreases in the original home, Kochi-ken Nankoku-shi, because hybridization of the individual with original DNA type that tail grows easily and the individual of the crossbreed advanced. It seems that it is important to defend a beautiful appearance by doing examine DNA and choose the individual succeeds original DNA type for reservation of kind.


If you would like to see beautiful bird, try to visit the place where Onagadoris are exhibited, Onagadori center (Nakoku-shi Shinohara 48), the Tosa Ken center(Kochi-shi Urato 6), and dragon river cave(Kami-shi Tosayamada-cho).

You can not only see slowly and carefully to Onagadoris that are putted in box and stopping there and boxed but also touch those !! You can put Onagadori on the palm gently and take a picture with Onagadori as a souvenior.
You will surely be surprised at the graceful figure.

Further Reading

Fairy Pitta

by S.Kajikiyo


There are wonderful natures in Kochi and many various forms of life. Among of those organism, Fairy Pitta is valuable animal. Because the population is very small and habitat is limited, it’s difficult to see it.


Fairy Pitta (Pitta nympha) is very beautiful bird, alias is “yairotyo”. Origin of the name is body colors (black, white, yellow, green, brown, red, blue and cream). Fairy Pitta is about 20cm and the body plumage of the upper surface shiny green, feathers covering the upper surface of the base of the waist and tail is blue, chest throat and body side surface of the plumage is pale yellow or yellowish brown, feathers covering the underside of abdomen is red. The tail colors are black, tip is blue.

Range & Ecology

Fairy Pitta comes to Japan from India, Taiwan, and Indochina in May through July to raise children and turn back to south in autumn. Breeding place is ground in the forest. Nest for parenting is made on the slopes along the valley. Nest is shaped dome, made of branches leafs and moss. They lay about 5 eggs at once, buck and doe incubate in rotation about 2 weeks. When the chicks are hatched, parents bird carry bait to nest in rotation. Chicks grow by eating earthworms, they leave the nest with parents. After fledging about 3 days, chicks practice to get bait alone.


Fairy Pitta is Kochi’s natural treasures, but there are only about 100-150 in
Japan. Their habitat is being destroyed by development and their population is declining gradually. There are still many factors that would reduce the population. Habitat is deprived through road construction, forest development, plantation. Parenting failed when photographer invasion to the nesting place to take pictures. These problems are very serious. Therefore, ecosystem Trust Association in Kochi Prefecture collect donations and buy the habitat of Fairy Pitta, make a protection place as a trust that people can’t enter and develop. Also in 1993 low for the conservation of wildlife species at risk of extinction is enforced, Fairy Pitta is specified rare wildlife species in Japan.


Fairy Pitta prefer a clean nature, so they live upstream of the Shimanto. If you want to see Fairy Pitta, go to the Shimanto valley you can maybe see Fairy Pitta

Fairy pitta lives in broad-leaved forest which consist of high wood ,they love environment that undergrowth is not developed because the sunlight blocked by the crown. Feeding habit is food animals, they eat earthworms, insects, crustaceans, and so on. Breeding system is oviparity. When the breeding season , they chirp loudly on the tree. フォームの始まり

Fairy Pitta

by A. Masuda


The number of animals on the verge of extermination in recent years has increased though it is Kochi Prefecture enclosed by a lot of nature. The seriousness especially has been that the number of livings of birds “Fairy pitta” it decreased every year. Because the fairy pitta is officially admitted as a bird in Kochi Prefecture, and the inhabitants of the prefecture is familiar, too.

Description & Taxonomy

Fairy pitta’s color is the head has a black line in the center in brown, and the superciliary is a whity-yellow color and has a black eye stripe. Fairy pitta’s rectrix is a black, aist and Ageo cylinder are cobalt color, wing of black and the shoulder is green.

Fairy pitta’s egg is the major axis 2.5-2.8 centimeters, and the minor axis 1.9-2.3 centimeters. The egg shell is an iron gray. Fairy pitta’s size is 18cm in the total length, wing length 118~127mm nib peak length 22~25mm, length 35~42mm of tail, and sparrow and pigeon’s middle. Fairy pitta’s color so Fairy pitta.


Fairy pitta lives in the forest, doesn’t fly so much, hit ground, and walk. Its breeding is domed nest where it reaches 20 centimeters in the diameter with which the forest floor combined the branch, warbles loudly from the tree during breeding time, 4~6 eggs times are laid in Japan in May~July. The breeding form is oviparous, incubated for about two weeks in the ♂♀alternation. Fairy pitta lacks ground with the foot, searches for food, and eats. Earthworm, insect, and crustacean are all kind of Fairy pitta’s food habit eats.


Fairy pitta is a kind of endangered species. It’s present situation is number of living decreases by destroying the habitat by development, disturbance by man’s invasion to the breeding area is feared, habitat is deprived by road works and making to the man-made forest, cameraman invades fairy pitta’s nest , and bringing up a child fails.

Fairy pitta’s present situation is number of living decreases by destroying the habitat by development so Fairy pitta has been called the bird of the phantom few. Fairy pitta disliked to be extremely cautious, and to approach the nest under bringing up a child so cameraman invades fairy pitta’s honor nest ground and bringing up a child is fails.

Relations with Kochi

Fairy pitta was enacted by the prefecture bird on May 10, 1964. Small number of fairy pittas are introduced to the prefecture west in around May. The fairy pitta is continuously confirmed in a part of Kochi Prefecture and Kyushu and Nagano now. Fairy pitta’s habit is that 100~150 has bred in Japan now, tens of are thought for being to exist in Shimant river among these, can be said the density of the fairy pitta is the highest in Japan, the nest was discovered in Kochi Prefecture Sukumo City in 1937.

Tsubame: Hirundo rustica

Everybody can see some very pretty birds at the beginning of spring in Japan . These birds are swallow . Scientific name of swallow is Hirundo rustica . The common Japanese name for this species is Tsubame and the old Japanese call it “ Tsubakuro ” or “Tsubakurame”. The swallow proves useful to farmers because the swallow eats harmful insects . It is said that “If the swallow flies lower , it rains.” The swallow are about eighty types in the world . Swallow are five types in Japan .

Swallows are distributed the northern hemisphere. Swallows come to Japan in early spring , and these comes from Northeast Asia or Southeast Asia in the winter. Those swallows pass the winter in Northeast Asia or Southeast Asia . But some swallows pass the winter in Japan . Those swallows pass the winter from the center of Japan to Western Japan . The swallow is summer bird.

The Swallow has a total length of about 17 centimeters. The back is Indigo black. The throat and forehead are red . The abdomen is white . The swallow has big wings and a long tail. The swallow flies at an air speed of about 60 kilometers per hour and moreover , it is flying very well but The swallow doesn’t get down the ground much . Because the swallow has short leg so it can’t walk well. The Swallow eats insects . While the swallow is flying , the swallow drinks water . The average life expectancy of swallow is 18 months because chick’s death rate is high , but the primary life is 7 years .

Swallow’s nest is made from the dead grass , mud and saliva . For example swallows make a nest under the eaves because they protect theirself from the crow . Swallows lay about 5 eggs at a time , but the death rate of their chicks is about 65 percent and so almost all chicks can’t become adult birds . It takes the swallow three weeks to leave the nest . The swallow makes a roost in the flood plain along a river or the reed field of the irrigation pond . We see a mass of swallows there . The number of swallows in the roost is several thousand .

We can see swallows in Kochi . We can see the nest of the swallow in the ceiling of the car park . Many swallows are flying everywhere in Kochi . If you can find the time , could you look at the sky ? You may see the swallow .

Tonbi: Milvus migrans

The Black Kite’s Japanese name is Tobi and the scientific name is Milvus migrans. They are birds which are migratory birds or resident birds. They are raptors and Accipitrida . So they are bigger than almost all other raptor species. The males are 58.5 cm long and the females are 68.5 cm long. Females are bigger than males. They have wingspread of 150~160 cm. Their body color is blown and beaks are sharp and curved.

They are five varieties of the subfamily hawk. Milvus migrans milvus, Milvus migrans lineatus, Milvus migrans parasitus, Milvus migrans grovinda and Milvus migrans affinis . Milvus migrans milvus live in Europe. Milvus migrans lineatus live in Central Asia. Milvus migrans parasitus live in Africa. Milvus migrans grovinda live in India. Milvus migrans affinis live in Australia. M.m.milvus and M.m.lineatus are migratory bird, while M.m are parasites, M.m.grovinda and M.m.affinis are resident birds. Migratory birds live in cool temperature zones. On the other hand, resident birds live in warm temperature zones. Migratory birds can’t live in cold season. So they move to warm country.

Black kite’s habitats are mountain, seaside, harbor, rivers, agricultural land, lake and marshes and city. They live in various habitat. Because they have ability that suit the environment. They live especially in harbors.

Black kite eat prey type or omnivorous type. Prey type live in the suburbs. They eat animals, carcasses, flogs, lizards, snakes and fishes. On the other hand omnivorous type live in the city. They eat animals, carcasses, flogs, lizards, snakes and fishes. In addition, they eat garbage and people’s lunches. There are many people and many foods in the city so there is lots of garbage. Black kites are suit for the environment so they are omnivorous. Black kite glide using convection in the sky. There action is soaring. Soaring is to glide to using convection and flap in its wing. They look for bait when they glide in the sky. Next, they dive and catch the bait. From the outset they are very wary. But they are tames to people recently. So they rob food from people. People are injured by them. Black kites die often because their food and danger prediction ability very low.

Black kite doesn’t have fine brain and learning ability, so can’t predict danger in well. And they glide useing convection in the sky. So they are cause of birdstrike. Birdstrike is accident and black kite is caught into the air plane’s engine. There aren’t good statistics on this.

Black kites live and are found in Kochi. They like to get bait in easy places. So they find easy fishing port or rural areas. Their song is “Peep―hyolololo”. If you want to look them, you should go seaside or rural areas, for example Usa, Susaki, Muroto, Asizuri, Katsurahama Motoyama-chou, Otoyo –chou are good. Especially Usa is famous fishing ground. So there is gotten many fishes by fisherman. Black kites aim for many fishes. It is near Kochi city and you get there in thirty minutes by car. Probably you can find many black kites with in a short distance. You can find them in others places too.