Japan is a small country stretching from north to south. There are many mountains and forests. As Japan is surrounded by the seas, it has long shorelines. Japan enjoys distinct four seasons. Thanks to those characteristics, many species of wild birds can be observed. Those birds that live in the same habitat are called resident birds. Those that migrate are called migratory birds. Migratory birds are categorized into two groups. Those migratory birds that come to Japan in spring and nest and leave in autumn are called summer migratory birds. And those come in late autumn and stay until the next spring are called winter migratory birds. In addition to them, those birds that stray into Japan on rare occasions are called accidental visitors. Many avid birdwatchers travel far to watch those accidentals. Birds are also named after their habitats. Those birds that mainly live in the mountains and fields are called mountain birds. Those live near the waters are called waterside birds.
There are about 10,000 birds’ species in the world and some 600 species (6%) were observed in Japan. Some birds are residents only in Japan. Such birds are Okinawa woodpecker and Okinawa rail in Okinawa, and Bonin honeyeater in Ogasawara Islands. In winter, many White-tailed sea eagle, Steller’s sea eagle, and Whooper and Tundra swans visits Hokkaido. Japanese cranes also congregate at several feeding grounds. Many birdwatchers from overseas visit there to enjoy birding of those wonderful birds. As a matter of fact, Hokkaido is listed among the top three spots as the world birdwatching location.
I hope you’ll enjoy my pictures taken over forty years. Those are photos of birds with beautiful plumage in four seasons, twittering birds, birds in flight, birds doing interesting behaviors, and others. Please enjoy the pictures and make your life much richer.
Beto Akihiro Asami Smith
Took Pictures of More Than 2,000 Wild Bird Species in 40 years.
Received an Annual Grand Prix Prize in Nature Science Division