Japanese Gardens and Birds – Ornithology


Simply returned from a three-week journey to Japan. Not a birding journey however I snuck in some birdwatching once I might. Principally visiting cities and cities and villages, I had a have a look at a number of parks and gardens. Japanese gardens are engaging, neat, and clear, however maybe overly so. One of many components of Japanese backyard design is to “keep away from litter.” Effectively, the gardens definitely try this. It was frequent to see gardens with timber naked of branches and no leaves besides on the exterior edges and high, few or no shrubs, and both naked floor or very low floor cowl. The gardens had been greater than maintained, they had been manicured.

Employee with a mud pan really sweeping the bottom.

Ornithologists have identified for years that foliage top variety is said to chicken species variety. That’s, the extra layers of vegetation there are, the higher the range of chicken species. That is smart as a result of the extra layers of vegetation there are the extra meals, nesting and roosting websites, and locations to cover from predators and the climate there are. So owners eager about having extra birds round are inspired to keep up messy landscapes as standard city panorama administration strives for a tidy look.  In Japan, with such orderly and clear landscapes, there are few birds in such environments. There’s just about no place to nest and meals is scarce with few seeds and bugs.

Within the photograph at left, you may see the branches having been stripped off the cedar timber and mendacity on the bottom. The cedars solely have foliage on the very high.

Nevertheless it’s not simply gardens that appear to lack birds. Sooner or later on a several-hour hike of about 4 miles via what gave the impression to be a comparatively unscathed forest atmosphere, I noticed nothing however an occasional Japanese Crow and Black Kite. No birds flitting from the bottom or the bushes, no birds flying overhead, aside from these few kites and crows. A website referred to as Chook-watching in Japan says little about common bird-watching however emphasizes all of the completely different locations within the nation you may go to see this or that chicken. However on an on a regular basis stroll, the rewards are minimal.

Driving house from the San Francisco airport, I seen birds all over the place alongside or above the roadsides. Not a minute glided by between chicken sightings. In Japan, hours would go by earlier than I noticed something completely different than a Japanese Crow. Metropolis individuals of Japan are lacking out on one of many pleasures of nature, birds of their yard.

Now I don’t need to depart you with a unfavourable impression of Japan. It’s a fantastic fashionable society with well mannered, hospitable, pleasant, comfortable, and wholesome individuals who care about their nation. In three weeks I noticed just about no litter, graffiti, or homeless. Every thing, and I imply the whole lot, is in good to wonderful situation and the whole lot works extraordinarily effectively.

Two-thirds of Japan is mountainous and solely about ten p.c is residential, so wildlife is just about restricted to the mountains, having been pushed out of the closely maintained city areas. If I ever return, I’ll head for the hills.

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