yakushima birds

Yakushima birds

Grey Heron – Ardea cinerea

Yakushima birds amount to 167 confirmed species.  Some are permanent like the endemic varied tit (sub-species), winter wren and endemic eurasian jay (sub-species), some are migratory like the flycatchers, ryuku robin and egrets, and some pay a short visit whilst heading further north or further south like the osprey. 

There many wading bird species to be found on the island, particularly in the north west and the east.  Indeed, most bird species can be found in the lower regions of the island and hanging around the woodland close to the coastline may be more profitable for ornithologists than carrying a camera and heavy lens up into the forests and mountains.  The temperate forests of Yakushima are often quiet of birdsong aside from the tits, wrens and jays or the bush warbler and robins during the summer months. 

Winter migrants include the peregrine falcon and kestrel which can be best observed in the open coastal areas of the south of the island.  Due to a lack of prey then eagle species are missing from the island.  Large black kites are often seen soaring over the road as they wait for vehicles to kill prey such as snakes.

Rare Yakushima birds include the Ryukyu robin (Erithacus komadori), Japanese wood pigeon (Columba janthina), Izu leaf warbler (Phylloscopus iljimae), and Izu thrush (Turdus celaenops) which have all been designated natural monuments.

As Yakushima is almost entirely forested then we usually detect the birds via their song – hence a set of videos is more helpful rather than a set of photographs.