Thursday, 12 September 2013

Magpies Niigata

Azure-winged Magpie

Shinano River, Niigata City, Japan

August 2013

These are the only kind of magpies I've seen in Niigata. They are quite attractive but always sticking themselves in the densest foliage. I have wanted better pics than these for quite a while but I can't get good views when I've got my camera. They are fairly common about the place and are here all year round. These photos are of a family along the Shinano River. I felt sorry for them last year as many of the trees they lived in were cleared away. 

Some interesting behaviour when I was photographing the young one below occurred when the adults in a tree behind me started a softish alarm call. Actually I was wondering if it was an alarm as it was repetitive but not so desperate. The young bird flew over to disappear in the thick leaves of the trees with its family and the calls went on for a few moments. Suddenly all went quiet and I looked up the see a Peregrine Falcon jetting by. Can't say, I've noticed alarm calls like this before in Japan. Different to the noisier birds in Australia.

This isn't such an attractive shot but it's easier to see their colours with some kind of background.
Photos of these birds with a blue sky background are quite disappointing. 

Young bird in front of a house.

Peregrine Falcon

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