Sunday, August 18, 2013
Japanese Crested Ibis
No, I haven't been to Japan. Rather, my Japanese sister, Yoko, along with her daughter Maki and family, visited us last week. Yoko has a friend in Japan, Isao Saitou, who is an ardent birder. He sent along a little thingie to plug into the computer (I have no clue what those thingies are called) with photos he has taken of Japanese birds and asked that I put photos of Great Egrets on it for him. Fortunately, Steve and family were here at the same time and Steve did the honors for me. I uploaded all the decent bird photos I've taken that I could find. But I had nothing to compare to his Toki, or Japanese Crested Ibis.
Here is what Wikipedia says about this extremely rare bird:
At one time, the Crested Ibis was widespread in Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, and Russia. It has now disappeared from most of its former range. The last wild Crested Ibis in Japan died in October 2003, with the remaining wild population found only in Shaanxi province of China until reintroduction of captive bred birds back into Japan in 2008. They were previously thought to be extinct in China too, until 1981 when only seven ibises were seen in Shaanxi, China.
On September 25, 2008, the Sado Japanese Crested Ibis Preservation Center released 10 of the birds as part of its Crested Ibis restoration program, which aims to introduce 60 ibises into the wild by 2015. This marks the first time the rare bird has returned to the Japanese wild since 1981.
On April 23, 2012, it was confirmed that three crested ibis chicks had hatched on Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture, the first time chicks had hatched in the wild in Japan in 36 years. One of the chicks briefly left its nest on 25 May.
These photos were all taken in Niigata Prefecture by Isao Saitou. Many thanks to him for these amazing photos of an extremely rare bird.