Japan is considered as the paramount for many people. Japan is popular for its unique culture, sushi, traditions, temples, kimonos, tea ceremonies, manga, anime, sculpture, poetry, flower arrangements, calligraphy and origami etc..
I hope all of you who have visited the well known volcanic island which is the northernmost island in Japan, “Hokkaido,” have seen the white balls which are flying in the air.
What do you think these balls are? They are quite rare tit birds with long tails that are native to the island. These small birds have the look of an exact cotton ball with black eyes.
They can be found in other regions of Europe and Asia too. But, the type of birds which live on this island have their own speciality when compared with the ones found in other areas. These birds are pure white faced and the bodies of them are the same as cotton wool. The birds found in Europe and Asia have brownish grey feathers along with the white colored ones. Or else you’ll sometimes be able to find these birds without the white feathers.
The Hokkaido consists of 6 national parks and 17 quasi-national and prefectural parks and is famous due to the endemic creatures found there.
Hokkaido stands as the home for a wide spread of wildlife. And also the animals which live on the island are comforted by tourists. These tiny cotton ball birds are known to be social creatures. Perhaps, they can land on your shoulders too.
The locals in Japan are overwhelmed with the cuteness of these small birds.
Flying cotton balls
They are given the nickname “The Shima-enaga birds”. They move in large flocks. The way of communication between these birds sounds like ‘si-si-si-si’ and it can be easily recognized.
These cotton ball birds are normally seen in mixed woodland. But they don’t matter living in farms, parks, river grasslands or thick forests.
However, these birds are unsafe during cold winter weather conditions. Therefore, they need to have food which is rich in energy to ensure their survival. Therefore, you’ll be able to see them often in your gardens collecting food.
The breeding season of them falls in spring. Thus, they move to the countryside to breed.
The length of these birds in their adulthood is around 13–15 cm. An adult cotton ball bird weighs about 7–9 grams. The appearance of a fully grown bird is described as follows; an adult bird has a streamlined body with a white face along with a quite long dark tail.
They live a corporate life in order to get rid of the difficulties when nesting alone. Each flock of these birds consist of around 7-15 birds. They join with each other to make the flocks soon after their breeding season which falls in between July and February.
The nests of these birds are found in tree branches or thick shrub bushes. A group of birds present in the flock have their responsibility to take care of the babies while the rest have to fly in search of food.
By the way, don’t forget to treat them with some peanuts, pizza crusts, seeds or breadcrumbs if you wish to have contact with these little cute fellows.
They’d be extremely sweet and adorable for sure!