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Bird ID in Japan (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
This post is by way of apology to all on Bird Forum that I have accused of ignorance of Japanese birds, and in particular the likelihood of seeing them.

Over New Year, my wife and I went to Taiwan for six days, a first visit, mostly not birding. However sorting bird photos from that trip today, my copy of Mark Brazil's 'Birds of East Asia' finally fell apart.

I wondered whether I should finally buy Brazil's 'Birds of Japan' or just another copy of 'Birds of East Asia' which has never been updated since 2009 as far as I am aware. Or rely on my Japanese books - but, though I can read them, it's five or ten times slower than reading in English.

Anyway, I put 'Birds of Japan' into the search area in DuckDuckGo which I usually use.

As expected Wikipedia was the first result, but I was expecting Brazil's book to be in the first few.

But no. Below is a screenshot of the top of the DuckDuckGo search top page. Apart from Wikipedia and iNaturalist, all of the top results were totally shocking.

I tried again, therefore, with Google in English. This was better but still included some horrendous sites.

I had no idea before that people searching for likely birds or birding locations in Japan might come across stuff like this.

Link first, comment after.

15 COMMON Birds That Are Found in Japan! (2024)

15 COMMON Birds That Are Found in Japan! (2024)

Number one: Black Drongo
Number four: Common Myna
Number eight: Peacocks

51 Common Birds In Japan - The Worlds Rarest Birds

51 Common Birds In Japan (Matt FarnsworthNovember 29, 2023)

Number two: 'Cranes'
Number three: Blakiston's Fish Owl
Number twelve: 'Crow Family' (illustrated with American Blue Jay)
Number fourteen: Crested Ibis (Sado Island....)

The highlight of these 'Common Birds in Japan' is:
Number 23: Bonin Wood Pigeon (which is of course extinct)

But go through them all!!

Japanese birds- List Of Top 15 Japanese Birds

Japanese birds- List Of Top 15 Japanese Birds

This also has extinct Bonin Wood Pigeon as one of the fifteen top birds.

But there's a bonus. Because there is an additional list of 'The Rarer Birds of Japan'.

This list of rarer birds includes the Japanese White Wagtail and the Japanese White-eye.

But the highlight for me is this one: Amami Crow (I can't work out what the real bird is supposed to be. Maybe I'm missing something and someone can?)

The Amami crow is found only on Amami-Oshima island and is considered one of the most endangered birds in the world. The Amami crow is classified as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List, meaning that its population is rapidly declining.

The Amami crow is unique among crows because it is the only one that has a white belly. The Amami crow lives in the dense forests of Amami-Oshima and is believed to be the only crow species that build nests in trees. The Amami crow is also the smallest crow in the world and weighs approximately 1.6 ounces (45 grams).

List of Birds Found in Japan with Pictures

List of Common Birds of Japan

I recently severely criticised people for saying that the Japanese Sparrowhawk is 'regular' when it's a lucky find. But compared with some of the birds in this list, it actually is.

Bird-Watching in Japan | Guide | Travel Japan - Japan National Tourism Organization (Official Site)

Guide Birdwatching in Japan

What is the point of this?

Note that all of these sites come high up on page one of searches. Is this SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) or AI (Artificial Intelligence)?


Anyway, I will be more cautious in my accusations in future.

DDG Birds of Japan Search.jpg

Thick-billed Crane (or is the crane riding a bicycle?)

Stork + RCC.jpg


The year 2024 looks rather dangerous, so even more than usual best wishes to all.

(An obvious plug for those who use predominantly electronic guides. Even if those are actually scanned books...)
I use Birds of Japan (Chikara Otani) - Lynx Birdlife Field guides. Brazil's Birds of Japan for Helm is just the Japanese portion of Birds of East Asia. The former is much better.
I've also seen some of those (shared in another thread).

Amami Crow was probably supposed to be Lidth's Jay (don't ask me about the description, though).

Is this SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) or AI (Artificial Intelligence)?
If anything, AI would be the one responsible for writing this nonsense because it's hard to believe a human could do that.


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