My dad has a gift for spotting animals. He could look across a vast plain where I only saw plants, and see antelope, rabbits, and birds. I loved seeing all the wild animals. I always hated zoo's because I felt like it striped away everything that made them animal. I may never see a wild panda, but I would rather see a grizzly in Yellowstone once in my life, then see a dozen bears in zoos.
Here in Japan there are some absolutely amazing birds. I haven't seen too many, but I always keep my eyes open.
Here are my favorite birds I have seen.
Ravens and Crows
I love watching the ravens and crows here. They are so clever. At the bridge that crosses the large river that bisects town I see them dropping snails onto the road, and then wait for cars to crush them before swooping down to eat their prizes. They don't fear humans like other birds do, which is a bit erie, but fascinating.
I had an unbelievable interaction with a peregrine falcon. I was walking across the bridge to school in the morning on a very rainy day. There was a little brown bird sitting on the railing about 3 feet to my left. The falcon dove down to catch the bird, and in the process it came so close to me that the rain on it's wings was pelted onto my face, I could see the downy feathers that peaked out on it's extended talons. It was phenomenal being so close to a bird of prey during a hunt.
There is a lot of myth surrounding the Japanese crane, I understand why after seing one myself. It is considered to be very auspicious to see a crane. There is a legend here that if you fold 1000 paper cranes your wish for better health will be granted. They are outstandingly beautiful, and while in flight they are amazingly graceful and powerful. I also really like their call.
It is rare to see a Japanese pheasant, so I am incredibly lucky to have seen one. When I first saw it, I thought it was a phoenix. It was stunning. Their green feathers are iridescent in the sun.