yakushima birds

There are around 150 bird species on Yakushima.  Some are permanent like the varied tit, some are migratory like the flycatchers and some pay a short visit whilst heading further north or further south like the osprey.  As Yakushima is almost entirely forested then we usually detect the birds via their song – hence a set of videos rather than photos.


Japanese Bush Warbler

Cettia Diphone

A very distinctive call.  Very hard to find even though they may sound close.


Varied Tit

Parus Varius

Along with the coal tit, the varied tit are a common bird in the forest.  Easy to spot.

Coal Tit

Parus Ater

The varied tit and coal tit have similar calls.  If it doesn't have the orange breast then it's a coal tit.


Japanese White Eye

Zosterops Japonicus

A socialable bird that is seen most often in the winter.

Japanese Robin

Erithacus Akahige

Often on the forest floor.  A thin metallic call.

Bull Headed Shrike

Lanius Bucephalus

A combination of chirps and rattle calls.


Eurasian Jay

Garrulus Glandarius

Heard in the forest with a croak reminiscent of a crow.


Japanese Woodpecker

Picus Awokera

These are easy to identify as they hammer upon a tree.  However, they often 'hammer' lightly which make them more difficult to spot.


Whistling Green Pigeon

Sphenurus Formosae

The call comes in two phases with the second phase sounding like a drawn out howl.


Common Kestral

Falco Tinnunculus

Most often seen during the winter along the open flats in the south of the island.


Grey Wagtail

Motacilla Cinerea

More yellow than grey, but not as yellow as the yellow wagtail!  The run across the ground feeding as they go.


Pale Thrush

Turdus Pallidus

Abundant in the winter as they dart out from the roadside in front of vehicles.


Lesser Cuckoo

Cuculus Poliocphalus

These birds make a noisy beeline across the sky.


Blue Rock Thrush

Monticola Solitarius

Often seen around the coastline with a very distinctive tint of blue.


Winter Wren

Troglodytes Troglodytes

A tiny bird with a big voice.  Found in the forest.


Brown Eared Bulbul

Hypsipetes Amaurotis

There are usually a few of these birds grouped together.


Ruddy Kingfisher

Halycon Coromanda

A rare kingfisher that likes a heavy forest.



Black Kite

Milvus Migrans

A common raptor spotted soaring the skies.