カテゴリ: Message from Rangers

• The period from 10th to 16th May is Japanese Bird Week, which was officially designated in 1950

There are no words to describe the beauty of the Bird Park in May!  It really is something to see. We can only say ‘Please visit the park and see for yourself!

May is the brightest month in the year. All the trees with freshly sprouted green leaves and all the grasses shoot up and grow out quickly. The park is covered with variations of light green color which then quickly turns into a deep green color over time.

The fresh water pond in the eastern part of the park, which once seemed to be “moor” in February, is now a very beautiful “meadow,” and this will all soon be covered with a very thick and tall reed bed. We eagerly look on to see if the Little Grebe and the Moorhen have little nests somewhere in the reeds.

Beautiful meadow! The East Freshwater Pond

The summer birds, such as the Little Ringed Plover, Little Tern, Barn Swallow and Oriental Reed Warbler join the regular members of the park while the winter residents, the Pale Thrush, Dusky Thrush, Daurian Redstart, Reed Bunting have all moved on to other places. The park also hosts stopover habitats for many waders on the way to their northern breeding sites. The Whimbrel, Grey-tailed Tattler and Ruddy Turnstone can be commonly observed at the tidal flats in Shioiri brackish water pond.
Among those birds are small song birds which might pass through the park in an instant and in obscurity. They are the Ashy Minivet, Narcissus Flycatcher and Japanese Robin. Some of them generously delighted lucky rangers and visitors with their beautiful songs. Normally these birds breed far away, deep in the mountain areas.

Photo: Narcissus Flycatcher / Japanese Robin / Ashy Minivet

Besides celebrating nature, Tokyo conducts several big festivals in May. Those are Kanda-myojin-matsuri, Shitaya-jinjya-matsuri, and Sanja-matsuri. These festivals are characterized by special “Mikoshi,” portable shrines. The Mikoshi is a temporary vehicle for god and the parish people join forces to bear it for moving through their township. Sanja-matsuri, for example, is definitely the most important day of the year for Asakusa residents. The chief ranger of the park will participate in the Sanja-matsuri which signifys the beginning of summer for the residents!
Sanja-matsuri, The Honshya-Mikoshi Ichino-mya  

April is the prime month of spring with trees and flowers showing lively fresh green colors. Cherry blossoms in full bloom are a highlight of the season but in April the number of plants flowering is not necessarily that many. Visitors may be able to observe more flower and blossoms in May.

The birds are also in their early period of transition from winter to summer. There is still a variety of ducks in the ponds. But they will be leaving to return to the north, so the numbers will decrease towards the end of the month. Some migratory shorebirds, such as Greenshanks and Whimbrels may appear on tidal flats in the park. Some lucky visitors may be able to observe the cherished song birds in the park towards the end of the month. Those are the Blue-and-White Flycatcher, Narcissus Flycatcher and Crowned Willow Warbler. They may stay in the park for only a few days on their way to mountainous areas where they will prepare for their breeding season.

One of the biggest tasks of the year for the rangers, is reed bed clearing work which was successfully carried out in the last month. We expect healthy and well-grown reed beds in the pond and hope active breeding of the Great Reed Warbler, Common Moorhen and Little Grebes in the summer.


April is the threshold of new cycle of nature from winter to spring. The month is also the threshold of new Financial Year of Japan. New students start the new school year and new employees enter companies with great dreams and visions. Many organizations make changes in the staff, including the Wild Bird Society of Japan as well. Ms. Shimamura and Mr. Aoki, after a few years of dedicated service in the park, will transfer to the Head Office of the society in Gotanda. The park receives new rangers Ms. Naganawa and Mr. Onda who are welcomed by the staff. We sincerely thank Ms. Shimamura and Mr. Aoki for their excellent performance in their period at the park.


The scenery will change drastically in thepark.  March is the transition month fromwinter to spring.  In the middle of themonth beneath shrubs and reed beds fresh greens begin to sprout. The park willstart showing vivid changes of color from the winter withered brown to verduregreen toward the end of the month.  Springis coming!


According to the cherry blossom forecast byauthorities in 2017, it seems to hit Tokyo in the end of March.  The simultaneous blooms of cherry blossoms area symbol of spring in Japan, although they may not be so common in thepark.  Natural forest areas such as the forestin the eastern part of the park, is a tough place for cherry trees to survive.  They are not a member of the natural forestcommunity in Tokyo Bay area, so if you would like to enjoy “Hanami” (Cherryblossom viewing) you would be better off visiting Ueno Park or Sumida Park.


For bird viewing in March however will havea relatively large number and variety of ducks in the ponds again.  They will stay for a while before flying backnorth, eventually in April. Winter resident such as the Pale Thrush, Dusky Thrush,Daurian Redstart and Reed Bunting will stick around along with new arrivals theLittle Ringed Plover and Barn Swallow. They will arrive in the park toward theend of the month as vanguard of the summer resident.
Ringed Plover


In the middle of the month, probably on the22nd and 23rd, we will conduct reed bed clearingoperations in freshwater ponds in the eastern part of the park.  This may disturb waterfowl and hamperbirdwatching by visitors for a short time. Fire could be the best tool to use to clear old and dead reeds, however beinglocated next to the Haneda International Airport, it is impossible to carry outa fire programme.  Instead of fire, wehave to remove old reed by ourselves, by hand. Please forgive our work since this is neccessary to maintain healthyreed beds. We need your kind cooperation and support.


February is the second coldest month of the year, next to the coldest which is January, and the park enters a seasonal lull for birds. The ponds which were quite crowded with various duck species in November, are scarce now. A large majority of ducks migrated in January to locations further south to avoid the coldest temperatures. We are waiting until the end of the month when many ducks stop in at the park on their way back to Russia and northern China, and they may stay for a while. Common residents in this month are: Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Great Cormorant, Grey Heron, Sandpiper, Moorhen, and Coot. Birds of prey like Goshawk and Common Buzzard are also seen regularly despite the lower population of ducks during this time.

On the shore, along the forest areas, characteristic mixed species flocks include the Great Tit, Long Tailed-Tit, Japanese White-eye, Pygmy Woodpecker are frequently observed. Other frequent sightings are: Pale Thrush, Brown-Headed Thrush, Dusky Thrush Turdus naumanni eunomus, Daurian Redstart, Black-faced Bunting, Reed Bunting, and Bull-Headed Shrikes. This has been a lucky year for Bramblings! 

Apart from bird watching, the desolate forest and reed bed in the eastern side of the park area may be impressive for some people! According to what you like, on a calm day in the chilly weather, the park offers the solitude and a solemn moor.
Spring has not come yet, but the Japanese toad (among the four frogs in the park) will come out possibly around the middle of the month as the harbingers of spring. They assemble at the ponds and water pools for mating and spawning. Visitors may observe many males and females in amplexus at the ponds and streams in the western part of the park. There is a hard competition among males to have females known as “Kawazu Gassen = Frog Battle.” If you are not lucky enough to observe Kawazu Gassen you will see plenty of frog egg masses that they left behind in a water. 
If you are a resident of Tokyo please come and enjoy the park in February. If you are a foreigner and interested in meeting an English-speaking park ranger it will need to be set up ahead of time, so please email us at yachoukoen@wbsj.org at least one week before your visit.
If you are a foreigner visiting Tokyo, please ask your hotel concierge about the Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park. They will perhaps help you contact us and help you with directions for getting to the park.
We are looking forward to see you!


We have opened the newly renovated Nature Center (in Nov 2016) and we hope you will come see it! It is very comfortable for viewing the migratory birds in cold (and hot) weather with areas provided to eat your bento lunch. (We do not have any food vendors on site so you will need to bring your own food.) It is very spacious and a relaxed atmosphere so you can stay as long as you like!

If you are a resident of Tokyo, you will be surprised at how in the middle of Tokyo, there is such a nice refuge for nature. You can enjoy birdwatching quietly without the hustle and bustle of people bumping into you. You can come by yourself to enjoy a little solitude, or bring your family as it is a safe and friendly environment.

If you are a foreigner visiting Tokyo, we are located very close to Haneda airport (a short walk from Ryutsu Center on the monorail line) where you can enjoy seeing a variety of habitats like forests and coastal tidal flats for birdwatching.

We have many common Japanese birds as residents and migrating to the park so you have a good chance to add lifer birds to your list! We also have rangers available to consult if you are looking for other areas to birdwatch if you are just starting your trip in Japan. If you are interested in meeting an English speaking ranger it will need to be set up ahead of time, so please email us at yachoukoen@wbsj.org at least two weeks before your visit. If you are coming at the last minute, most of the staff can only speak Japanese but whoever is on hand will do their best to answer your questions.

 We look forward to welcoming you to the Bird Park and have a great “Year of the BIRD”(It’s not just for roosters) in 2017!!!