The common filin (Latin Bubo bubo, Old Rus. Pugach) is a bird of prey from the owl family, one of the largest representatives of the owl order. The most characteristic features include a massive "barrel-shaped" build, loose plumage with a predominance of reddish and ocher shades, bright orange eyes and tufts of elongated feathers above them (the so-called "feather ears"). Distributed in forest and steppe regions of Eurasia, where it adapts to the most diverse biotopes where it exists.
Yambaru-kuina, or the Okinawan shepherd boy, is a bird from the family of the shepherd family of the crane-like order. Endemic to the island of Okinawa.
The total body length reaches 30 cm, the wingspan is up to 50 cm, the weight is up to 435 g. The wings are short and round, the bird has almost lost its ability to fly. The tail is short. The upper body is olive brown, the underside is black with ripples of narrow white transverse stripes, the sides of the head and throat are also black with a white longitudinal stripe behind the eye. Powerful legs and beak are red, the end of the beak is light. The iris of the eyes is also red. Young birds are lighter than adults, with a speckled lower body. The white stripe on their neck is shorter, the beak and eyes are brownish, the legs are buffy-yellow.
Noisy loud-voiced birds. They cry mainly early in the morning and at the end of the day, usually on the ground, but sometimes sitting in trees. They often cry in pairs, in one area up to 12 birds can be heard at the same time. The couple's voices sound like loud "kyo", "kui - kui - kui - kui - kui - kuii" and the reciprocal "ki-ki-ki" and "kiip - kiip - kiip". Other screams include high pitched sounds, reminiscent of a pig's squeal, and deep gurgling "gu-gu-gugugu" and "guu-guu-giagiagia".
The closest relatives of the Yambaru Kuina are the zebra, New British and Kalayan shepherdesses.
2. Habitat and habitats
The range of the species is limited to a narrow coastal strip only 4 km wide of dense thickets in humid areas of the evergreen broadleaf Yambaru subtropical forest in the uplifted northern part of Okinawa Island, the Ryukyu archipelago, southern Japan. The total area of the range is about 990 km², according to other sources, only 260 km². They are found mainly in the forest, as well as in swamps, meadows and arable lands near water bodies. Sedentary birds, only in winter some individuals can migrate to the southern part of the range.
Most of the time it stays on the ground, at night it flies up to low trees. It cannot fly long distances. It feeds mainly on the forest floor, but sometimes in shallow water. It feeds on lizards, amphibians, snails and large insects such as locusts. Monogamous birds usually keep in pairs. They breed in May-July. The nest is built on the ground. In clutch there are from 2 to 5 white eggs with pinkish-brown specks. Downy chicks are black with a white beak and yellowish legs.
4. Number and protection
Yambaru-kuina is listed in the International Red Book as an endangered species, since there is only one very small population with a very small range on one single island. In 1986, the total number was estimated at 1,800 birds. Studies from 1996 to 2004 showed a significant reduction to 717 individuals and a narrowing of the range from the north by 40%. However, a 2006 study found no further reduction in the area of distribution. The main threats are the predators introduced to the island - feral cats and dogs, the Javanese mongooses Herpestes javanicus, the large-billed crows Corvus macrorhynchos, as well as deforestation, infrastructure development, agriculture and the construction of golf courses. Many birds, especially during the breeding season, die on the roads. As a result, according to the international organization BirdLife International, the number of the yambaru quin population by 2017 decreased to 480 mature individuals and continues to decline.
It is declared a natural monument of Japan and is protected by law. In 1996, Yambaru Forest became a national park. In some areas, the capture of introduced predatory mammals is carried out, as well as restriction of movement on the roads. The Japanese Ministry of the Environment has planned a captive breeding program for this shepherdess to create an artificial population of 200.