Japan: Little Tern artificial nesting site

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Japan: Little Tern artificial nesting site
From: jilldening <>
Date: Thu, 02 Jan 2003 07:52:23 +1000
Hello Everyone,

The letter below is unedited, but a joy to read, and is self-explanatory. It
has come to me following a recent visit by members of the Japan Wild Bird
Society to the Qld Wader Study Group. I have been sent a video, in Japanese,
of this amazing situation and the work being done by the volunteers. I can't
understand a word of Japanese, but the pictures say it all - it just blew me
away. Some of you will find it interesting.

I notice that a programme of a similar nature will be screened on SBS
tomorrow night, about rooftop nesting in Yugoslavia or somewhere in that
area. (Check the guide for details, I forget.)


Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Qld
26º 51'     152º 56'
Ph (07) 5494 0994

<Letter from Mr.Masuda>

To birding lovers in Austoralia from 'Little Tern Project' Tokyo in Japan
  Little Tern  come to our area every year around the last week of April or
10 days before May.   Our bird watching area is near the Haneda Airport the
west of Tokyo Bay the mouth of Tama river.   You know, Tokyo Bay side are
full of man-made islands.  Migratory birds come and search the very little
vacant place to pick up the worm or to breed.   But Tokyo Bay side had been
the great palce for migratory birds for long long years before
industriaization these 40 years.  They, decreasing in number very much, come
again and again of their memory.    Sometimes there comes out the man-made
Migratory birds can use it.   But they cannot use it next year.  They will
see the buildings cover it all around.
  We love Little Tern.  But they also have experienced this perplexity.  We
got the Birds' Park in our aerea by a campaign or demonstrating our
love-nature to Tokyo Metropolitan
City Government in 1989.   It has 23ha expanding but has little vacant place
for little terns' breeding.  We try introduce them to the place in our Park
again and again, but not successful in vain.   Therefore, we cannot watch
them only just when they come here for these years.
  But unexpectedly the top manager of our group 'Masuda naoya' on a day the
last June found the new
place fitting for little terns' breeding on 2001.   He was astonished at the
many little terns flying over the rooftop of the largest sewage plant.
They laid their eggs on the naked concrete flat floor.   He watched
carefully and found that the eggs were blew out of their nests and broke up.
  He told this facts to the staffs of Wild Birds Society of Japan, the local
government, news-media(news paper, TV station, etc.) and
fellows(naturalists) in a hurry.  He wrote a petition to the sewage
department of Tokyo government with his friend, surveyed the breeding area
with the staffs of Wild Birds Society of Japan.  Two of the big company of
News Paper told this fact
on the paper as local news several times.   The NHK(national TV) broadcasted
this news on a morning July on Golden time (at 7 am).
But this time, the fruits of the breeding were miserable.  The 7ha flat of
concrete rooftop floor producted only 200 eggs and 5 left off chicks.
   So, we, little tern lovers, were composing NPO 'little tern project' of
three existing groups(nature preservation groups) and hastened to start the
big action
for their nesting place in 2002.  There were meetings again and again.
Because in
Tokyo or in Japan, we have seldom collaboration between government office
and pure popular group as like this.  But, in Japan, also time are changing.
The time is NGO's  In result, we could collaborate with the government
bureau.  The bureau laid sands-like burned sludge(made from the plant,
recycling products) on the floor 2ha.  Our group covered it (not all over
but sprinkled) broken
shells 30 tons which we brought from the opposite side of Tokyo Bay by
voluntary work.  Some place of the 2ha were coloured by white paint, because
the sands from sludge were red.  This work also was done by volunteers.
And we
also serve to little terns chicks many shelters which were made of steel
net.  More than 200 volunteers came to help us on days of March 2002.
   We waited on this new place-rooftop with feeling fear whichever they
come or no.  They came !    They began lay eggs since 20th of May around.
We saw more than 800 flying over the rooftop every day on this summer.   We
counted more than 1,000 nests and more than 2,000 eggs on this season.
We could see many chicks.  Many of them were sacrificed by two of strong
rain-storms, crows, kestrels and cats.  Although we saw many dead chicks and
wings on the floor from July to 15th August, the fruits of this year was
more than 600 left off
chicks one of which have found in New Zealand on this October. Our
banded-little terns have metal ling but don¹t have flag. We recieved
the news with great joy and astonishment 'with naked eyes'!?.  Do you know
what he is who can read the number of the foot-ring at a distance with naked
eyes.  How did he get it through?   It seems impossible without catch.
    Apat from this question, we pleasured to have hear your message that we
would exchange our information about little terns and our activities between
us.    I believe we need it, because we are only volunteers.  We don't
expect someone pay for this, but we expect more little terns come again and
fly over the sky of our city and show us diving fish catch show and pretty
little chicks!   And if we could recieve news about our chicks, it must be
great our joy.
    Our group 'Little Tern Project', because we could not have recognized
ourself for last one year clearly ( we recognized only our representative,
the member caring for money, etc)for many activities, is starting just now.
    Masuda naoya (m) : Representative
    Nitta masako (f) : account manager
    Yagi yuji (m) : group manager ( writing this letter )
    Tanaka ryouhei (m) : group manager (he made shelters)
   Nakase kouta (m) : technical manager (he got convey broken shell with
   Tumura masanobu (m) : technical manager (he painted sludge)
   Hayakawa masaharu (m) : survey manager
   Hayashi eiko (f) : survey manager
   Hukada masahiko (m) : Home Page manager
   Hukui ?    (m) : group manager
   Tanaka teruaki (m) :group manager
   Kawamoto terumi (f) : group manager
   Yamada emi (f) : group manager
   Shibata emi (f) : surveyor (about plants)
   and some advisers

Our Home Page is

We start to make a plan for next season successfully.


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