Check Out These Tiny Japanese Birds That Look Like Fluffy Little Cotton Balls!

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Check Out These Tiny Japanese Birds That Look Like Fluffy Little Cotton Balls!

Have you ever seen a cotton-ball fly? Well, if you are ever on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, don’t be surprised if you do. Of course, these aren’t real cotton-balls, but they sure look like them. These long-tailed tits, known as Shima Enaga in Japanese, are utterly adorable and widely popular among inhabitants of the island and visitors alike.


These beautiful little birds move in large flocks and inhabit a wide variety of habitats across the island from farmland, wide open-spaces to urban settings, parks and gardens. You can also always tell when they are nearby by their recognisable call of ‘si-si-si-si’ that permeates the Hokkaido air.



In the summer and autumn, they are particularly common in people’s gardens and farmer’s fields as they store up on fat reserves for the winter months, and in springtime they move further into the countryside in order to breed.


This breeding process, like much of the Shima Enaga’s life, is communal, meaning that they work cooperatively together. The birds lay their nests together and then unite with a smaller group of around 7 to 15 birds who carry out tasks for one another, such as gathering food while others remain behind to look after the new-born young.



Their breeding is certainly usually successful as the little birds, about 14cm long and weighing around 8 grams, are a common sight on Hokkaido. Hokkaido itself is famous for the large number of animal species that permeate the island due in part to the vast array of geographical features ranging form mountains, to grasslands, to lakes and rivers all set within a temperate climate.



The fact that the people of Hokkaido are so passionate about the wildlife, 17 national parks exist on the island, is another reason why species, such as the Shima Enaga, have thrived. In return the Shima Enaga also seem to like humans and show little to no fear around them. With a little bit of bird-seed these little guys will even sit on your shoulder.



While similar long-tailed tits do exist across parts of Europe and Asia, it is only the Shima Enaga in Hokkaido that presents with the all-white face and deep black eyes – so if you want to see a cotton-ball fly, or even have one sit on your shoulder, Hokkaido is the place to head!


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Thinking Humanity: Check Out These Tiny Japanese Birds That Look Like Fluffy Little Cotton Balls!
Check Out These Tiny Japanese Birds That Look Like Fluffy Little Cotton Balls!
Have you ever seen a cotton-ball fly? Well, if you are ever on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, don’t be surprised if you do. Of course, these aren’t real cotton-balls, but they sure look like them. These long-tailed tits, known as Shima Enaga in Japanese, are utterly adorable and widely popular among inhabitants of the island and visitors alike. These beautiful little birds move in large flocks and inhabit a wide variety of habitats across the island from farmland, wide open-spaces to urban settings, parks and gardens.
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