【Series】 Spirits of the Kamuy landscape
In this series, the transformation of four seasons will be introduced through articles on wild animals that are active in the deep forests, marshes, and ocean as if they were being cradled by “Kamui,” which means deity in the Ainu language. The first installment in the series is the Yezo sika deer of Notsuke Peninsula. (Text and photographs by Tadanobu Shigeru from the Kushiro Branch News Secti
【Series】 Spirits of the Kamuy landscape (36) Growing Ural owl begs for food
I encountered the ‘fairy of the forest’ – with its round eyes, rotund body and fluffy feathers reminiscent of a stuffed toy – in Akan-cho in the city of Kushiro in eastern Hokkaido.
The cute creature is a Ural owl chick. It was born in a tree hollow in May, left the nest after approximately one month, and spends its time hiding in the shadows of the tree until it can fly. As it cannot yet hunt for its own food, it feeds on mice and the like brought by its parents, as it grows day by day.
The nocturnal owls rest during the daytime, and often receive food between evening and early morning. The growing chick is always hungry, and chirps to beg for food as its patents approach. In many cases, several of its siblings live in the vicinity, and all begin chirping when they see the parents in the twilight at dusk.
By late June, the Ural owl chicks, which live in a forest close to human habitation, are able to fly far away, and will move deeper into the mountains.
(Photo and words: Shigeru Tadanobu)