Miyako’s Sashiba migration survey reports 2,333 fewer birds than last year during “kanro”

Miyako’s Sashiba migration survey reports 2,333 fewer birds than last year during “kanro”

A sashiba (grey-faced buzzard) migrating to Miyako Island. Photo credit: Miyako Yacho no Kai President Kunihiro Nakachi.

November 16, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo


The Okinawa Prefectural Government’s Nature Conservation Division and Miyako Island’s birding society, Miyako Yacho no Kai, led by Kunihiro Nakachi, reported the results of its annual sashiba (grey-faced buzzard) migratory bird survey. The survey is conducted from the rooftop of the Miyakojima City’s Irabu office building between October 8 and 21, during the two-week “kanro” period of the 24 solar terms. The birding society counted 11,713 sashiba this year, down 2,333 from the 14,046 birds counted last year. The organization stated that the number fluctuates every year, but it is trending down in the long-term.


On the second day of surveying, the birding society counted a thousand migrating birds. The count fell on October 10 and 11 due to Typhoon Chan-hom, but rose again between October12 and 15; October 13 had the highest count at 2,530. The record high was set in 1982 at 54,000, the largest migration of sashiba since the survey began in 1973. The record low was 1,584 in 2004.


Migratory bird surveys are conducted every year during the “kanro” period. Students from Irabu Elementary, Middle-, and High Schools, as well as Miyako High School, participated again for the 48th survey this year. The final report thanked the community and wished for the students to carry on the conservation activities into the future. It also underlined the importance of local youth participation and interest in sashiba conservation.


(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)


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