Last month, I spent 10 days in Japan. The main thing that I took away from this trip is that Japan is nuts. It is a country where people ask only “can we do this?” not “should we do this?” I’ll likely be making several posts about the weird and wonderful things that I saw on the trip, but I’m choosing to begin with a topic that is close to my heart: birds. We visited Japan too early to see the Sakura festivals, but there were occasional cherry blossom trees that were in bloom. As one might expect, these blossoms attracted birds. Just, not the birds I expected to see. Only a few hours off the flight, quite jetlagged/disoriented, we wandered around the Ueno Onshi Park. A lot of people were crowded around the only sakura tree on the boulevard to be in blossom. We wandered over because, frankly, we thought it was funny that people were so excited by a little blossom. Then, I saw it.
In a park in the middle of Tokyo were Indian Ringneck Parakeets. Because, why not.
These birds were doing what they do best: being destructive. There were I think four birds, and they seemed pretty dedicated to picking all of the blossoms so that they may throw them on the floor.
I did a quick search online, and apparently Indian Ringnecks are fairly adaptable birds. There are now colonies all round the world, stemming from pets which have either escaped or simply been released. It made for an interesting start to the trip to see, certainly! They are beautiful birds.
A couple of days later, we went to check out Shinjuku and visited the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. This was another place with a few sakura trees attempting to blossom, and once again the tree was attracting a crowd. I went to take a look, and this time it was not parakeets; it was Mejiros, or Japanese white-eyes!
These beautiful little birds were much less destructive, opting to feed from the blossom instead of wreck them.
There were a lot of photographers present with much bigger lenses than me, but I’m still happy with my pictures!
The rest of the park was beautiful, and I expect I’ll be posting more later!