Guide to some birds of the Okhotsk region

EurasianJay StellarsSeeagle Redpoll BlakistonsFishowl LathamsSnipe JapaneseCrane Skylark LongtailedTit JuvenileSwan
Whooper Swan White-tailed Sea-Eagle Stellar's Sea-Eagle Hazel Grouse
Japanese Crane Far Eastern Curlew Latham's Snipe Ross's Gull
Blakiston's Fish-Owl Ural Owl Black Woodpecker Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Eurasian Skylark Long-tailed Tit Snow Bunting Common Redpoll
Tree Sparrow Eurasian Jay Northern Raven Buller's Shearwater*
Swan Goose* Ashy Minivet* To Checklist To Bird Guide Top

Ural Owl   Strix uralensis (ssp)    Ezo Fukurou

The Ural Owl is a Hokkaido resident that can be seen year round. Though primarily nocturnal, it is sometimes active during the day, too. Occasionally a Ural Owl is seen on a power line or utility pole beside the road.

But they are not at all common. If we don't get serious about leaving enough environment for them to survive, seeing them will become a very rare occurrence if at all.

We can recognize their presence by their characteristic "Hoh-hoh, Guruk Hoh-hoh" calls.

The Ural Owl that lives in Hokkaido is actually a subspecies of the Ural Owl that Japanese often call the Ezo Fukurou (S. u. japonica). [The Japanese used the name Ezo or Ezochi to refer to the island of Hokkaido until they renamed it in the mid-19th century, and Fukurou is the generic Japanese word for owl. "Ezo" appears in the names of many species and subspecies of wildlife that live in Hokkaido. Though Fukurou is the word for owl in Japanese, strictly speaking, Fukurou is only the Ural Owl which, in the case of our region of Hokkaido, is only one of 10 species of the Owl family (Fukurou-ka) that live here. So how, you probably want to know, did a generic name become the name of a specific species? If you look at our Checklist, you will see this happens with some other species as well; it's an interesting question. Was the Ezo Fukuro more common in Hokkaido than the Shima-fukuro (Blakiston's Fish-Owl)?]




Hokkaido, 24 March 2002
(Photo: Midorin-san)