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Matsumoto castle birds of prey... 2009/4/15 23:19
A couple of weeks ago I was in Matsumoto visiting the beautiful castle. Whilst walking around the gardens surrounding the castle I was lucky enough to experience the terror of being attacked by a large bird of prey. A young Japanese mother was feeding bread to the swans when she decided that she would throw a piece of Warburtonfs sliced white bread, frisbee style, for one of the local raptors to enjoy. Whether by accident or design, she flung the vital sandwich ingredient in my direction. Within a split second Ifd gone from marvelling at the sight of the swooping bird of prey to placing my hands over my head and ducking for cover – much to the young ladies amusement – as I was for a brief moment convinced that I was itfs target. Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone could tell me what particular bird it was?
by harkins  

... 2009/4/16 10:24
It was probably a hawk. I was at Matsumotojo the other day and saw hawks (taka) while I was there along with signs warning to be aware of them.

Did they look like this:

by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

difficult to say really... 2009/4/16 16:44
but if you say that there are warning signs I guess that it must have been a hawk. Were the warning signs in English? I never noticed them. But having said that I don't think it would helped if I had. And to be honest, I'm kind of glad I had the rather unusual experience anyway. Thanks for the answer.
by harkins rate this post as useful

Hawks. 2009/4/16 23:01
I was just at Matsumoto Castle about a month ago myself and know the birds you speak of.

I live in Yokosuka and we have them here also --I'm just not sure if they're the same species or not. I think the ones we have here are Sparrow Hawks but searches on the net have not been very useful.

But they're everywhere, big and beautiful. The noise they make took a while to get use to in the early mornings. They'll also snatch the food right out of your hands --I've seen it happen many times. People like to feed them off of our balconies and you'll get a swarm of 20-30.

They won't attack... unless you have food, ha ha.

by Elizabeth Ann rate this post as useful

Tobi (a kind of hawk) 2009/4/17 01:03
As a possibility, it's a kind of hawk called tobi in Japanese common name, scientific name Milvus migrans. (English common name black kite)
Tobi is an only bird of prey which uses to live near town though there are some kinds of bird of prey in Japan. Sashiba or chuhi (Marsh harrier) are also live near town, but they are migratory birds which come on summer.
Here are videos. Black kite (tobi) vs. Crow, and Swan
Black kite vs. Marsh harrier

However, Matsumoto city is near to mountain. the possibility you had looked at rarer bird of prey canft be denied.
by mokinrui (guest) rate this post as useful

... 2009/4/17 10:05
The tobi (link mokinrui posted) seem to be what I see most around Japan.

I went to a lot of places besides Matsumotojo the other day so I don't recall exactly if the signs were there or somewhere else, but they were only in Japanese.

I've also seen many halks around the Karasu river in Kyoto, and seen them snatch food from people at Chigasaki Beach in Kanagawa.
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

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