The Blue Rock Thrush can be seen on rocky beaches all year. It does not winter in Hokkaido, nor is it seen in some coastal areas, however it has become more common in inland and urban areas of Honshu. Its whistling song, “Hyopi-choi,chi-tutupi,” carries clearly. Its call note sounds like “Hi. hi” or “Gu,gu.”
Play birds singing
Umisuzume (Ancient Murrelet) is classified in Charadriiformes, and it is not a relative of Suzume (Tree Sparrow). There are some cases where the naming of a living thing invites confusion. Isohiyodori (Blue Rock Thrush) is one of those examples.
The Blue Rock Thrush (Isohiyodori) is classified in Muscicapidae, and it is not a relative of the Brown-eared Bulbul (Hiyodori). The Blue-and-white Flycatcher and Narcissus Flycatcher are classified in the same family Muscicapidae.
One difference between the Blue Rock Thrush (Isohiyodori) and the Brown-eared Bulbul (Hiyodori) is that the male Brown-eared Bulbul does not sing. Said to be as melodious as the Blue-and-white Flycatcher, the male Blue Rock Thrush has a complex song with many variations.
The Brown-eared Bulbul belongs to the order Passeiformes because of the development of its organs and syrinx for singing; however, it is an exception.
Nowadays the Blue Rock Thrush is seen along waterways even in the central part of Tokyo. I once observed a young bird that seemed to leave the nest on the top floor of a department store near Yokohama station, so it seems that birds are also breeding in such places.
Why has the Blue Rock Thrush whose original habitat is rocky coastal areas started expanding into urban areas? Research on the subject has begun, but I cannot help guessing that it is expanding its habitat by identifying the concrete in urban waterways and buildings with rocks on beaches.
Its English name, Blue Rock Thrush, means Thrush of blue rock. It seems that its original habitat in continental countries is rocky areas of inland mountains.
Even a male with its blue back and chestnut-colored belly can be difficult to identify, depending on the light. Since it has become a familiar bird even in cities in recent years, be on the lookout for it.
The plain female is similar to the male in size and shape. The slow bobbing of its tail like the male is one way of identifying it.