The Japanese Bush Warbler lives in bushy scrub and calls "jya jya" in a voice that is lower and more guttural than that of a sparrow. In the spring, when males start to sing, most Japanese Bush Warblers move to mountainous areas or northern areas for breeding. As such, during this time the bird is rarely seen in urban areas.
Play birds singing
The familiar "hoh(o)-hokekyo" call of the male Japanese Bush Warbler is used to attract a female during breeding season in the spring and fall and also serves to declare its territory. Generally found in dense wooded undergrowth, these birds are rarely seen in sunny open areas. Since males and females cannot clearly see each other in the dark bushes, rather than colorful plumage, the male makes use of its singing skills to attract a mate.
In the fall and winter, its somber plumage and unfamiliar "jya jya" call usually fails to draw attention even when the bird makes an appearance in a garden or park.
Recently, there has been renewed interest in the importance of helping out nature in undeveloped woodlands near populated areas by clearing under brush and paring trees. But equally important is the need to pay attention to biodiversity. Have the Japanese Bush Warblers that you usually hear singing been unusually quiet this year? If so, it may be because the surrounding bushes were trimmed too much, resulting in a significant change in the environment that keeps the birds away. This, in turn, could lead to a decline in the population of Lesser Cuckoos, which lay eggs in the nests of Japanese Bush Warblers.
In the southern regions of Japan's main island of Honshu, Japanese Bush Warblers, as well as Black-faced Buntings and Pale Thrushes, rely on bushes and wooded undergrowth to make it through the winter.
It is very rare that you will find a Japanese Bush Warbler in an open space. The male is slightly larger than a sparrow, while the female is smaller.
The Japanese White-eye, which can often be seen sucking the nectar of flowers in the spring, is sometimes mistaken for the Japanese Bush Warbler, which we don't often see, even if we can hear its voice.