Birds of all types and sizes are fascinating and interesting creatures, but the most impressive are the little birds.
Small fluffy balls may be seen flitting among the trees on Japan’s second biggest island.
They resemble little cotton balls with wings, and they’ve been compared to cotton candy by some.
Long-tailed tits, or Shima enaga in Japanese, are these unique birds.
This subspecies of bird can be found only on this Japanese island.
So, what makes these tits with lengthy tails so unique?
To start with, they are quite little, averaging just 13 to 15cm in length, half of which is the tail! Long-tailed tits usually have black eyebrows (as seen here), however in Hokkaido, they lose their eybrows as they get old.
This only affects one eye, leaving them with a completely white face, giving them the appearance of little snowmen. Having a totally white face helps them blend in during the long winters on the island.
These little cotton balls fly about in groups of 20 to 30 and even do fantastic acrobatic tricks while they do so.
They usually lay 7-10 eggs at a time, which helps to maintain the population.
Females are fragile throughout the winter, but because to the large amount of eggs they produce, their broods always survive. Though the long-tailed tit may be found all across the world, from Western Europe to Russia to Japan, Hokkaido’s variety is unlike any other.
It’s no surprise that their fluffy small spherical bodies have been turned into charming plush animals.