(Picture by Daniel Bensen)
    The mountaine forests of Japan are the home of many birds, one of the most common being the chibitori (Kamifilius nipponenis) a tiny species of balaclava bird which feeds upon insects and nectar

    In the summers, chibitori subsist mostly on a diet of nectar, which they steal from flowers by puncturing the plant near the ovaries with their slender, needle-like beaks.  The birds are also fond of insects, and often eat the bees and butterflies attracted to the flowers they pillage.

    Male chibitori possess an enlarged "balaclava" (an expanse of naked skin which coveres the face and much of the beak) which flushes bright red during the mating season.  Chibitori are not gregarious and are very shy.  Often, the only evidence of the birds' presence is their song, which usually consists of three notes rapidly voiced, followed by a third note which is both lower and is held longer.  Some have transliterated the song as "tabemashOO" while others write "Dee-dee-dee DUM" and liken it to the first few notes of  Beethoven 5th symphony.

(Text by Daniel Bensen)
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