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Copper Pheasant is a variable species, with five named subspecies, all endemic to Japan. Although superficially similar in structure to Ring-necked/Green Pheasant (genus Phasianus), also seen on our Japan tour, Copper is placed in genus Syrmaticus, with the glorious Mikado Pheasant (Taiwan) and Elliot's and Reeves's pheasants (China). Photo by guide Phil Gregory.
This Great Spotted Woodpecker stood out beautifully in the snowy landscape. This species includes more than a dozen subspecies; not surprisingly, this bird belongs to the easternmost, japonicus. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.
These dozing Ural Owls, a high point of the Winter Japan tour, were of the very pale subspecies japonica. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.