I love my second home in Hokkaido, Japan, And I love my Hokkaido Photo tour time, especially in winter. This is the best time to photograph the Shima Engage, they are so sweet they look like bouncing miniature snowballs, and their face is as white as a cotton ball. The Shima Enaga is a subspecies of the long-tailed bushtit. They are also known as the silver-throated tit or silver-throated dasher. They are a tiny bird (at 12-16 cm in length, including their tail at 7-9 cm. Males and females are identical. The Shima Enaga you will often hear before you see them, they have a constant and high pitched call. Outside of the breeding season, they live in flocks of 10 - 20 birds, composing of parents and offspring that mostly make up the flock; they like to stick together. Wondering birds from other flocks sometimes join, and together with other adult birds, they help raise the brood. These birds are highly territorial and will protect their territory against neighboring flocks. If you want to photograph the Shima Enaga, you should get to Hokkaido, Japan. And either join my annual Hokkaido photo tour or book with me privately for your photography expedition. Finding these birds by yourself would be difficult, if not impossible, and there are only a handful of pro photographers and guides in Japan that know the habitats and habits of these birds. But these beautiful fluffy birds also inhabit the entire Paleatrictic realm, but as I mentioned before, they occur mostly in Hokkaido, Japan. Females from Spring to Autumn tend to wander into neighboring territories, while males remain within their winter territories. The Shima Enaga was first classified as a tit of the Parus group. The Parus has been split from the Aegithalidae and becoming a distinct family containing three sub-group families. Aegithalos (long-tailed tits) are five species birds with a tail. Psaltriparus (North America Buishtit), monotypic. Psaltriparus (pygmy bushtit), monotypic.
The Shima Enaga is insectivorous all year long. They mainly eat arthropods predominantly and prefer the eggs and astronomical giant moths and butterflies, but sometimes they will eat vegetable matter. When photographing these beautiful fluffy pure white bonny of a bird, I suggest a super-telephoto lens. 600mm f4 is good, with a 1.2x or 1.4x, or even an x2 telecenter for those up close and personal encounters. Myself I prefer to use a 300 f2.8 or a 400mm f2.8 with a 2x telecenter, or my Nikon 800mm with a 1.2x teleconverter.