Black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) nest in colonies in arctic Canada, Alaska, and Russia (Derksen and Ward 1993, Sedinger et al. 1993). Virtually the entire population stages in fall at Izembek Lagoon near the tip of the Alaska Peninsula (Bellrose 1976) before southward migration (Dau 1992) to winter habitats in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and Baja California (Subcommittee on Black Brant 1992). A small number of black brant winter in Japan, Korea, and China (Owen 1980). In Japan 3,000–5,000 brant of unknown origin stop over in fall, and a declining population (<1,000) of birds winter here, primarily in the northern islands (Brazil 1991, Miyabayashi et al. 1994). Here, we report sightings of brant in Japan that were marked in Alaska and propose a migration route based on historical and recent observations and weather patterns.
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Black brant from Alaska staging and wintering in Japan