Feral Parrots of Tokyo Are a Spooky Presence Flocking Above

Illustration for article titled Feral Parrots of Tokyo Are a Spooky Presence Flocking Above

Birds are a traditional subject of nature photography, and usually are seen as specimens of beauty. But the parrots that soar and roost around Tokyo are portrayed in the work of Yoshinori Mizutani quite differently.

The birds, actually parakeets, are not native to Tokyo. They were originally imported in large quantities as pets in the 1960s, and since have spawned feral flocks that inhabit the surrounding areas. Mizutani's images, shot with a flash, often at nighttime, are off-kilter and frenetic, reflecting the conflicted relationship of the foreign species to the surrounding urban environment. It's a stark contrast to the pristine, action-freezing conventions of wildlife photography.

Illustration for article titled Feral Parrots of Tokyo Are a Spooky Presence Flocking Above
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Illustration for article titled Feral Parrots of Tokyo Are a Spooky Presence Flocking Above
Illustration for article titled Feral Parrots of Tokyo Are a Spooky Presence Flocking Above
Illustration for article titled Feral Parrots of Tokyo Are a Spooky Presence Flocking Above
Illustration for article titled Feral Parrots of Tokyo Are a Spooky Presence Flocking Above
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Illustration for article titled Feral Parrots of Tokyo Are a Spooky Presence Flocking Above
Illustration for article titled Feral Parrots of Tokyo Are a Spooky Presence Flocking Above
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Illustration for article titled Feral Parrots of Tokyo Are a Spooky Presence Flocking Above
Illustration for article titled Feral Parrots of Tokyo Are a Spooky Presence Flocking Above
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Illustration for article titled Feral Parrots of Tokyo Are a Spooky Presence Flocking Above

Mizutani describes his experience of seeing the flocks of parakeets as though he had fallen into the Hitchcock movie "The Birds." His photos certainly do an amazing job conveying a kind of surreal terror. [It's Nice That]

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DISCUSSION

I wonder what the phenomena is that allows there to be a dark shadow behind the birds when the background is the sky? It looks like the birds are green screened in, and casting a dark shadow just two feet behind themselves. Why does this happen?