Photographer captures "Japan's cutest bird"

The long-tailed tit (shima enaga in Japanese, usually written シマエナガ and rarely 島柄長), is sometimes called "the cutest bird in Japan." Native to the northernmost island of Hokkaido, it can often be found dusted in snow and perched on branches. With its pure white face and round fluffy body, it's often compared to cotton balls or Pokémon.

For the prolific photographer and long-tailed tit enthusiast at Twitter account ぼく、シマエナガ boku shima enaga (@daily_simaenaga), every day is a good day for conveying this bird's charms. Their photos perfectly capture the long-tailed tit at its most adorable moments

"A long-tailed tit jumping with legs stretched out."

"The bird that looks like an onigiri."

As hinted by that last caption, the photographer often compares the long-tailed tit with food such as onigiri rice balls.

In fact, in addition to taking excellent photos of the bird, they also happen to enjoy recreating it as adorable food art, some examples of which we've previously introduced on grape Japan. For example, they've turned the bird into daikon radish perched on omelets, looking like manga delinquents made of sushi or curry rice, and of course, onigiri rice balls.

Onigiri Inception

On March 23rd, 2022, boku wa shima enaga posted one of their latest food creations, representing what may be a new development in the long-tailed tit onigiri series. Until now, other food items were added to the onigiri to recreate parts of the character, such as sashimi or tempura representing a manga delinquent's hair or sheets of nori seaweed representing the high upturned collars of their gakuran uniforms.

But now, the birds are carrying food.

For example, take a look at this creation:

Reproduced with permission from ぼく、シマエナガ boku shima enaga (@daily_simaenaga)

"I made an onigiri of a bird that looks like an onigiri presenting you with an onigiri."

Katuobushi (dried bonito flakes) adds texture in the back and a long strip of nori is used to recreate the bird's eponymous long tail. Moreover, panning out, you can see that this new onigiri bird is part of a tasty-looking meal, complete with eggs, sausages, miso soup, and a drink.

Reproduced with permission from ぼく、シマエナガ boku shima enaga (@daily_simaenaga)

If you look closely, you may even notice that the glass holding the drink as well as the chopstick feature the long-tailed tit. Here they are in more detail, along with a link to the shop where you can buy them:

The photographer's most recent creation continues the "onigiri birds holding food" theme:

"A cute onigiri appeared holding the main dish!"

Who knows, maybe the next creation will be an onigiri of a bird that looks like an onigiri presenting you with an onigiri that's holding the main dish?

If you'd like to enjoy more of their great photography and adorable food art, follow them on Twitter.

By - Ben K.