The Wild Bird Society of Japan has launched a Web site to aid binocular-toting bird watchers who spend their holidays poking around bushes and peeking in trees.

The new site, which went online last week, allows computer and i-mode users to tap into an illustrated reference of 37 species of the most common birds, including sparrows, crows and egrets.

The site has a search engine allowing visitors to identify birds by size, season, species and location. Once a bird is identified, users can listen to its call by clicking on a link marked “song.”

The site will initially run until late June, a period that encompasses Wild Bird Week from May 10 to 16. It will then be temporarily closed for expansion to include around 300 species of birds before being reopened later.

WBSJ officials said they are inundated with calls during Golden Week and Wild Bird Week, and they plan to take advantage of the computer and cellphone revolution to heighten awareness and spur interest in birds.

The Web site is at www.wbsj.org/zukan1/ or, with an i-mode capable telephone, www.maneki.co.jp/wbsj/i

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