If you’re planning a visit to Hong Kong, one of the best things to do is to take a trip to the Starling Inlet.
The inlet is a major feeding and roosting site for many species of ducks and waders, as well as egrets and herons.
Many forest birds, including the Great Barbet, Chestnut Bulbul, and Yellow-cheeked Tit, also live here. Other birds you might see here include the Velvet-fronted Nuthatch and the Tristram’s Bunting.
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Approximately 40 species of woodpeckers are found in Hong Kong, including the critically endangered Crested Serpent Eagle and the endemic Greater Painted-snipe.
The latter is listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Other species of woodpeckers can be seen in the city’s parks and other urban locations, including Long Valley, Kam Tin and Kowloon Park.
The black-capped kingfisher is another bird found in the mudflats of Hong Kong. These birds are known for their loud whistle-like calls and use their downcurved bills to hunt for food.
They have adapted to the local environment and rely on food left on the ground and on human food. Oriental magpie robins are also found in Hong Kong. They are small birds with black and white feathers, and are around 23 cm long.
The island is home to more than 530 species of birds, which makes it a unique birding destination. Hong Kong is home to half of all birds in China, and the city is a perfect stopover for migratory birds.
The TNC is actively working to protect and restore habitats for birds and wildlife. There are many birdwatching opportunities in Hong Kong, so be sure to make time to enjoy the local birds.
Compared to its European cousins, Asian koels are much larger and are much easier to spot. They prefer open fields with scattered trees.
They lay their eggs in other birds’ nests, and unlike other crow species, the Asian koel chick isn’t aggressive to its foster siblings. They feed on crows’ eggs, a significant burden on crow reproduction.
You can hear Asian koels in Hong Kong by hearing their loud, distinctive call. These birds breed about every three months of the year, roughly following the same breeding cycle as house crows.
Their shrill, incessant call reminds people of spring, and is an interesting way to identify the species. The bird’s call is so loud and distinct, it can be heard for hours. If you’re lucky, you can catch a glimpse of one of these birds in the wild!
The call of the Asian koel heralds the arrival of migratory birds. The city is a popular stopover for migratory birds, and during their migration season, exotic birds migrate to the island.
Unlike native koels, most Hong Kong residents don’t recognize the bird’s diversity. The piercing song and startling crimson eyes make the koel an unmistakable part of the landscape.
The ecologically diverse group of honeyeaters includes a variety of species. The smallest species, the Myzomela, are only nine centimeters long.
The largest species, the yellow wattlebird Anthochaera paradoxa (Daudin), measures fifty centimeters. These birds occur in nearly every habitat type of the region and are recognizable by their bright yellow bodies and brush-tip tongues. Their diet is mostly comprised of nectar.
Nesting habits vary widely between species. In temperate and tropical regions, the number of eggs in each clutch can be as low as one or as large as four. Male participation in rearing differs from species to species.
Species may migrate in response to changes in local abundance. Honeyeaters are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passerformes, and family Meliphagidae.
Bees can help preserve the environment by pollinating gardens. Thousands of bees need fresh, clean air and fresh water to survive. Beekeepers must protect their habitat to ensure the future of their species.
Beekeepers should protect their habitat from the onset of urbanization. Honeyeaters in Hong Kong should be protected, and conservationists should consider their cultural traits and habitats. But, beware! Beekeepers aren’t the only ones with this problem.
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The cuckooshrikes of Hong Kong are black-winged, sooty-gray birds that poke between foliage and tree branches, chasing insects from the ground to the air.
These birds were once found in the forests of Singapore, but are now extinct because of the clearing of native forests. As a result, cuckooshrikes have been forced to migrate to new areas with a different ecosystem, where they now live.
The four species of cuckooshrikes found in Hong Kong are all quite similar to each other. The size of the species varies from 5.5 to 14.5 inches, and they are mainly grey-colored, though some species are less colorful than others.
Cuckooshrikes have a broad bill with stiff feathers around the nostrils, pointed wings and long tails. Their distinctive call accompanies the song and can be heard in both urban and rural areas.
The black-winged cuckooshrikes are more solitary and usually live in pairs, although they occasionally form small flocks. They also feed in mixed flocks.
The scarlet-winged cuckooshrikes tend to form smaller groups, but the black-winged cuckooshrike will feed in small pairs. These birds often spend the winter alone. The males of these birds usually have one to three nests.
Oriental magpie robins
Oriental magpie robins live in solitary or in pairs, or in groups of two to ten members of their species. They are known to live between ten and fifteen years.
During breeding season, their calls are most vocal. Oriental magpie robins also have an alarm call and a mournful rising whistle. The Oriental magpie robin is a highly territorial species.
The male Oriental magpie robin has a dark scaly head, long tail, and bold white wing bars. The female has dull, dark grey feathers and a grayish-black body. Both sexes have a strong song.
Oriental magpie robins of Hong Kong have a distinctive call. Despite their evocative song, they are difficult to identify due to their coloration.
The Oriental Magpie-Robin is a common bird in open forests and parks. They nest in a wall hole and feed on insects and other invertebrates.
The female tends the nest and feeds the nestlings while the male aggressively defends the territory around the nest. These birds are very clean, and bathe in freshwater puddles and rainwater. They have also been observed anting. Despite their aggressive nature, the Oriental magpie robin is not a threat to humans.
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The Black-capped kingfisher is also known as the Miyako kingfisher and Alcedo pileata. These congeners share many characteristics, but only the Black-capped kingfisher differs in one important way.
It has a distinctive, sabre-like beak and fan-like head crest. It is easily identifiable, as it flies with its wings constantly flapping. Its chicks exude a scent that is believed to repel predators. These birds live mainly in sparsely forested areas, but can also be found foraging on the ground.
The Black-capped kingfisher breeds in the Indian subcontinent, Indochina, and Korea and spends its winters in many parts of Southeast Asia.
In Hong Kong, it is a rare passage migrant and winter visitor. These birds feed on crustaceans, fish, and large insects. They are also known to feed on frogs. Their blackish plumage makes them one of the most common birds in Hong Kong.
In Hong Kong, Black-capped kingfishers are common among other species of kingfishers. Its plumage is mostly purple-blue with a black cap and head.
It also has a white throat and neck collar. Its bright red legs and bill are also prominent features. Its cackling call attracts people and other animals. Despite its dazzling appearance, the Black-capped kingfisher has been considered one of the most vulnerable birds in the city.
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The Spoon-billed Sandpiper of Hongkong is one of Asia’s most endangered birds. In a survey in five villages around Sonadia Island, Bangladesh, the researchers found that eight hunters caught 22 Spoon-billed Sandpipers during the three-month post-breeding moult period.
This decline may be related to the low recruitment rate in the species, because these birds do not return to breeding sites until they are two years old, and so are highly exposed to hunting activities.
Conservation of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper involves site protection, conservation breeding, head-starting, and research.
The RSPB, BTO, Nanjing Normal University, Hong Kong Waterbird Ringing Group, and the Microwave Telemetry team are all involved in the project. The team has also been involved in a joint conservation initiative, known as the Spoony’s Chinese Wetlands Project.
The peak season for seeing the Spoon-billed Sandpiper is April and May, when the highest spring tides occur. While the birds are only distant specks during low tide, during high tide they may be very close.
The World Wildlife Fund Hong Kong and BirdLife International have both teamed up to raise awareness about this endemic bird and help to protect its habitat.
The World Wildlife Fund Hong Kong and BirdLife International are also working hard to conserve the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, which is now rarer in Hong Kong than it was a century ago.