New species of migratory bird spotted in Sanya

By Chen Shumin / HICN / Updated: 14:21,05-April-2021

On March 25, a Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) was spotted in the wetlands near Honglong Road, Haitang Bay, Sanya City. It was the first time for the Sanya Wildlife Conservation Center to register the presence of the Purple Heron in the city.

A Purple Heron was seen foraging in the wetlands near Haitang Bay. (Sha Xiaofeng)

According to the staff of the Sanya Wildlife Conservation Center, the Purple Heron, which features brownish yellow plumage and a dark stripe in the middle of the neck, prefers to inhabit marshes, lagoons, and lakes surrounded by dense reeds, where they can forage for food and conceal themselves in the aquatic plants.

In early March, over 20 Eurasian Coots (Fulica atra), also known as Australian Coots, were spotted in the same wetlands for the first time, and the rare White-browed Crake (Poliolimnas cinereus) was also observed making a stopover there. Since the Eurasian Coot is a migratory bird that often migrates during the breeding season, the staff believe that these birds chose to spend winter and breed there due to the good habitat of the wetland, which is abundant in food and aquatic plants.

Eurasian Coots were spotted in Sanya. (Photographer: Baobaoxiong)

In 2013, the Sanya Wildlife Conservation Center set up a migratory bird monitoring team to keep tabs on bird migration epidemics and diseases. 16 species of migratory birds were observed in the wetlands near Haitang Bay on March 23, including the Eurasian Coot, the Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), the Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), the Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), the Intermediate Egret (Ardea intermedia), the Great Egret (Ardea alba), the Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis), the Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis), the Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus), the Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius), the Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), the Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola), the Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum), the Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis), the Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus), and the Garganey (Anas querquedula).

An egret flies over the head of a Purple Heron in the wetland. (Sha Xiaofeng)

In recent years, Sanya has seen an increasingly improved ecological environment, which has attracted more and more migratory birds, greatly enriching the biodiversity on the area.

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