In Pics: Bird watching in Hainan

By Chen Shumin / HICN / Updated: 15:44,22-May-2021

Since 2000, bird watching has become more and more popular in China. People greatly enjoy the close contact with nature provided by bird watching, an outdoor activity that many find relaxing and even therapeutic.

Hainan's pleasant weather and diverse protected natural ecological environments, ranging from mountain streams to coastal mangrove wetlands and lush rainforest jungles, make this tropical island home to many species of resident birds as well as attracting large numbers of migratory birds every winter.

The incredible profusion of rare and colorful birds brings bird watchers and photographers to Hainan to capture them - not in nets but in their camera lenses instead. The bright plumage and amazing aerial acrobatics of these mesmerizing creatures bring a smile to all who are lucky enough to spot them as they forage, nest, and fly through forests and wetlands.

1. Blue-tailed Bee-eater

These acrobatic birds boast a superb flying technique, and they speed through the air, gliding, hovering, suddenly turning, and diving through the air.

(Photo by Zhang Zongshan)

2. Flamingo

A few years ago, the Hainan Mangrove Bay Wetland Park specially brought 100 Cuban flamingos from Cuba to live in the park. Since the natural ecological environment of the park matches the original living environment of flamingos very well, they are thriving here in Hainan.

(Photo by Zhang Zongshan)

3. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo

This medium-sized Asian bird is distinctive in having elongated outer tail feathers with webbing restricted to the tips.

(Photo by Feng Erhui)

4. Red-whiskered Bulbul

Red-whiskered bulbuls are more often heard than seen, but will often perch conspicuously especially in the mornings when they call from the tops of trees.

(Photo by Feng Erhui)

5. Yellow-browed Warbler

The Yellow-browed Warbler not shy, but its arboreal life style makes it difficult to observe and it is almost constantly in motion. Its song is a high pitched medley of whistles.

(Photo by Feng Erhui)

6. Wood Sandpiper

This bird is usually found along fresh water during migration and wintering. They forage by probing in shallow water or on wet mud, and mainly eat insects and similar small prey.

(Photo by Feng Erhui)

7. Spoon-billed Sandpiper

The Spoon-billed Sandpiper is a small wading bird that breeds in northeastern Russia and winters in Southeast Asia - including Hainan! Thats quite a long journey! This bird is listed as a Critically Endangered species on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

(Photo by Feng Erhui)

8. Asian Brown Flycatcher

These common birds are usually found in open woodland and cultivated areas. They are often seen alone or in pairs, occasionally in small groups of 3 to 5.

(Photo by Feng Erhui)

9. White-shouldered Starling

This species of starling mainly breeds in southern China. It prefers coastal habitat and open areas with scattered trees.

(Photo by Feng Erhui)

10. Light-vented Bulbul

The light-vented bulbul has a broad white patch stretching from the back of its eyes to the back of its head. It is considered a beneficial species, as these voracious birds consume a large number of agricultural and forestry pests.

(Photo by Feng Erhui)

11. Warbling White-eye

Olive green on its back, the white-eye has rounded wings and a long, slender bill both of which indicate that this bird is very acrobatic. It is a very sociable species that may form flocks with other species.

(Photo by Feng Erhui)

12. Chinese Pond Heron

With white wings, a yellow bill with a black tip, and yellow eyes and legs, the Pond Heron is often found in shallow fresh and salt water wetlands and ponds in southern China.

(Photo by Feng Erhui)

13. Lesser Sand Plover

This chunky plover is long-legged and long-billed. It inhabits beaches, estuarine deltas, paddy fields, and salt pans, and can be seen on rivers, swamps, beaches and grasslands.

(Photo by Feng Erhui)

14. Black-faced Spoonbill

The most famous migratory bird in Hainan, the Black-faced Spoonbill is internationally classified as an endangered species by the IUCN. The birds flat, long bill reminds locals of the traditional Chinese musical instrument the "Pipa".

(Photo by Feng Erhui)

15. Pied Avocet

The Pied Avocet is a striking white wader with bold black markings, a long, upturned bill, and long, bluish legs. These birds forage in shallow brackish water or on mud flats, often scything their bills from side to side in water.

(Photo by Ji Qiaozhu)

16. Black-winged Stilt

These birds have long pink legs and a long thin black bill, and are blackish above and white below. They forage for insects and crustaceans in sand or water.

(Photo by Ji Qiaozhu)

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