Birding Factoids

474 species
in 59  families

No endemic species
15 endangered species
12 speciality birds
2 week trip expectation -
about 200 species
including 40+ species of 

    Hong Kong
Checklist of Hong Kong BirdsTours and GuidesEco-LodgesSpeciality BirdsMap and General Country Information
Check out the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society's Bird Gallery
as well as Karl Ng's Birds of Hong Kong website
I. C. Choy's Waterbirds of Hong Kong
K K Hui's Bird Images of Hong Kong
Wong Choi On's Woodland Birds of Tai Po Kau
Help to save Long Valley! The Hong Kong Birdwatching Society is requesting assistance in a campaign to stop a planned railway to run through Long Valley in the New Territories of Hong Kong.  Long Valley is the last example of the once extensive flood plains in the northern New Territories.  The area contains a diversity of micro-habitats which allow it support a diversity of birds.  More than 200 bird species have been recorded here.  In the draft IBA (Important Bird Area) plan for Hong Kong, Long Valley has been made part of the "Deep Bay - Shenzhen River Catchment Area". The area is effectively the last place where wet agriculture is practised in Hong Kong and so carries a particular heritage value in addition to its biodiversity value. 

Click Here to Help!

Hong Kong Specialities
Black-faced Spoonbill - Photo copyright Karl Ng
Photo copyright Karl Ng

White-breasted Water Hen - Photo copyright Wayne Hsu

Photo copyright Wayne Hsu

Blue-tailed Bee-eater - Photo copyright Lawrence Poh

Photo copyright Laurence Poh

Spotted Dove - Photo copyright Karl Ng

Photo copyright Karl Ng
    ....Hong Kong Birding Locations - The Hong Kong Bird Watching
      Society. Includes site information as well as many photos. 
    ....Hong Kong Birding Sites - Written by Martin Williams. There 
      are many good birdwatching locations throughout Hong Kong, holding species that rarely or never occur at Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve. If you're a first-time visitor to Hong Kong who'd like to spend a day birdwatching here, the best itinerary would include Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, along with Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve and, perhaps, Long Valley.
    ....Mai Po Marshes Wildlife Education Centre and Nature Reserve ....
    ....A Day at Mai Po Marshes, by Karl Ng. This richly photo illustrated 
      description of the marshes gives an excellent idea of what birding is really like there.
    ....Birding at Mai Po Marshes, Hong Kong. Written by Martin Williams. 
      Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, which is managed by the World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong, is a key part of the internationally important Deep Bay wetland, which is listed as a Ramsar site, and lies between northwest Hong Kong and Shenzhen. 
    ....The Mai Po Wetland Experience - this commercial site explains the
      various components of the marshes. See also this page to find out about other good birding sites in Hong Kong. 
    ....Birding in Hong Kong- This Hong Kong birding calendar provides 
      a outline of the species and sites that are most productive at different points of the year.
    ....Watching Birds in Hong Kong - by Chris Barnes, 6th Dec, 2000. 
      The author of this site, Karl Ng, states: "I have the great chance to meet a 70s' HKBWS member on the net. He told me some interesting sightings by that very early time. Here I would like to take this chance to share his story with everyone of you. If you are not a birdwatcher by now, read it and go watching birds, you may become an enthusiastic birdwatcher as Chris does. Enjoy and have fun..."
    ....Trip Reports: Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve and Shing Mun Nature Park,
      2005, by Charlie Moores. 
    ....Trip Report: Mai Po (Hong Kong), April 1996 by Tom and Margot
      Southerland. If you want to see some of the world's rarest water birds and colorful passerines (some rare, migrating or still lingering from winter), go to Hong Kong in April. Of the many productive birding sites in the greater Hong Kong area, the Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve is the biggest "draw" -- one of the world's great shorebird staging areas where birders from around the world come to see Asian Dowitcher and Nordmann's Greenshank andhope to see the rare Spoonbill Sandpiper, that peep with a bill ending in a spatula instead of a tip. 
    ....Jetlag Junket: Hong Kong (and a bit of Iceland and England)
      April 18-27, 1996. By Gail Mackiernan. Birds observed in Hong Kong April 20th-27th, 1996. We saw 187 species in one full week, and did not visit some sites which would be recommended in a longer tour, esp. outer islands, Victoria Peak on HK island, Landau. A visit to these could have brought the species total to over 200. Also, a trip earlier in April would result in a better list for passage migrants, esp. thrushes and warblers, as well as more lingering winter visitors. Conditions at Mai Po, however, might be more
      crowded at these times. 
    ....Trip Report: Mai Po (Hong Kong), April 10-11, 1998 by Clive Harris. 
      I recently spent just over a week in Hong Kong, primarily on a family holiday. Of course, I managed to squeeze some birding in, and below is an account of what I got up to. My interest was in going to Mai Po to see the shorebirds that frequent the Deep Bay area on spring migration. 
    ....Trip Report: Hong Kong and the New Territories, April 9-18, 1998 by 
      Jeff R. Wilson. As we swung in over Hong Kong harbor and settled to the runway the first bird I saw was a Reef Heron sitting at the water's edge, the only one I would see on the trip. The next was also a one-timer, a very unexpected Eastern Marsh Harrier patrolling the grassway. Two new birds in the first five minutes. The third was a Black-eared Kite sailing above the high rise buildings surrounding the
    ....Trip Report: Hong Kong, November 1-8, 1998 by Darrell Lee. 
    ....Trip Report: China and Hong Kong, July 1999 by Bill Pratt. Although
      I still have not identified two of the birds I saw in China, I think the time has come for me to report on what was an unusually gratifying experience in a country that some say has few birds. What I learned from my experience is that the birds are there but you have to look for them; possibly they are more wary of being killed and eaten in China, since every conceivable kind of meat is on a Chinese menu, especially duck, but in any case there are many birds in China I'm happy to say and they are mostly new species to Westerners. 
    ....Trip Report: Hong Kong, December 12, 1999, by Francis Toldi. 
      In this message I provide my impressions on my experiences birding in Hong Kong. Here is the setting: a business trip on very short notice, with minimal free time for birding. I do not speak Chinese and would not have access to a car. At least in Hong Kong I had one full free day, a Sunday. 
    ....Hong Kong Trip Reports - you can find a Hong Kong trip report on John
      Girdley's BirdTours website.

    Factoids taken from Where to watch birds in Asia  - by Nigel Wheatley

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Tours and Guides

>>>>> A Birding Pal is not a paid guide, but someone who likes to help out of town visitors. You can become a Birding Pal today! Help someone to enjoy your local birding spots and find a pal to help you when you travel. Click here for Hong Kong Birding Pals, or join to be a Birding Pal!
    ....Hong Kong EcoTours - offer trips to the Mai Po Marshes and other key
      birding spots in Hong Kong.
    **..Hong Kong and Taiwan with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT)
      Taiwan hosts some 16 endemics, including a number of very striking species such as the delightful Flamecrest, elusive Mikado Pheasant, and very handsome Taiwan Magpie; you can expect to see most, if not all, of the endemics, in addition to a number of other species with only limited distributions elsewhere. Much to first-time visitor's surprise, Taiwan also harbors some of Asia's most impressive scenery, as well as the finest of Chinese cuisine and very comfortable accommodations. 
      • February 1 - February 16, 2005 (16 days Limit 8) with Dion Hobcraft
      VENT offers nearly 140 tours to over 100 land-based destinations each year and is the largest tour company in the world specializing in birding and natural history.


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Endemics and Specialities

in Hong Kong

Information on endemics and specialities is derived from Sibley & Monroe checklists and bird distribution lists in Thayer's Birder's Diary - Version 2.05, supplemented by material found in Where to watch birds in Asia  - by Nigel Wheatley. Asian speciality birds, while not endemic, are those that can only be found in three or less countries of Asia. Information on endangered birds is derived from the IUCN Red List, Birdlife International.  The endemic, endangered and speciality birds may be uncommon, extremely rare vagrants, may be extirpated in the country now or may only be present in migration. However, documented sightings of each species noted below have been made in Hong Kong. 

Endemics in Hong Kong
Endangered Birds in Hong Kong
(endemics are printed in bold italic)

Non-Breeding Birds

___ Baer's Pochard
___ Baikal Teal
___ Black-faced Spoonbill
___ Chinese Egret
___ Christmas Island Frigatebird
___ Dalmation Pelican
___ Fairy Pitta
___ Greater Spotted Eagle
___ Imperial Eagle
___ Japanese Night-Heron
___ Oriental Stork
___ Noordmann's Greenshank
___ Saunder's Gull
___ Spoonbill Sandpiper
___ Yellow Bunting

Other Speciality and Spectacular Birds in Hong Kong
(adapted from Where to watch birds in Asia  - by Nigel Wheatley.)

___ Chestnut Bulbul
___ Chinese Penduline-Tit
___ Collared Crow
___ Crested Myna
___ Fork-tailed Sunbird
___ Hwamei
___ Light-vented Bulbul
___ Masked Laughingthrush
___ Red-billed Starling
___ Tristram's Bunting
___ Yellow Bunting
___ Yellow-bellied Tit

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