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Asia Birds HK Species Profiles

Red-whiskered Bulbul – Hong Kong Wildlife | 紅耳鵯 – 香港野生動物

Red-whiskered bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus), or also called Crested bulbul, is a passerine bird in Asia, a member of the bulbul family. It is a resident frugivore found mainly in tropical Asia.

In Hong Kong, it is more common than most of other bulbuls such as the Sooty-headed bulbul (Pycnonotus aurigaster).

Pycnonotus jocosus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pycnonotidae
Genus: Pycnonotus
Species: jocosus

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

紅耳鵯,又名紅頰鵯,俗名高髻冠、高雞冠、高冠鳥、黑頭公、紅屎忽

Categories
Asia Birds HK Species Profiles

Yellow-crested Cockatoo – Hong Kong Wildlife | 小葵花鳳頭鸚鵡 – 香港野生動物

I would be in and around the Mid-levels almost every day when I’m in Hong Kong. You can easily find these beautiful white parrots in there. But did you know that they were rarer than the Black-faced spoonbills you always heard of?

In Hong Kong, they are commonly seen in Mid-levels, Central, Wan Chai, Tai Hang, and nearby in Hong Kong Island, particularly around Hong Kong Park.

However, this species is not that common back home. Its populations are dramatically declined in its natural range. Right, it is not a native species of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is second home to the introduced, critically endangered Yellow-crested cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea). This species is native to Indonesia. A total of fewer than 2,000 are left in the world. 200 of them live in Hong Kong.

The Yellow-crested cockatoo is originally from East Timor, Sulawesi and the Lesser Sundas of Indonesia. It has become an introduced species of Hong Kong for at least 80 years.

When did they first come to Hong Kong?
This species has a long history of being pets. There are records of Yellow-crested cockatoos entering Hong Kong as pets as far back as in the 1850s.

How did they establish a wild population?
The most believed story is that Hong Kong Governor Sir Mark Aitchison Young released the Government House’s entire bird collection, including a large number of this species, hours before surrendering Hong Kong to Japanese troops in December 1941.

There are now around 200 of them in Hong Kong – that is already more than 10% of its entire population in the world which keeps declining.

It is also known as the Lesser sulphur-crested cockatoo to differentiate from its larger and much more common Australian cousin, the Sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita).

Cacatua sulphurea (Gmelin, 1788)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Psittaciformes
Family: Cacatuidae
Genus: Cacatua
Subgenus: Cacatua
Species: sulphurea

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

小葵花鳳頭鸚鵡, 橘冠葵花鳳頭鸚鵡, 小葵花鸚鵡, 小巴丹鸚鵡, 小巴, 小葵

Categories
Asia Birds HK Species Profiles

Sooty-headed Bulbul – Hong Kong Wildlife | 白喉紅臀鵯 – 香港野生動物

The Sooty-headed bulbul (Pycnonotus aurigaster) is a species of songbird in the Bulbul family. Other than Hong Kong, it is also found in most of south-eastern Asia. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

In Hong Kong, it is far less common than its cousin the Red-whiskered bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus).

Pycnonotus aurigaster (Vieillot, 1818)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Pycnonotidae
Genus: Pycnonotus
Species: aurigaster

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

Categories
Asia Birds HK Species Profiles

Red-billed Blue Magpie – Hong Kong Wildlife | 藍喜鵲 – 香港野生動物

Flying right outside my house comes these cheeky birds. They don’t only rob nests they also chow up snakes like sucking up noodles. Saw that. Nope. Didn’t “save” the snakes.

Red-billed blue magpie (Urocissa erythroryncha) is a member of the crow family. Not the most popular bird in Hong Kong but its Taiwanese cousin, Formosan blue magpie (Urocissa caerulea), is the national bird in Taiwan.

It is a resident bird in Hong Kong. Pretty common and widespread, especially in Mid-Levels on Hong Kong Island.

These are some of them having fun right outside my house at the peak these days. So I was just taking these snapshots while having coffee outside. So I was just taking these snapshots while having coffee outside.

Identifying this bird is easy. Its tail is longer than any other birds you can find in Hong Kong. The species is also found in Western Himalayas, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, and China. Typical habitats are mountains and forests.

They feed on seeds and fruits. I have also seen them hunting small animals from invertebrates, frogs, lizards to snakes! They rob nests, too.

Urocissa erythroryncha (Boddaert, 1783)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Corvidae
Genus: Urocissa
Species: U. erythroryncha

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

紅嘴藍鵲是香港的定居鳥, 廣泛分佈於香港, 特別在香港的半山區。

這一隻是其中一隻在我們基地外玩耍的紅嘴藍鵲, 這些相片是我在喝咖啡的時候拍下來的。

要分辨這隻鳥很容易, 牠的尾巴比一般你在香港看到的鳥類長。這個品種在喜馬拉雅山脈西面, 緬甸, 柬埔寨, 老撾, 越南及中國。

牠們住在山嶺及森林內, 主要以節肢類, 種子及果實為食, 牠們也會搶其他烏類的巢呢。

Categories
Asia Birds Europe HK Species Profiles

Eurasian Eagle-owl – Hong Kong Wildlife | 雕鴞 – 香港野生動物

The largest owl inhabits the smallest concrete jungle in Hong Kong. How intriguing!

Birdwatching normally takes place during the day, except for owls. There are 9 species of owls you can possibly spot in Hong Kong. The most common species is the Collared scops owl (Otus lettia) which is a small one usually no bigger than 25 cm. The other 8 species are way harder to find, just like this.

I was so lucky to have found this huge Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo Bubo) in Yuen Long, New Territories. It is locally rare but widely distributed throughout Hong Kong. It can also be found in Central Asia and Russia, all the way to Europe.

It is the World’s largest owl growing to 75 cm (2’6″) tall, with a wingspan of 188 cm (6’2″). Bubo bubo is not just big but lives long too. It can live over 25 years while some other owls have a lifespan of fewer than 4 years.

Bubo bubo (Linnaeus, 1758)
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Strigiformes
Family: Strigidae
Genus: Bubo
Species: bubo

Where in HK?
Rare

Size: 75 cm – wingspan over 1.8 m
Distribution: Europe and Asia
Habitat: Arboreal
Diet: Carnivore
Behavior: Nocturnal
Conservation status: Least Concern

See more of my encounters with Hong Kong Wildlife.

觀鳥活動通常都於日間進行, 除了觀看貓頭鷹外。

香港有9種貓頭鷹, 你會有機會看得到。最常見的是領角鴞, 通常都很細小不會大於25厘米。另外8種則比較難看得到。

在這圖中的是雕鴞。我很幸運地在新界元朗看到牠。牠們很罕有但廣泛分佈於香港。也可以在亞洲中部, 俄羅斯到歐洲一帶看得到。牠們可體長75厘米, 展開雙翼後更可達至188厘米。

雕鴞不但體型龐大, 壽命也很長, 牠可以活到超過25年。 而其他貓頭鷹一般只能活少於4年。

Categories
Africa Birds

Face to Face with the Biggest Shoebill

No, it’s not the bill you pay for your Air Jordan.

The shoebill (Balaeniceps rex) or whalehead, is a very large stork-like bird. This is one I’ve come across in Uganda. In front of such a prehistoric looking creature with a wingspan of over 8 feet, you better stay low like what I did in the photo. It’s not that we should be scared of them. That’s respect.