Birding Shanghai in December 2022 – 10,000 Birds

This 12 months, it appears I wrote one submit on birding in Shanghai every month – and I’m nonetheless not even positive anybody is all in favour of these. Possibly the subject is simply too bureaucratic or irrelevant? Feedback are welcome.

Most likely essentially the most attention-grabbing chook this month was a Gray-headed Canary-Flycatcher exhibiting up within the Shanghai Botanical Backyard. This chook is just not uncommon in any respect additional down south, however one wouldn’t count on it in Shanghai in mid-December.

My try at making a Hallmark card beneath.

This can be a somewhat photographer-friendly species, staying on the identical department for fairly some time and even returning to it after catching some bugs – you’ll be able to see this on video right here and right here.

The Jap Marsh Harrier is typically thought of to be a subspecies of the Western Marsh Harrier, however it appears most sources now regard it as a separate species. There may be substantial hybridization within the Baikal area of Jap Siberia (supply), just like the hybridization between Western and Jap Germans (which often even produces viable offspring).

This can be a feminine.

In distinction, this (badly photographed) Siberian Rubythroat might be a juvenile male, in accordance with one buddy who’s extra certified than me to make such statements.

Not a lot pink on its throat – however nonetheless higher than this Frequent Rosefinch seen at Tianmashan.

I do know – sexism is quite common within the birding world. Okay, it may very well be a first-year male as effectively.

An older paper on this species has the somewhat stunning title “Mate alternative is just not essential for feminine reproductive success within the Frequent Rosefinch”. The logic is that “roughly 50-99% of the variance in feminine reproductive success was because of nest predation throughout incubation” and “males didn’t defend nest websites”. I’m not completely satisfied by this logic, however unattractive male rosefinches might learn this paper with pleasure.

Azure-winged Magpies fail to go the mirror take a look at, a take a look at generally used to find out self-recognition. Whereas the supply doesn’t say so straight, it hints that this implies the species is just not as clever as Eurasian Magpies (which go the take a look at).

Alternatively, the birds share meals with different birds of the identical species, significantly if these do not need meals (and unsurprisingly, much more significantly if they’re of the alternative intercourse). In fact, the paper ends with the same old thinly disguised request for extra analysis grants: “This sharing conduct may point out a excessive degree of social consciousness and prosociality that must be additional investigated. Additional research are wanted …”

For those who use a foul on-line translation engine to translate the Chinese language title of the Northern Lapwing into English, you’ll find yourself with the “Crested Wheat Hen” (Fèng tóu mài ji). By some means I really feel it is a bit degrading to the species, however it in all probability doesn’t care.

The Frequent Kestrel has a barely derogatory Latin species title – tinnunculus, or shrill-sounding. Whereas listening to its name on xeno-canto confirms that the decision certainly is a bit shrill, it appears a bit unfair to show this into the defining function of the chook, offering its title. It’s just like the previous sheepshagger joke

Trying to find papers on the Frequent Kestrel, one summary instantly caught my consideration. It begins as follows: “Historic variations (1966–2016) within the publicity to inorganic components in raptors of South West Spain have been little studied.” The sensation of not realizing about that is nearly insufferable.

Sadly, as soon as Frequent Kestrels run into issues that end in them being was rehabilitation facilities, their probabilities of survival are comparatively slim – in a single examine, solely 16% of the birds may very well be launched again into the wild whereas 82% died.

One other paper checked out how feminine kestrels select their companions – do they like particular colours? The authors enhanced the colours of 1 male however not one other, after which let females select. Considerably disappointingly, the females didn’t actually differentiate between coloured and management males. My speculation is that inside values are way more essential to them.

The positioning birdstudies.web has a pleasant cute illustration of the Gray-capped Greenfinch.

Inequality in greenfinch society is partly because of assortative mating – cool/engaging/wealthy/educated male greenfinches ideally mate with cool/engaging/wealthy/educated feminine greenfinches. As scientists have discovered. Presumably, this additionally results in earnings inequality, if parallels to people are any steerage.

Tristram’s Bunting is known as after Henry Baker Tristram (1822-1906), an individual described by Wikipedia as a “parson-naturalist” who “was an early supporter of Darwinism, trying to reconcile evolution and creation.” Provided that apparently “Tristram, after early acceptance of the idea, rejected Darwinism”, this bunting may very well be an excellent candidate for being renamed as effectively (except, in fact, it seems the species was created by Clever Design).

Presumably, the photographs beneath present Swinhoe’s White-eye. However then, who might be positive? The HBW cryptically states that the “5 subspecies acknowledged as a part of Swinhoe’s White-eye right here have been till lately thought of a part of three separate species, together with what was as soon as Japanese White-eye, now Warbling White-eye (Zosterops japonicus), what was as soon as Oriental White-eye, now Indian White-eye (Z. palpebrosus), and what was as soon as Enggano White-eye (Z. salvadori).”

This one seems to be a bit involved about not realizing which species it’s. A bit like being adopted, I assume.

Why the species was named after an individual who already has given his title to 5 different species of birds is just not fairly clear to me.

The HBW additional guarantees that the species account “continues to be being revised, and future variations of this account will totally replicate these taxonomic adjustments.” Provided that the present account was ready in 2016, I’m not holding my breath although.

If you wish to see a White’s Thrush consuming, you’ll be able to have a look right here or right here. This species is wintering at Tianmashan, a forest park in Shanghai, and the HBW additionally calls it a “pretty widespread winter customer in [the] Shanghai space”.

Relying on which photograph you have a look at, you may even have the ability to perceive the species title aurea, or “golden” (although it nonetheless appears a little bit of a stretch to me).

Given that almost all nests do not need working water put in, it’s not stunning {that a} examine discovered that Pale Thrushes (and two different thrush species) constructed their nest inside 40 meters of a stream (supply).

Is it the equal of a “Miss Moist T-Shirt” contest to indicate photographs of moist birds, corresponding to this Daurian Redstart

… or this Pallas Leaf Warbler?

As Covid spreads in Shanghai (not an issue, it’s now not harmful, in accordance with the Chinese language authorities), the Little Egrets beforehand spending time close to my compound withdraw to some bushes. I assume they don’t fairly belief the federal government announcement and thus follow avian social distancing …

… whereas juvenile Black-crowned Evening Herons follow their “Grim Reaper” pose.

Reed Parrotbills are getting tougher to search out in Shanghai as the federal government has changed reedbeds with bushes (there’s a quota for bushes however none for reedbeds or parrotbills). Misguided incentives, anybody?

Possibly the parrotbills simply must adapt and put their nests in bushes. Isn’t that what evolution is all about? A further profit can be much less nest predation by tidal mudflat crabs, the first reason for Reed Parrotbill egg predation in tidal reed-bed habitat (supply). Win-win.

This particular person is seemingly working towards some form of bizarre yoga.

The Black-winged Kite has (no less than in my impression) develop into extra frequent in Shanghai previously few years. Apparently, that is a part of a broader development – it has additionally been noticed in Taiwan (supply). In the long term, this will likely develop into an issue for the Eurasian Kestrel because the kites are extra aggressive and should drive kestrels to hunt different wintering websites (identical supply). In the mean time, no less than on Chongming island each species are current.

I used to be lucky to go to Chongming island on the day of the twentieth Nationwide Congress of the Chinese language Spoonbills.

Some delegates

The compulsory group photograph

Discussing essential matters in small teams

Minorities are additionally well-represented

Apparently, the Eurasian Hoopoe is listed within the Previous Testomony as unclean and forbidden meals for Jews. And certainly, the Tel Aviv McDonald’s doesn’t promote any Hoopoe Burgers.

Nevertheless, this makes it a bit stunning that it was additionally named Israel’s nationwide chook.

I do know. I’ve already proven many photographs of the Daurian Redstart. Not a adequate cause to not present some extra, although.

Ditto Gray Heron.

The Gray Heron is hoping to get some sponsorship from a producer of taking part in playing cards, because it thinks it has perfected the artwork of symmetrical photographs.

In keeping with one paper, the Noticed Redshank is the German among the many waders, no less than in Finland: its arrival and departure on the breeding grounds are essentially the most predictable. Surprisingly, they solely keep on the breeding grounds for about 5 weeks. Then once more, that’s in all probability the size of summer time in Finland.

The Chinese language Gray Shrike solely involves Shanghai in winter, primarily to go to its resident relative, the Lengthy-tailed Shrike. Household ties are essential.

And to finish this submit, a mammal.

Cute, admittedly – however nonetheless a mammal, not a chook.

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