Birding Shanghai in January 2023 – 10,000 Birds

(Boring bureaucratic be aware to dissuade informal readers: This publish covers birds seen in Shanghai in January 2023, aside from these seen at Tianmashan – these are proven in a separate publish. If you’re nonetheless studying this, perhaps you may have an excessive amount of time in your arms. Finish of be aware)

In all probability essentially the most fascinating chook in Shanghai this month was a Barred Cuckoo-Dove selecting a small downtown park to feed on berries.


I attempted to get a greater concept of what precisely the definition of cuckoo-dove is however am nonetheless not very clear about it – Wikipedia solely provides the fairly formal definition “any of a number of species of chook within the genera MacropygiaReinwardtoena, and Turacoena of the pigeon household.” So, it’s undoubtedly a pigeon, not a cuckoo, and my guess is that the cuckoo a part of the identify hints on the physique form of those species. However I might be mistaken.


The presumably extremely regarded “Bulgarian Journal of Agricultural Science” has a paper on the detrimental impacts of the Nice Cormorant: “Nice Cormorant – Substantial hazard to fish populations and fishery in Europe”. And who’s the writer of this paper, someone clearly very involved in regards to the well-being of European fish? None aside from W.S. of the German Anglers Affiliation. I’m so glad someone cares.

(My customary joke – that no person ever appears to seek out humorous – when being requested if I’m serious about fishing is to reply that I don’t fish as a result of I’d be too afraid of catching a fish).

In any case, Nice Cormorants within the Shanghai space are very flighty and presumably fairly afraid of the Chinese language equal of well-meaning folks reminiscent of W.S.

Often, eBird appears to get actually enthusiastic about particular species – all the time good to learn. Take the Chinese language Gray Shrike: “An exquisite silvery shrike with grey upperparts, white underparts, a black masks, and white within the wings”.

Additionally obtainable at your native Blockbuster (earlier than it went bust).

Nearly a panorama photograph: Some Pied Avocets.

BirdingAsia has a unusual report on Widespread Shelducks inspecting the burrows of Mongolian Marmots.


The worldwide inhabitants of the Hooded Crane is about 8000 people – it’s listed as Susceptible. My guess is that at the very least 1% of them winter at Chongming Dongtan.

A paper begins as follows: “Dongtan (or East Tideland) on Chongming Island in China is a vital wintering website of Grus monacha (hooded crane)”. That is precisely the place these photographs had been taken.

Because the Hooded Cranes know that I’m a marketing consultant, they often ask me whether or not they need to forage along with geese or ideally search areas through which geese aren’t current. I’m giving them the standard marketing consultant reply: It relies upon. Search geese in meadows and mudflats, however keep away from them in paddy fields (supply).

A few of the lazier Widespread Moorhens apparently attempt to move the arduous work of elevating their chicks on to different species -a paper describes how Little Bitterns are utilized as surrogate mother and father. Nonetheless, the authors name this a “new breeding tactic”, which appears to combine up the invention of the tactic with the usage of the tactic.


On Chongming Island, an Upland Buzzard appeared to be nearly bemused by being mobbed by a single Oriental Magpie.


The Latin species identify hemilasius (half-hairy or half-shaggy) sounds much less like an imposing raptor and extra like a uncared for hippie – however perhaps that is deliberate, which I suppose would make the chook a hipster.

What an Upland Buzzard is doing on an island with a median elevation of about 1 meter stays a thriller to me.

Tripadvisor has the next overview of the Blue Ridge Rustic Inn: “The place to begin? The door to our room was lacking the numbers. Upon stepping inside, it smelled musty. It simply received worse. There have been roach droppings on the shelf above the place you hold garments.” The overview is titled “‘Rustic’ on this case is a euphemism for soiled and rundown.” Don’t you suppose the Rustic Bunting deserves higher?



If you happen to doubt that Mom Nature writes the scariest horror tales, check out a paper on the Eurasian Hoopoe with the self-explanatory title “Avian sibling cannibalism: Hoopoe moms recurrently use their final hatched nestlings to feed older siblings”. The small print within the paper are even scarier (if that’s potential -think Hansel and Gretel): “females allotted fewer sources to the smallest nestlings once they had been going to starve, however not essentially once they had been going for use as meals for his or her siblings”. Eat up, we have to fatten you to your siblings.

For some motive, the Latin species identify of the Black-winged Kite is caeruleus, or azure-blue. Explanations or apologies by ornithologists are very welcome.


There really is a research on the impact of wind farms on Chongming Dongtan (the place these photographs had been taken) on Little Egrets. It appears they’re principally comfortable with them, although I often hear them moan in regards to the spoiled view of the coast, however that’s simply typical egret NIMBYism.


I do know I’ve proven some in-flight photographs of the Hen Harrier earlier than, however as my success in getting such pictures tends to be appallingly low, please enable me to indicate just a few extra. I’m afraid it is not going to occur once more quickly.


The authors of this paper don’t straight say that Eurasian Spoonbills could also be actually dumb, however the title of the paper doesn’t precisely spotlight their intelligence both: “The paradox of spoonbill migration: most birds journey to the place survival charges are lowest”. In fact, they phrase it extra politely: ‘[Possibly the] wintering website selection of spoonbills is suboptimal and … restricted flexibility might stop them from switching to extra appropriate websites.” Take that, spoonbill.



The Azure-winged Magpie appears to be a favourite topic of intelligence assessments – leading to papers with fancy titles reminiscent of “Efficiency of Azure-winged magpies in Aesop’s fable paradigm”. “We aren’t solely ornithologists, we additionally learn about classical tradition”. Wow. The end result: “Azure-winged magpies have a sure cognitive means however not an understanding of causality”.



Do you want thriller/crime tales? How about “Worldwide wildlife commerce, avian influenza, organized crime and the effectiveness of CITES: The Chinese language Hwamei as a case research”? Okay, it’s a scientific paper … Plainly laws didn’t cease the commerce within the Hwamei, however that its value has elevated from about USD 50 to USD 200 within the export nations (so far as I do know, it’s nonetheless completely authorized to promote it in Chinese language pet markets).


The place does air pollution with nasty chemical compounds reminiscent of polybrominated diphenyl ethers come from? In Shanghai, one solution to discover out was to measure the focus of those chemical compounds in Eurasian Tree Sparrows from completely different areas. The end result: the distribution of the chemical compounds within the muscular tissues of the sparrows adopted the order landfill>city>industrial parks>suburban>rural>distant, indicating that the emissions had been related to landfills, urbanization, and industrialization. Nonetheless, the poor sparrows … Recommendation to them: Keep away from landfills and researchers.

To finish this publish with a little bit of cuteness, let’s see how eBird describes the Yellow-bellied Tit: “A tiny luminous ball of feathers”. Certainly.



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