Crimson-billed Leiothrix (aka Pekin Robin) in Hong Kong

AJP discovered this flock of 5 birds within the Tai Po Kau reserve in Hong Kong a few weeks in the past. They have been on a forest path within the low gentle of early morning. The bane of all birdwatchers—a canine walker—put them to flight.

Birdwatchers in Hong Kong can by no means fairly determine the origins of among the birds that may be seen there. As a result of the Crimson-billed Leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea) was and is often imported to the chook markets and retailers, any that have been seen anyplace in Hong Kong have been thought-about to be escapees or ‘launched’. Then, when small flocks have been noticed in rural areas, the chance that a few of these seen might have been genuinely wild was admitted. I see the present version of the Area Information is again to a captive origin. There is no such thing as a cause why they shouldn’t be current. Hong Kong does appear throughout the pure vary however with the deforestation that occurred for firewood because the human inhabitants grew after which, devastatingly, through the Japanese Occupation, it’s maybe not stunning they might discover little or no appropriate habitat. For the reason that Nineteen Sixties, cowl with timber and shrubs has elevated however it’s maybe not stunning that the previous forest reserve (planted, sadly, in components by foresters with non-native timber) has a wholesome inhabitants. The Area Information has it as an unusual and native resident however whether it is that unusual then we might not have seen it each time we’ve been to Tai Po Kau.

Within the wild, Pekin Robins, sorry Crimson-billed Leiothrix, happen from the Himalayas to all through southern China. We’ve got seen them in Bhutan, in Sichuan in addition to in Hong Kong.

The identify Pekin Robin for this chook was the norm for each birdwatchers all through the world and aviculturists. OK it’s not native to Pekin (Beijing in pinyin) neither is it a robin however there are such a lot of such anomalies in widespread names for birds that another would have made no distinction.

Stunningly enticing, the Pekin Robin was additionally the most cost effective ‘softbill’ obtainable to birdkeepers within the twentieth century. It’s not stunning it was traded internationally in such giant numbers. ‘Softbills’ don’t crack seed and in captivity are fed a ‘mushy’ combination together with dried fruit and bugs. They will additionally survive exterior in England in a sheltered aviary all through the winter. Since escapees have established populations in Italy, France, Spain and Portugal in addition to in Japan, Hawaii and Réunion, there have been options they might change into—or have already got change into—established in England.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *