Vietnam: watching black-faced spoonbills and other birds

This is a black-faced spoonbill video.

From Viet Nam News:

Birdwatching reaches new heights in VN


In a country that supports nearly 900 species of birds, the members of the Ha Noi Birdwatching Club (HBC) should have no trouble keeping themselves busy.

The recently formed group has plans to organise a birding trip every three months, with the next birding trip planned for the Cuc Phuong National Park in August.

“We hope more and more members will join in our upcoming activities,” said Le Manh Hung, the club leader.

The HBC is the brainchild of several young scientists from the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources and the Ha Noi National University.

With some technical support from the BirdLife International Viet Nam Programme, the initial idea for the HBC emerged in 2000, but only this year has it become a reality.

The club enjoyed successful first birding trips to the Xuan Thuy National Park in Nam Dinh Province and to the Van Long Nature Reserve in Ninh Binh Province, and by the end of April, the HBC had attracted quite a few young enthusiasts.

Many bird species were recorded, but the most notable observations were 11 co thia, black-faced spoonbills (Platalea minor), a species considered globally endangered.

To encourage birding ecotourism in the country and promote nature conservation, BirdLife has revised its web page to provide helpful information about 15 birding sites in Viet Nam ….

The Xuan Thuy National Park in the Red River delta is one of only a handful of places in the world where the endangered re mo thia, spoon-billed sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus) can be found.

The resort city of Da Lat in Central Highlands, with its pines, lakes and mountains, holds four endemic species, including the endangered khuou dau den ma xam, collared laughingthrush (Garrulax yersini), one of the most beautiful of all babblers.

In the centre of the country, spectacular limestone crags support a unique forest type that is the only home of two unusual birds: the near-threatened khuou mun, sooty babbler (Stachyris herberti) and a kind of bird, leaf-warbler that may be a new species.

The mountains of the north hold more wide-ranging species found in China and the Himalayas, but some of these, such as khuou mo det duoi ngan, short-tailed parrotbill (Paradoxornis davidianus), can be most easily observed in Viet Nam.

Birdwatching in the USA: here.

The 2011 International Black-faced Spoonbill Census has found a large decrease in the known wintering populations since last year’s census. Overall numbers fell from 2,347 birds in January 2010 to 1,848 in January 2011, a decline of 21%: here.

7 thoughts on “Vietnam: watching black-faced spoonbills and other birds

  1. Black-faced spoonbill season expected to begin

    TAIPEI, Taiwan — The first flocks of the rare black-faced spoonbills are expected to arrive in the southern county of Tainan by the end of September, formally kicking off the black-faced spoonbill season in Taiwan, an ornithology group said yesterday.

    Every autumn, black-faced spoonbills — an endangered species whose population is no more than 3,000 worldwide — migrate from northern China and the border between North and South Korea to winter in Taiwan, mainly on the wetlands near the Tzengwen River’s estuary in Tainan County’s Chigu township.

    Over the past month, both winter and summer migratory bird species were sighted in Tainan during the change of seasons, said a spokesman for the Wild Bird Society of Tainan.

    “September and October are the best season for wild bird watching in Tainan,” the spokesman said.

    He said that although the arrival of black-faced spoonbills is kind of late this year, it is still within a normal timeframe. In the past years, he said, the birds usually landed in Taiwan around Moon Festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth month each year according to the lunar calendar.

    The society will begin a census in October to help determine how many black-faced spoonbills stay in Tainan and where they make their temporary homes each year between October and April, he added.

    The Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture designated a protection zone in the Chigu wetlands in 2002 for the conservation of the species.

    The Tainan County government established the Black-Faced Spoonbill Conservation and Management Center near the wetlands four years ago to carry out research on the endangered species, which is viewed as an environmental indicator.

    The number of migrating spoonbills to Tainan County increased from nearly 300 in 1997 to 1,013 in January 2008, which was close to half of the world’s 2,065 spoonbills recorded in the 2008 global census.


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