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Birding Shanghai in January 2023 – 10,000 Birds


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

    Most likely probably the most fascinating chicken 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 gives the fairly formal definition “any of a number of species of chicken within the genera MacropygiaReinwardtoena, and Turacoena of the pigeon household.” So, it’s positively a pigeon, not a cuckoo, and my guess is that the cuckoo a part of the title hints on the physique form of those species. However I could be fallacious.


    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, any individual clearly very involved concerning the well-being of European fish? None apart from W.S. of the German Anglers Affiliation. I’m so glad any individual cares.

    (My normal joke – that no one ever appears to seek out humorous – when being requested if I’m focused on 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 frightened of the Chinese language equal of well-meaning individuals akin to W.S.

    Often, eBird appears to get actually enthusiastic about particular species – all the time good to learn. Take the Chinese language Gray Shrike: “A phenomenal 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).

    Virtually 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 Weak. My guess is that at the least 1% of them winter at Chongming Dongtan.

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

    Because the Hooded Cranes know that I’m a advisor, they generally ask me whether or not they need to forage along with geese or ideally search areas through which geese will not be current. I’m giving them the standard advisor 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 go the arduous work of elevating their chicks on to different species -a paper describes how Little Bitterns are utilized as surrogate dad and mom. 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 title hemilasius (half-hairy or half-shaggy) sounds much less like an imposing raptor and extra like a uncared for hippie – however possibly that is deliberate, which I assume would make the chicken a hipster.

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

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



    In case you 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 commonly use their final hatched nestlings to feed older siblings”. The main points within the paper are even scarier (if that’s attainable -think Hansel and Gretel): “females allotted fewer sources to the smallest nestlings after they had been going to starve, however not essentially after they had been going for use as meals for his or her siblings”. Eat up, we have to fatten you on your siblings.

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


    There truly is a examine on the impact of wind farms on Chongming Dongtan (the place these images had been taken) on Little Egrets. It appears they’re mainly comfortable with them, although I often hear them moan concerning the spoiled view of the coast, however that’s simply typical egret NIMBYism.


    I do know I’ve proven some in-flight images of the Hen Harrier earlier than, however as my success in getting such photographs tends to be appallingly low, please permit me to point out a number of extra. I’m afraid it won’t occur once more quickly.


    The authors of this paper don’t instantly 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”. After all, they phrase it extra politely: ‘[Possibly the] wintering website alternative of spoonbills is suboptimal and … restricted flexibility might forestall 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 akin to “Efficiency of Azure-winged magpies in Aesop’s fable paradigm”. “We’re not 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 examine”? Okay, it’s a scientific paper … Evidently laws didn’t cease the commerce within the Hwamei, however that its worth 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 akin to polybrominated diphenyl ethers come from? In Shanghai, one approach to discover out was to measure the focus of those chemical compounds in Eurasian Tree Sparrows from completely different places. The end result: the distribution of the chemical compounds within the muscle groups 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 put up with a little bit of cuteness, let’s see how eBird describes the Yellow-bellied Tit: “A tiny luminous ball of feathers”. Certainly.