Pink-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 mild of early morning. The bane of all birdwatchers—a canine walker—put them to flight.

Birdwatchers in Hong Kong can by no means fairly resolve the origins of a few of the birds that may be seen there. As a result of the Pink-billed Leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea) was and is usually imported to the hen markets and outlets, any that have been seen anyplace in Hong Kong have been thought of 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 Discipline Information is again to a captive origin. There isn’t a motive why they shouldn’t be current. Hong Kong does appear inside 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 shocking they might discover little or no appropriate habitat. For the reason that Nineteen Sixties, cowl with bushes and shrubs has elevated however it’s maybe not shocking that the outdated forest reserve (planted, sadly, in elements by foresters with non-native bushes) has a wholesome inhabitants. The Discipline 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 have now been to Tai Po Kau.

Within the wild, Pekin Robins, sorry Pink-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 title Pekin Robin for this hen was the norm for each birdwatchers all through the world and aviculturists. OK it isn’t 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 yet another would have made no distinction.

Stunningly engaging, the Pekin Robin was additionally the most affordable ‘softbill’ accessible to birdkeepers within the twentieth century. It’s not shocking it was traded the world over in such giant numbers. ‘Softbills’ don’t crack seed and in captivity are fed a ‘tender’ combination together with dried fruit and bugs. They’ll additionally survive outdoors 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 strategies they might turn out to be—or have already got turn out to be—established in England.

Leave a Comment