Watching long-legged waterbirds at Hong Kong Wetland Park (with photos)

     Hong Kong Wetland Park is holding its annual signature winter event, the Bird Watching Festival, from today (November 13) until March 2013. During the festival period, visitors can learn about the physical characteristics and behaviour of long-legged waterbirds through a range of activities including guided tours, exhibitions, public lectures and workshops.

     Located next to the internationally recognised Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site, the Park is an ideal place for bird watching and to date has recorded 240 species. Every winter, the Park attracts thousands of birds migrating from the north to inhabit the wetlands during winter.

     Among the migratory birds are waterbirds such as spoonbills, herons, egrets, avocets, stilts and curlews that have long, thin legs. Their long legs enable the birds to wade in the water and keep their balance while searching for food.

     These long-legged waterbirds are elegant creatures with graceful movements. Some have long, agile necks and they often change posture quickly, changing the shape of their necks as they do so. Powerful neck muscles help waterbirds such as egrets and herons to hunt by spearing their prey. Larger waterbirds such as herons and black-faced spoonbills often develop elaborate plumes of feathers during the breeding season.

     Two of the most conspicuous species are the pied avocet and Eurasian curlew. Although both species wade in the water to forage like other long-legged waterbirds, the shape of their bills is very different. The pied avocet uses its pointed, upward-curved bill to sift through shallow water and mud for aquatic insects and molluscs by sweeping it from side to side, while the Eurasian curlew uses its long, downward-curved bill to probe into the wet soil and mud to find invertebrates and worms.

     The Park will arrange an array of activities including guided tours, exhibitions, public lectures and art workshops for visitors to discover the wonder of these waterbirds. The Park will also jointly hold an exhibition with the Hong Kong Origami Society featuring large scale origami art works to demonstrate the amazing elegance and grace of long-legged waterbirds.

     In addition, for the first time the Park has invited renowned local artist Ah Chung to share his profound love of nature with visitors by demonstrating his painting skills that can portray real life through seemingly effortless brush strokes.

     For programme details, please visit

Ends/Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:16