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Bird Watching Festival opens at Hong Kong Wetland Park (with photos)

     Hong Kong Wetland Park is holding its annual winter highlight event, the Bird Watching Festival, from today (November 19) until March 2014.

     This year five species of migratory birds, namely the black-faced spoonbill, the pied avocet, the Daurian redstart, the grey heron and the curlew sandpiper, have been selected as the icons of the festival. Visitors will be able to learn about them through a range of activities including guided tours, a thematic exhibition, public lectures, Chinese ink-painting workshops, kaleidoscope-making classes and more.

     In addition, visitors can gain hands-on experience in the ecological monitoring and conservation of birds by taking part in the Experiencing Waterbird Survey, which is being organised for the first time this year.

     Located next to the Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site, the Wetland Park is an ideal place for bird watching. Every winter the park attracts flocks of birds migrating from the north to inhabit the wetlands. To date, the park has recorded 180 species of migratory birds, accounting for over 40 per cent of the species recorded in Hong Kong.

     Migratory birds have astonishing body structures which allow them to overcome various natural barriers and navigate back and forth between breeding grounds and overwintering sites year after year. Different species of migratory birds have their own flyways, so that they can carry out their migration in an "orderly" manner.

     Hong Kong is located on the world's largest flyway, the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, and serves as both a stopover for passing migrants and an overwintering site for visitors. Every year, hundreds of thousands of migratory birds visit Hong Kong during their journeys. Black-faced spoonbills, for example, migrate from their breeding ground near the Korean Peninsula and the Liaodong Peninsula in Mainland China to the south for overwintering between October to February. The Deep Bay area where the Wetland Park is located is one of their major wintering sites.

     The curlew sandpiper is one of the most abundant migratory waders in Hong Kong, numbering as many as 5 400 in March 2013. The species has interesting behaviour, such as standing on one leg and keeping its bill hidden beneath a wing.

     For details of the event, please visit the website of the Wetland Park (

     The current Bird Watching Festival is one of the signature events under the "Fresh Hong Kong" theme of the "Hong Kong: Our Home" Campaign.

Ends/Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:15


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