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Flocking to catch a glimpse of the flock

By CAO CHEN in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-28 02:24
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Chongming Dongtan National Nature Reserve plays host to about 1 million migratory birds every year. About 290 bird species have been spotted here, including cranes, herons, ducks, shorebirds and gulls.

Tim Hirsch, deputy director-general of the Global Biodiversity Information Network (GBIF) once pointed out that the birdwatching scene in China comprises more young people as compared to those in Europe and the United States. He explained that while birdwatching started in the Western countries in the late 19th century, it is still relatively new to China and thus comes across as a novel activity that appeals even to those from the younger generation.

Besides Chongming Island, there are also several birdwatching spots within the Shanghai mainland such as the Shanghai Botanical Garden and Century Park where people can view species including sparrows, the bald bulbul and the red falcon.

According to a survey that studied the bird population in four Shanghai parks — Shanghai Botanical Garden, Century Park, Gongqing Forest Park and Daning Lingshi Park — 162 species of birds were found in these areas between 2008 and 2012.

More than 80 percent of the birds found in these parks are arboreal, meaning that they spend most of the time in trees. Winter and summer migratory birds are rarely found in city parks due to the lack of food and frequent human activity.

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