7 of the Most Beautiful Birds of Hong Kong

Some of the most beautiful birds of Hong Kong are also the most common. They can be found near the sea, in the diverse forests and in city parks. There are too many to share in one post, so I’m only going to share 7 or them today. For a big city, you wouldn’t think that there could be such a wide range of birds in such a small place. But in fact, there are around 520 species of birds in Hong Kong and the Northern Territories.

7 Beautiful Birds of Hong Kong

7 of the most beautiful birds of Hong Kong

1. Rufous-backed Shrike (Lanius schach): Usually found in open scrub-land, this beautiful bird was spotted in the forests of Tai Po Kau.  He only gave his back to me to photograph. This bird is an uncommon sight in public areas. Perhaps it is more common in other parts of Asia. They tend to feed on small lizards, small birds, insects and rodents, according to Wikipedia.

7 of the most beautiful birds of Hong Kong

2. Red-billed Blue Magpie (Urocissa erythrorhyncha): At 68cm, the Red-billed Blue Magpie is one of the larger and more beautiful birds of Hong Kong. Although it is beautiful, it’s habits are not so beautiful. This bird eats small animals, insects and even robs birds nests for their young and for their eggs. I remember the first time I saw it. It was in the Shatin Park and it was quite elusive at that time, hiding behind the foliage of a tree. The second time I saw one was in Tai Po, Yuen Chau Tsui, and we were in it’s natural habitat. It swooped over our heads into a tree next to us and posed for me to take it’s picture! Then it flew up into the tall trees next to us.

7 most beautiful birds of Hong Kong

3. Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis): This little bird is a keen catcher of fish, as it’s name suggests. And it’s one of the most beautiful birds of Hong Kong. My first sighting of the Kingfisher was in Tai O. I was stunned, because I hadn’t seen such a beautiful bird in Hong Kong before. I didn’t even know we had such beautiful birds here! I got a second photo opportunity in Shatin Park last winter.

7 of the most Beautiful Birds of Hong Kong

4. Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus): This bird is the most common bird in Hong Kong. Although they are everywhere, I never get bored of watching them. They have a broad range of sounds between a squawk and something deemed melodious. They can be seen everywhere, in urban areas, farm areas and forests. Their diet consists of insects, fruit, seeds and nuts. You will often see more than one together and they tend to flock together. I like this bird because of the little hat he wears. It could be a witch’s hat or a dunce cap. 

7 of the most beautiful birds of Hong Kong

5. Fork-tailed Sunbird (Aethropyga christinae): Undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful birds of Hong Kong that I’ve seen. Last winter, while I was walking through the Shatin Park, I noticed a number of people with very large, expensive looking cameras clustered together photographing something. Nosy me, I had to investigate, and this is what I found. So from that day, whenever I knew I would have some free time to spend in the park, I would take my camera and join them, watching and waiting, for these wonderful creatures to arrive. These birds are honey-eaters. They suck the sap from flowers. The bush in the picture was in bloom for at least 2 or 3 months. You do need a fast camera with a very good lens to get the best shot of these birds. They are super quick.

7 of the most beautiful birds of Hong Kong

6. Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus): This is one of the more common birds of Hong Kong, more common than you might think. Because they are so small, they can easily hide in the trees and are hard to spot, unless there is a reason for them to come out. This beautiful shrub, the same one that the Fork-tailed Sunbird was hanging out in, is where I first caught sight of the Japanese White-eye. After that, he began to turn up everywhere. I saw them feeding in a Rhodoleia championii and in an Ivory Coral Tree (Eryhrina speciosa) in Tai Po Kau a few weeks later. They are nectar feeders also and always on the move.

7 of the most beautiful birds of Hong Kong

I think this may be the Great Egret which also lives here and looks a lot like the Little Egret. Photo by S. Cheung

7. Little Egret (Egretta garzetta): This bird is commonly seen anywhere there is water, in Hong Kong. There are several varieties of Egrets here, but this one is the most common. You will also see the Great Egret near or in waterways throughout Hong Kong. Their main diet consists of fish, and other water dwellers, like crabs and shell fish. They are almost as common as seagulls, but far more regal, in my opinion.

These are a few of the most beautiful birds in Hong Kong. Which one is your favorite?



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