A worrying note for China's bulbul songbirds

Xing Xiaoying says the chattiest of China's southern birds - the Light-vented Bulbuls - are also sophisticated crooners with thousands of different songs. Photo: Xing Xiaoying

With soft steps, careful not to rustle any leaves or crack the twigs strewn about before her, Xing Xiaoying pursues the Light-vented Bulbul songbird and takes aim with her long, camouflaged microphone. This ornithologist is on the hunt for music.

Sunday, 24 March, 2013, 6:56am

Bird numbers on the rise at Mai Po

On a pair of long pink legs, a black-winged stilt mother takes the lead across Mai Po Nature Reserve's shallow freshwater ponds to look for food. Three fluffy spotty chicks trail behind in a straight line, observing their mother's every move.

13 Jun 2011 - 12:00am

Critters on the move

People can travel great distances by sea or air only in man-made ships and aircraft. But many animals, including birds and insects, can move on their own from one part of the country, or even the world, to another. This is known as migration. These animals don't have an aeroplane or ship to travel in so they have to run, swim or fly.

Animal movements

27 Oct 2010 - 12:00am

Men of the Forest

Bornean orangutans, also known as Men of the Forest, are endangered, with a population in the wild of between 40,000 and 70,000. They are mostly found in Malaysia and Indonesia. In the wild, they live for up to 35 years, but they can live longer in captivity. Apart from brief periods of mating and raising infants by females, they are solitary animals.

8 Mar 2010 - 12:00am

Birds of prey get ready to take wing at new Ocean Park exhibit

Ocean Park trainers are preparing a flock of new arrivals for the public gaze - not pandas or endangered fish, but raptors.

The four protected species of raptor - the steppe eagle, Lanner falcon, striated caracara and turkey vulture - will go on view for the first time in Hong Kong from February 13, to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

15 Jan 2010 - 12:00am

It's a wedding party where true love does cross all boundaries

Love was definitely in the air on Saturday at the Eaton Hotel in Yau Ma Tei as 21 couples from diverse backgrounds gathered to renew their vows and share their stories.

29 Sep 2009 - 12:00am

'Geese' migrate south to join HK's sex menagerie

Hong Kong's sex industry could be described as an animal farm, going by the terms used. We already have 'chickens' (female prostitutes serving male clients) and 'ducks' (male prostitutes serving female clients) - so it was no surprise to see 'geese' crop up.

29 Aug 2009 - 12:00am

Magpies' hazardous metal nest removed

A unique nest built of metal rods by a pair of magpies has been removed after the birds and their chicks flew away to start a new life.

The nest was discovered in February in Yan Ching Street, Tuen Mun, when residents found about 40 of the metal rods - some up to 30cm long and more than 1cm in diameter - that had fallen from the tree.

18 Jul 2009 - 12:00am

Redevelopment threatens sites for house swifts and barn swallows

Increasing redevelopment, poor public awareness and a lack of laws are to blame for a drastic decline in the number of house swift and barn swallow nests in urban areas, birdwatchers say.

They say that nests of house swifts are 'almost non-existent' on Hong Kong Island because dense high-rises, unfavourable for building nests, dominate.

30 Apr 2009 - 12:00am


Head in the sand

Ostriches are known as the birds who bury their heads in the sand. This is a myth. It's not true. But there are lots of other interesting things about ostriches.

For example, ostriches can run faster than any other bird - nearly 75km per hour. They also lay bigger eggs than any other bird. And their feathers make excellent dusters.

24 Apr 2009 - 12:00am

The sculptor who likes to work on eggs

It's good to know what you want to do with your life at a young age.

If you had asked Pu Derong, 40, the question, he would have said without hesitation - egg sculpture. Imagine how his parents might have reacted to hearing about his aspiration.

4 Apr 2009 - 12:00am

Yellow-billed loon spotted for the first time in city waters

The first ever sighting of a yellow-billed loon in the city's waters was made late last month.

The bird, which breeds in the Arctic Circle, was seen swimming in the waters off Town Island in Sai Kung on January 25, a birdwatching group said yesterday.

6 Feb 2008 - 12:00am

bird's nest

As with several other Chinese delicacies, such as shark's fin and sea cucumber, bird's nest is appreciated primarily for its texture and ability to absorb other flavours rather than for its inherent taste, which is minimal.

30 Sep 2007 - 12:00am

Breeder seeks review on poultry ban

A breeder of rare birds is seeking a court review of the government's ban on the rearing of all poultry.

5 Aug 2007 - 12:00am


Egg carving is an unusual art form. How did you get started?

Egg artist Greg Martin:

'I first started carving when I moved to Texas, where my stepmother raised emus as a hobby. I started carving in September 1995 and sold my first carved emu egg a few months later - the pattern was of a woman surrounded by flowers.

16 Apr 2006 - 12:00am