Birding Longcanggou, Sichuan once more (however possibly for the final time) – 10,000 Birds

The final time I birded Longcanggou, a nationwide forest park in China’s Sichuan province, was in November 2021. Now, 14 months later, the place has modified – sadly, for the more serious, at the least as birding is worried.

Longcanggou has two major birding spots – the precise nationwide forest park and one other, which I can sadly solely describe as “not the precise nationwide forest park”. Final time, the primary one was formally inaccessible to vacationers, however as a result of native contacts of my information Bella from Alpinebirding, we bought in there anyway. At the moment, the nationwide forest park is open to vacationers – which in China means giant teams of individuals in equally giant buses. So, on the advice of a educated native, we needed to skip this half this time – as a result of site visitors and the individuals, it’s not an excellent place for birding.

The opposite half was nonetheless accessible and pretty empty, and that’s the place many of the images proven under have been taken. Nonetheless, apparently, from March 01 on, this half might be ticketed – and my guess is it can quickly be too crowded for good birding as properly.

So, possibly this was the final time I birded Longcanggou – a considerably unhappy story that’s more likely to repeat itself at many different Chinese language birding areas as properly. Right here’s what birders may miss sooner or later (worst case), or share from afar with 1000’s of disinterested Chinese language vacationers who primarily come to take selfies of themselves in entrance of a mountain panorama (barely higher case).

Shockingly, the Ashy-throated Parrotbill apparently is a species closely hunted for fowl combating in Guizhou Province, China (supply). It even appears that the pliant researchers not directly help the combating (though it has led to the species being one of the hunted ones in that province) by creating a fast methodology to determine the intercourse of the fowl (the males grow to be considerably greater and thus presumably the extra coveted fighters). Disgrace on the researchers.

If being hunted by evil people was not sufficient, Ashy-throated Parrotbills are additionally hosts of the parasitic Widespread Cuckoo. Apparently, they use the presence of their very own eggs as a cue for recognizing parasitic eggs – so with out the presence of their very own eggs as a template they fail to acknowledge a parasitic egg. Some people even rejected their very own eggs after they have been within the minority.

One other strategy that Ashy-throated Parrotbills apparently make the most of is to diversify – some females lay white, some blue eggs. So to keep away from instantaneous rejection, the parasitizing cuckoo additionally must diversify and certainly tends to put eggs in host nests with eggs of the identical coloration (supply).


The eBird type gurus attest male Blyth’s Shrike-Babblers to be “well attired”.

The females are described as “rather more light” (possibly from the housekeeping?).

The HBW really (slightly clumsily) calls it the Himalayan/Blyth’s/Dalat Shrike-babbler, indicating a future cut up. I want the “Blyth’s” title, for 2 causes: on the one hand, it permits me to namedrop considered one of my favourite (and comparatively obscure) British bands, Blyth Energy.

The opposite is to say that the title commemorates Edward Blyth (1810-1873), who revealed the primary description of the species. In his life, in line with Wikipedia, he had a psychological breakdown and needed to be stored in a personal asylum, he later took to consuming, and he was as soon as held for assaulting a cab driver. However haven’t all of us accomplished this stuff?

The Eurasian Wren isn’t really a very particular fowl to Longcanggou – I’ve seen it in my mother and father’ backyard in Germany as properly.

The tail of the wren can assume the place of a spoiler in a sports activities automobile for males with an exaggerated want to show their masculinity (and normally a beer stomach as properly).

Relying on whether or not it’s in its manic or in its depressive part, it both “sings from a reasonably uncovered perch” or is “slightly mouselike, creeping in brambles and understory” (eBird).


Totally different from many people, they are typically fairly well mannered – in a examine, male wrens averted overlapping their very own music over the playback of one other male by timing the beginning of their music accordingly.

Sadly, another species don’t appear to take heed to the wren a lot. Nice Tits (sorry, no joke this time – these solely include images) responded rather more to mobbing calls of nuthatches than to that of wrens (supply). Nonetheless, as a substitute of a tit joke, some wren pornography.

The HBW lists a complete of 8 species of forktails, 5 of which may be seen in China, so having two right here at Longcanggou is just not unhealthy. The Little Forktail is just not named after Arthur D. Little, the founding father of a administration consultancy I as soon as labored for in a reasonably unsuccessful manner, however slightly for its smallish dimension – who would have thought?

Whereas it’s certainly a forktail, the tail is just not notably forked (it is just too brief for that). eBird mercilessly highlights this, doing the species’ self-confidence no favor: “the smallest of the forktails and the one one missing an extended tail”. Because of this, many (notably male) Little Forktails work very onerous of their careers, exhausting themselves within the ambition to purchase an costly sports activities automobile that may compensate for his or her brief tail.

The Latin title scouleri is derived from Prof. John Scouler (1804-1871), a Scottish surgeon-naturalist, botanist, and explorer. Curiously, shortly after he had settled down as a medical physician in Britain, he was appointed professor of geology and pure historical past and mineralogy and later (at one other college) of zoology and botany as properly. I suppose individuals have been extra versatile then.

In what looks as if a reasonably pointless examine to me, Little Forktails in Nepal have been discovered to forage round mid-river rocks 55% of the time, marginal rocks 29% of the time, and at different areas 16% of the time (supply: HBW). The examine doesn’t state the place the birds took their smoking breaks.

In distinction to the Little Forktail, the Noticed Forktail not often lusts for sports activities automobiles – no want, as even the bored eBird reviewers are impressed by its “beautiful galaxy-like white recognizing on the again”.

And its tail really is forked.


Sharing the identical river with one other forktail (the Little Forktail) is facilitated by each species having completely different foraging methods and completely different prey objects, as described right here. For instance, whereas a Noticed Forktail readily ate from the Snickers bar I handed it, the Little Forktail loudly requested a Mars bar (which sadly I didn’t have with me). This useful resource participation, because the ornithologists name it, permits for comparatively peaceable coexistence so long as each manufacturers of confectionary can be found.

Within the German language, the Latin species title maculatus (“noticed”) has a unfavorable ring to it because the German phrase Makulatur describes waste paper consisting of nugatory printed paper. I’m certain you wished to know this.

Because the title suggests, the Nice Barbet is the biggest of all barbets. The busybodies of eBird (who presumably spend a variety of time doing sports activities) describe the species as sluggish – however then once more, in addition they state that it’s shy and “tends to stay to dense forest cover, the place it’s troublesome to see”, one thing that my images appear to not precisely illustrate very properly.

The Latin species title virens (“inexperienced”) solely covers a small a part of the species’ coloration spectrum – which someway it pulls off with out wanting gaudy. Respect from an individual who normally thinks one coloration (black) is ample.

Sadly for such an exquisite fowl, the one analysis paper associated to it was one with the slightly unappetizing title “Two new species of feather mites (Acarina: Psoroptidia) from the Nice Barbet, Psilopogon virens (Piciformes: Megalaimidae)”. Perhaps it’s simpler to get grants for work on feather mites than on birds? Higher financial implications, e.g., injury to home chickens?

Sadly for birders who like a little bit of logic, neither the Golden-breasted Fulvetta (immediately under) nor the Gold-fronted Fulvetta (additional down) are a part of the genus Fulvetta, which includes 8 species (supply: Wikipedia).

This doesn’t hold eBird from calling the Golden-breasted Fulvetta a “beautiful little fowl, extraordinarily brightly coloured for a fulvetta”.

A pleasant drawing of the fowl may be discovered right here.

The HBW part on distribution states that the fowl is “usually slightly unusual to pretty widespread”. I suppose in the event that they have been to challenge climate stories, they might give forecasts equivalent to ” usually wet to pretty sunny”.

As talked about, the Golden-fronted Fulvetta apparently additionally is just not an actual fulvetta (I additionally heard it was born in Kenya), however sadly, completely different from the Golden-breasted Fulvetta, it’s listed as Weak, principally because of its very restricted vary.

From seeing some flocks at Longcanggou, it appears that evidently the species likes to forage within the moss rising on tree trunks.


The third fulvetta at Longcanggou that in line with Wikipedia is just not an actual fulvetta is David’s Fulvetta. Presumably, in Russia, all these species are known as “particular operations” lately.

Sadly, as a result of fog within the morning I photographed this Bay Woodpecker, the flame coloration indicated within the Latin species title pyrrhotis was not that seen.

The Rufous-vented Tit is an “lively and social small fowl” and thus (at the least as a result of “social” half) not precisely my soulmate.

For the Stripe-throated Yuhina, eBird has the kind of ID trace birders hate: “Streaked throat is diagnostic however troublesome to see”. Really, I believe it’s fairly simply seen. Perhaps they simply need to deter some birders.

It appears this species sometimes moonlights as a flower pollinator, at the least in components of India and at any time when the cash is especially tight (supply).

eBird disparagingly calls the Yellow-browed Tit a plain yellowish fowl – it appears they don’t respect subtlety a lot. I believe it’s fairly a sexy fowl although.

Perhaps they took a touch from the Latin species title modestus (“plain, modest, unassuming”)?

Lastly, the opposite unhealthy half aside from the rising variety of vacationers as described firstly of this submit. Certainly, not all the things is nice at Longcanggou. Not all the things you see here’s what you need to see. As everyone knows, among the many animal courses, mammals are those accountable for the biggest variety of wars. American Civil Conflict? World Conflict 1? World Conflict 2? All brought on by mammals. An excellent purpose solely to take some fast images of the Longcanggou ones however in any other case ignore them.

Mammals – Worst. Animal Class. Ever.



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