Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Red Chilli Peppers for Breakfast

Minivets are some of the most colourful bird species we get in Hong Kong, their brightly coloured plumage makes them top birds for many visiting birders. They are fairly common in Hong Kong, frequenting woodland edges and parks, you may even find them in urban settings occasionally. Despite how common they are, their preference to canopies makes good views highly relished, even amongst local birders.

This morning as I was walking back to office, a high pitched whistle rang above me, a classic call of a Scarlet Minivet in flight. As I searched amongst the banyan trees, I saw a bright red bird circling above, then landed on a branch on a bare tree. For a birder, this was probably a more effective way to wake him up. My office is situated right by Kwun Tong Road; a very busy mainroad in Kowloon, seeing such a bird in an urban setting reminds you how rich Hong Kong biodiversity really is.

Direct translation of it's Chinese name is "Bright Red Hill Chilli Bird", which I've always felt truly describes them in the most vivid way imaginable. They truly are the red hot chilli peppers of the forest.

The photograph here was of course not taken this morning, but a few years back at Tai Po Kau, but you can visualize the kind of bright plumage they have.

We have two resident species of Minivets in Hong Kong, the Scarlet as shown here, and the Grey-throated which frequents more mature woodlands. The other three species of Minivets are passage migrants, this includes Ashy Minivet, Swinhoe's Minivet and the super rare Rosy Minivet.

Great way to start the day!

No comments:

Post a Comment