Birding in Hong Kong

World famous business centre, think of Hong Kong and you may think of skyscrapers and bustling streets. However, little does the millions of visitors that pass through our city each year know, Hong Kong is home to over 540 species of birds, with the total number of species still increasing every year.

The city have 24 Country Parks and covers up to 44,300 hectares of land. These Country Parks are managed by the Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD). A very extensive network of walking trails exists within all Country Parks.

Climate here is sub-tropical, with hot and humid summers and pleasant to cold winters. Temperature in the summer can reach 32˚c, occasionally as high as 36˚c. Winter temperature on average is a pleasant 18˚c, occasional cold spells can see temperature drop down to 5˚c with some rural areas at freezing point. However, cold weather usually don't last for very long. We get 4 - 6 Typhoons during the summer annually, however only one or two threatens Hong Kong enough for any significant damage each year.

Best birding season starts from late August all the way through to May. Autumn passage migrants usually start arriving in September, with breeding birds from the North heading south to their wintering grounds. Winter visitors usually arrives at around November and stay till February or March. Spring migrants will follow from March to late May, with birds wintering in South East Asia heading back up to their breeding grounds.

A male Narcissus Flycatcher and Japanese Paradise Flycatcher, some of our most exciting spring migrants.

Most breeding birds in Hong Kong are resident species, with exception of Terns (Black-naped, Bridled and Roseate), Black Baza, Hainan Blue Flycatcher and Chestnut-winged Cuckoo and number of other species. The near endemic Chinese Grassbird breeds on grassy slopes in Hong Kong, the largest population can be found on Tai Mo Shan; the tallest mountain in Hong Kong. While the now endangered Collared Crow is still a common resident in Hong Kong.

Bridled Tern, one of three breeding tern species on Hong Kong's offshore islands.

The near endemic Chinese Grassbird.

The now endangered Collared Crow is still fairly common around Deep Bay area.

Despite the small size of the city, the types of habitats in Hong Kong are very diverse, from woodlands, grasslands, scrubs, wetlands, mudflats, agricultural land, off-shore islands and mangroves. You can reach a completely different habitat within 30 minutes of driving distance, this makes Hong Kong a very exciting place to bird with very high diversity of bird species to be found.

Boardwalk towards Deep Bay, in Mai Po Nature Reserve.

Other then birds, naturalist alike will enjoy the large variety of wildlife you can find here, 55 species of mammals, up to 108 species of reptiles and amphibians, over 200 species of butterflies and over 100 species of dragonflies. Some of which are near endemic to Hong Kong, including Romer's Treefrog, Hong Kong Newt and Hong Kong Cascade Frog.

Red Muntjac, one of the largest mammal species found in Hong Kong.

A Brown Forest Skink, commonly seen in leaf litters in woodlands.

A Common Birdwing at Tai Po Kau, wingspan can reach 16cm.

Hong Kong Cascade Frog, can be found hanging onto rocks on fast flowing streams.

Getting around is easy with the excellent public transports and road networks. Most places are reachable by MTR, bus or minibus, more remote places can still be reached via taxis. A car will reduce your traveling time from one birding spots to another, however is not a necessity.

Being at the coast of Guangdong, Hong Kong can be the perfect stepping stone for a short visit to birding areas in Guangdong province, a weekend can be organized to places like Ba Bao Shan, Che Ba Ling and Guan Yin Shan, where you may encounter birds you won't see in Hong Kong such as Brown Dippers, Blyth's Kingfishers, Silver Pheasants, Cabot's Tragopan, White-necklaced Partridge, Chinese Barbets, Silver Oriole, various Woodpeckers and Red-headed Trogons.

Silver Pheasant is an iconic forest species in Guangdong that is not found in Hong Kong.

A female Red-headed Trogon, found in various sites in Guangdong and Hainan.

Chinese Barbet is common in forest reserves in Guangdong, while only recently recorded in Hong Kong.

Silver Oriole is one of the most sought after species in the forests of Guangdong.


  1. Hi There,

    How many I get hold of you? I have a few questions about the white browed piculet! :)



    1. Hi Dani,

      Please email me at



  3. Homantin is mention frequently as a birding spot. I'm in the vicinity, but still can not figure out where birds posted are 'normally' found.

    Your enlightenment is appreciated.

    1. Hello, Ho Man Tin's location is here :

      There is no exact route to go around it, but there are many footpaths and service paths around the hill and park, just walk along there slowly and look for any birds there, pretty much any migrant can turn up there! Good luck!