Top Ten Hong Kong birds

Here’s a definitive list of the top ten Hong Kong birds.
(Well, ok, this is subjective; but ten top species for sure.)

Criteria include global status, appearance, relationship to Hong Kong – perhaps readily seen and familiar, maybe rare worldwide but significant sightings here.

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-faced Spoonbill

A shoe-in for the list – and indeed for Number One position. Large, striking in appearance, globally rare, with endangered status discovered by Hong Kong based birder, Hong Kong one of top three winter sites for this species.

Black Kite

Black Kite

Ubiquitous, large, at home in city and country – especially in Victoria Harbour, and around the Peak.

Spoon-billed Sandpiper


Rare and getting rareer, highly sought after by travelling birders; Hong Kong is one of the prime sites for seeing this species – and even here, it’s scarce. Plus, of course, that spoon shaped bill – unique among shorebirds.

Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher

Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher

Spring males are stunning; occurs in various parts of Hong Kong on migration, but not real easy to find. Globally near threatened.

Black-capped Kingfisher

A kingfisher designed by cartoonists; loud n raucous; sadly seems harder to find of late.

Blue Magpie 

Exotic looking – indeed, even features in some Chinese paintings. Noicy, gregarious, seems smart and thrives on fringes of the city.

Fork-tailed Sunbird

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Fork-tailed Sunbird

Restricted range; gorgeous; a photographers’ favourite when its coral tree nectar flowers in Tai Po Kau are in bloom.

Aleutian Tern

Its range away from breeding grounds was pretty much unknown, till migrants were found in Hong Kong. Regular on migration here; a long distance traveller, breeding in far-off, remote part of the world.

Oriental Magpie Robin

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One of few birds that thrives here even in city parks; striking, and seems to adapt well to being close to man.

Chinese Francolin


“Come to the Peak ha ha!” raucous song is a distinctive sound of Hong Kong hills.

Also considered:

Asian Koel, Black-faced Laughingthrush

Also sought-after by birders, and regular in Hong Kong: Nordmann’s Greenshank, Asian Dowitcher, Saunders’ Gull…

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