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Hainan Province

Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii ©Craig Brelsford Website

Tropical Hainan Island is the most southerly part of China, and its’ sandy, palm-fringed beaches are popular with visitors from the colder parts of the country. It was visited in the 1860s by Robert Swinhoe and in the 1890s by John Whitehead, who discovered the spectacular White-winged Magpie there. Whitehead died of malaria near the capital Haikou in 1899.

Hainan is home to a number of endemic island races of birds it has in common with adjacent Guangxi Province and Vietnam, such as Yellow-billed Nuthatch and Rufous-eared Laughingthrush.

The National Nature Reserve of Bawangling, four hours by bus from Haikou, is home to the world’s rarest primate, the Hainan Gibbon, as well as Hainan Peacock Pheasant, Hainan Partridge and Red Junglefowl. Closer to Sanya in the south of the island, the more visitor-friendly Jianfengling National Nature Reserve is a place to see Sultan Tit, Silver Pheasant and Ratchet-tailed Treepie.

A lot of research work on Hainan is being assisted by the Hongkong-based Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, www.kfbg.org/kfb/text2image2.xml?fid=165&sid=197

with new species being added to the Hainan Island birdlist all the time.

Haikou and Sanya are served by short, direct flights from Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Wintertime – October to April – is probably the most comfortable time to visit.


Useful Information

Provincial Bird

Hainan Hill Partridge Arborophola ardens


Abbreviations Key: See the appropriate Continent Page (or Country Page of those used on country sub-divisions)

Dongzhaigang Nature Reserve


Satellite View

Small shallow sea bay of extensive intertidal mudflats and mangrove swamps. The swamps are important feeding and nursery areas for waterbirds…

Dongzhaigang Nature Reserve

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Satellite View

…there are 159 species of birds such as egrets and ducks in the Reserve. Dongzhaigang is also the good habitat of marine animals, mainly including fish, shrimps, and shellfish such as sipunculid worm, perch and oyster…

Sanya Coral Reef Nature Reserve


Satellite View

The seawater there is limpid and transparent, and in the water there are more than 100 species of reef corals…

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Birding Pal


Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Trip Reports

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Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2005 [01 January] - Björn Anderson - Bawangling


A weekend trip with the purpose of seeing Hainan Hill-Partridge and Hainan Peacock-Pheasant. Given all the trouble I had with logistics and inflexible reserve staff, I counted myself lucky to see the former species. The Peacock-Pheasant is very difficult to find during the winter and I could not find any sign of it during a total of seven hours spent at the best sites and known territories…

2008 [07 July] - Bjorn Anderson


…Hainan Peacock-Pheasant (HPP) has in the past been regarded as a subspecies of Grey Peacock-Pheasant, but morphological differences and recent genetic data clearly shows that it qualifies for species rank…

2013 [02 February] - Craig Brelsford


…In it were a white-bellied erpornis, a white-throated fantail, a few Hainan leaf warblers, a pair of grey-chinned minivets, and a Phylloscopus warbler…

Other Links

Yearly report from Bawangling National Park


The past weeks a major wildlife survey has been carried out in the Bawangling national park on Hainan, a Chinese/Vietnamese has documented the fauna and flora of this, so far poorly known park…