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Hebei Province

Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica ©Alister Benn

Hebei is a northern province of the People's Republic of China. Its one-character abbreviation is jì, named after Ji Province, a Han Dynasty province (zhou) that included southern Hebei. The name Hebei means 'north of the (Yellow) River'.

Zhili meaning 'Directly Ruled (by the Imperial Court)', was the name of Hebei before 1928.

Hebei completely surrounds Beijing and Tianjin municipalities (which also border each other). It borders Liaoning to the northeast, Inner Mongolia to the north, Shanxi to the west, Henan to the south, and Shandong to the southeast. Bohai Bay of the Yellow Sea is to the east. A small part of Hebei, an exclave disjointed from the rest of the province, is wedged between the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin.

The provincial capital of Hebei is Shijiazhuang.

Most of central and southern Hebei lies within the North China Plain. The western part of Hebei rises into the Taihang Mountains (Taihang Shan), while the Yan Mountains (Yan Shan) run through northern Hebei, beyond which lie the grasslands of Inner Mongolia. The Great Wall of China cuts through northern Hebei from east to west as well, briefly entering the border of Beijing Municipality, and terminates at the seacoast of Shanhaiguan in northeastern Hebei. The highest peak is Mount Xiaowutai in northwestern Hebei, with an altitude of 2882 m.

Hebei borders Bohai Sea on the east. The Hai He watershed covers most of the province's central and southern parts, and the Luan He watershed covers the northeast. Not counting the numerous reservoirs to be found in Hebei's hills and mountains, the largest lake in Hebei is Baiyangdian, located mostly in Anxin County.

Hebei has a continental monsoon climate, with temperatures of -16 to -3 °C in January and 20 - 27 °C in July, and with annual precipitation of 400 to 800 mm, occurring mostly in summer.

Top Sites

Beidaihe [Happy Island]

Satellite View

4 hours from Beijing, legendary coastal migration spots, with peak time being first three weeks of May, then a protracted Autumn migration beginning in late June with reverse shorebird migration, peak passerine diversity in late September, and Crane migration from mid October through to early November. Expectations: 150-200 for experienced birders in a three-week peak-time trip.



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Useful Reading

* Field Guides & Bird Song

For a comprehensive list of recommended titles covering China as a whole - please see the China page of Fatbirder


Xipobo Bird Watching Society


Xipobo Bird Watching Society (Xipobo BWS) established in 1999 at Hebei Province during a "Love Bird Week" activity at Ping Shan County. In April 2002, it was formally registered at the Civil Affairs Bureau as an organization for non-profit purpose. Xipobo BWS aims to promote wildlife and environmental conservation in Ping Shan County, it also assist taking care of injured animal and promote bird watching activities. Target audiences are the general public in particular student. The Society also facilitate them to understand the importance of protection of wildlife and their environment, and the "Law of the Protection of Wildlife"

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…


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.

2009 [09 September] - Jesper Hornskov


In the species list the concept "bird-days" is used - it is the avian equivalent of man-hours: for example, separate flocks of ten and 15 Henri’s Snowfinches moving through score 25 bird-days, as would the same single individual seen daily for 25 days…

2013 [05 May] - Bill Blake & Vaughan Ashby - Beidaihe

Report PDF

…Kentish Plovers, a couple of Greater Sandplovers, Red Knots, Sanderlings, Red-necked Stints, a single Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpipers, Bar–tailed Godwits, Whimbrels, Common Redshanks, Common Greenshanks, Wood and Terek Sandpipers were all seen….

2013 [05 May] - Charley Hesse

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…we concentrated our efforts on the famous migration hot-spots of Beidaihe and Happy Island, although we also had a very successful trip to the Jiaoshan Great Wall at Shanhaiguan which produced our 3 resident targets of Pere David’s Laughingthrush, Godelewski’s Bunting and White-browed Chinese Warbler….

2015 [05 May] - Vaughan & Svetlana Ashby - Beidaihe

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2016 [10 October] - Rich Lindie


...Of those that we did see well, a Little Bunting, Chinese Penduline Tit and Black-browed Warbler were highlights, making our afternoon stroll around the northern end of the island a worthwhile excursion...

Autumn Report


Other Links

Birds at Beidaihe


I first visited Beidaihe, a resort on China's east coast, in spring 1985, and have returned each year since, mostly as leader or co-leader of migration surveys and birding tours, a couple of times for a holiday. In all, I have spent over a year at the town, garnering a Beidaihe list with over 300 Asian migrants, and experiencing superb spells of birding. In addition, trying to stimulate conservation work — it was partly on my urging that, in spring 1990, the town established an unimpressive nature reserve…

Checklist of Beidaihe


A Checklist of the Birds of the Beidaihe/Qinhuangdao District, Hebei Province, China…