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Shanxi Province

Brown-breasted Bulbul Pycnonotus xanthorrhous ©Alister Benn Website

Birding Shanxi

Shanxi is a province in the northern part of the People's Republic of China. Shanxi's name literally means 'the west of the mountain', which refers to the province's location west of the Taihang Mountains. Shanxi borders Hebei to the east, Henan to the south, Shaanxi to the west, and Inner Mongolia to the north. The capital of the province is Taiyuan.

Shanxi is located on a plateau, which is in turn made up of higher ground to the east (Taihang Mountains) and the west (Lüliang Mountains), and a series of valleys in the center through which the Fen River runs. The highest peak is Mount Wutai (Wutai Shan) in northeastern Shanxi at an altitude of 3,058m. The Great Wall of China forms most of the northern border of Shanxi with Inner Mongolia.

The Huang He (Yellow River) forms the western border of Shanxi with Shaanxi. The Fen and Qin rivers, tributaries of the Huang He, run north-to-south through the province, and drain much of its area. The north of the province is drained by tributaries of the Hai River, such as Sanggan and Hutuo rivers. The largest natural lake in Shanxi is Xiechi Lake, a salt lake near Yuncheng in southwestern Shanxi.

Shanxi has a continental monsoon climate, and is rather arid. Average January temperatures are below 0 °C, while average July temperatures are around 21 - 26 °C. Winters are long, dry, sunny and cold, while summer is warm and humid. Spring is bone dry and prone to dust storms. Shanxi is one of the sunniest parts of China; early summer heat waves are common. Annual precipitation averages around 350-700 mm, with 60% of it concentrated between June and August.



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Number of Species

Number of bird species: 341

(As at August 2018)


Useful Reading

Birds in Shanxi Province

By Fan Longsuo | Huayu Nature Book Trade Co.Ltd | 2008 | Paperback | 567 pages, Colour plates | Text in Chinese only |

ISBN: 9787503852916

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

Provincial Bird

Brown-eared Pheasant Crossoptilon mantchuricum


Xian Birdwatching Society

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Alpine Birding

Tour Operator

Birding trips here are made for avid birders including yearly-run trips and new China birding trips developed by AlpineBirding team and guided by our bird experts in the best

Summer Wong Bird Tours

Tour Operator

Summer Wong Bird Tours specializes in China birding tours of Sichuan, Yunnan, Qinghai, Tibet & Eastern China

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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.

2018 [01 January] - Chun Fai Lo


Brown Eared Pheasant Crossoptilon mantchuricum is one of the four Crossoptilon pheasants, and it is endemic in China and Vulnerable. Thanks to SoSo’s arrangement, we made a weekend twitch in January 2018. The pheasant is well fed every morning in that spot so twitching is rather guaranteed.

2018 [04 April] - Summer Wong


...After around 5 hours drive, just before Foping town, we had one stop on the roadside on a slope we got Grey-capped Greenfinches, 2 Vinous-throated Parrotbills, 2 Streak-breasted Scimitar Babblers, Darian Redstart, Collared Finchbill, Brownish-flanked Bush Warbler, a male Yellow-throated Bunting, Brown-breasted Bulbuls. Red-billed Blue Magpie, Common Magpie and Large-billed Crow are common all alone the road....

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Birding In Shanxi Province


There are 454 vertebrate species have been found in Shanxi including 335 bird species which belong to 55 families under 17 orders. Among them, 225 species are Palaearctic ones, 34 species are Oriental ones and 74 species are widespread ones. The Brown-eared Pheasant which is endemic to China was chosen to be the province bird in 1984.