Guangdong Province

Silver Oriole Oriolus mellianus ©Matthew Kwan Website
Birding Guangdong

Guangdong is a heavily populated province spread across 600km of tropical south China, between the Nanling mountain range to the north and the South China Sea to the south. The provincial capital is Guangzhou (formerly Canton) at the head of the Pearl River delta. The former Portuguese colony of Macau lies to the west of the Pearl River delta, and former British colony of Hong Kong to the east of it.

In the past thirty years, much of lowland Guangdong had been transformed into factories and industrial estates. This has led to economic advancement on a huge scale, but the environment has paid a heavy price. Nonetheless, Nanling National Nature Reserve, which straddles Guangdong’s northern border with Hunan Province, has a good coverage of warm temperate forest and is home to Cabot’s Tragopan and Silver Pheasant, as well as the spectacular Red-tailed Laughingthrush. Silver Orioles breed in Nanling in summer, before dispersing to southeast Asia for the winter.Further east and at a lower elevation, Chebaling National Nature Reserve is a site for Blyth’s Kingfisher and White-eared Night Heron. It is a good place to see and hear Chinese Barbet, a split from Black-browed Barbet. The site has suffered from ill-considered development in the past few years, especially small hydroelectric projects downstream from the reserve boundary which have damaged riverine habitat. However, Chebaling still has five species of woodpecker, Crested Kingfisher, Red-headed Trogon, and some wintering species that rarely get to the south of the province, such as Eurasian Siskins, Common Rosefinch and some buntings.

There are few nature reserves on Guangdong’s coast, but Gongping Dahu in Haifeng County supports a good number of wintering duck, and a significant proportion of the very rare eastern population of Dalmatian Pelican. On the west side of Shenzhen city the mangrove reserve of Futian looks south across Deep Bay to Hong Kong’s Mai Po Nature Reserve. Although Dalmatian Pelicans have become irregular in Deep Bay in recent years, there is still plenty to see in winter. The bay supports over 200 endangered Black-faced Spoonbills, as well as thousands of duck, Avocet and Black-headed Gulls.In spring and autumn there are thousands of migrating waders of about forty species – including Nordmann’s Greenshank and Spoon-billed Sandpiper.

The Shenzhen Birdwatching Society is heavily committed to public education about wild birds, and members travel all over China to pursue their hobby.

This page is sponsored by Alpine Birding

  • John & Jemi Holmes

    Hong Kong |

Useful Reading

  • Birding South East China

    | By Tim J Woodward | Tim Woodward | 2006 Paperback | 423 pages, 88 colour photos, 160 maps | ISBN: 9628508423 Buy this book from
  • The Birds of Hong Kong and South China

    | By Clive Viney, Karen Phillips & Lam Chiu Ying | Hong Kong Government Information Service | 2005 | Paperback | 255 pages, 91 colour plates, b/w illustrations, 4 maps | ISBN: 9620204042 Buy this book from
Useful Information
  • Official Provincial Bird

    Silver Pheasaant Lophura nycthemera
  • Shenzhen Bird Watching Society

    Shenzhen Bird Watching Society (SZBWS) was formally established on 3 March 2004, with support from Shenzhen Municipal Oceanic Bureau. The organization is now a legal entity, with the approval of the Shenzhen Civil Affairs Bureau
  • Shenzhen Bird Watching Society

    Shenzhen Bird Watching Society (SZBWS) was formally established on 3 March 2004, with support from Shenzhen Municipal Oceanic Bureau. The organization is now a legal entity, with the approval of the Shenzhen Civil Affairs Bureau

Abbreviations Key

  • NNR Dinghu Mountains

    InformationSatellite View
    …there are more than 170 species of birds, 30 species of animals and 20 species of pythons, among which leopards, serows and silver pheasants are under the state protection. Silver pheasant is the official bird of Guangdong Province…
  • NNR Huidong Harbor Sea Turtle Reserve

    WebpageSatellite View
    At the juncture of Daya Bay and Honghai Bay in the South China Sea, presently the only sea turtle protected area in China, with seawater and gently-sloping sandy beaches still in good environmental quality and eminently suitable for sea turtles…
  • NNR Nanling

    InformationSatellite View
    Nanling National Nature Reserve is one of the sources of the Pearl River. In addition, it is the most abundant biological resources of nature reserves, the largest biological species gene pool, and one of the 14 biodiversity hotspots in China. It is a forest ecological protected area that protects the subtropical evergreen broadleaf forest and rare flora and fauna as well as their inhabitants. 261 bird species have been observed.
  • NNR Wuyishan

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Wuyi Mountain stretches for thousands of miles like a green dragon all the way across the provinces of Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Guangdong. The world-famous Wuyishan National Key Nature Reserve just sits on the highest section on the north of the Mountains. It is the single biggest and the most comprehensive surviving semi-subtropical forest system in the south-east mainland China. It is within the World biosphere Protection Network of the United Nations and is ranked Class-A global nature reserve…
  • NNR Zhanjiang Mangroves

    WebpageSatellite View
    The largest mangrove forest wetland reserve in China, located along coastal areas of the Leizhou Peninsula at the southernmost tip of China between the South China Sea and the Tonkin Gulf, adjacent to Hainan Island…
  • NR Ba Bao Shan

    WebpageSatellite View
    One of the last refuges for the Chinese Tiger…
Trip Reports

Click on WAND to see Fatbirder’s Trip Report Repository…

  • 2010 [04 April] - Peter Ericsson

    Guangzhou, Guangdong - 8th-14th of April 2010
  • 2017 [06 Jun] - Matthew Kwan - Nanling National Forest Park

    We arrived at outside Nanling at around noon, we had lunch by a roadside restaurant, where we met with our local guide Mr. Chen, he had agreed to show us the location of several species within the park, namely the Cabot's Tragopan and Fairy Pitta...
  • 2018 [06 June] - Lo Chun Fai

    ...The White-eared Night Heron is one of our dream ticks when studying South-east China bird guide because it is so secretive due to its nocturnal behavior and small population size. I missed two times for seeing the night heron, one in Zhejiang because of my schedule; and one in Guangxi because of bad weather. This year, when I found a paper about the breeding of White-eared Night Heron in Guangxi, I decided to try our luck again....
  • 2019 [06 June] - Matthew Kwan - Liuxihe National Forest Park, Guangdong Province

    The Silver Oriole is a relatively little known species that breeds in southern China and over winters in mainland South East Asia. It is listed as Endangered due to their limited range and heavy habitat loss of the tropical and sub-tropical forest throughout their range. They are probably one of the rarest breeding species in Guangdong...
Other Links
  • Six great places to go birding in Guangdong this spring

    With the close of winter, spring has returned in all its glory to the Flower City, bringing with it warmer temperatures, colourful blossoms, and millions of migrating birds.

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