Hainan Province

Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii ©Craig Brelsford Website
Birding Hainan

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 by Robert Swinhoe (1860s) and by John Whitehead (1890s), who discovered the spectacular White-winged Magpie there. Whitehead died (1899) of malaria near the capital Haikou .Hainan is home to a number of endemic island races of birds that it has in common with the adjacent province of Guangxi and with 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 some interesting birds like 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, 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.

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Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 459

    (As at August 2018)
  • Number of endemics: 3

    Hainan Hill Partridge Arborophila ardens Hainan Peacock Pheasant Polyplectron katsumatae & Hainan Leaf Warbler Seicercus hainanus plus two breeding endemics: Swinhoe's Minivet Pericrocotus cantonensis & Alström's Leaf Warbler Seicercus soror
Useful Reading

  • Atlas of Birds in Dongzhaigang, Hainan

    By Liang Bin | Hua Ling | 2015 | Paperback | 184 pages, colour photos | Chinese Text | ISBN: 9787516905258 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • 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 NHBS.com
  • 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 illus, 4 maps | ISBN: 9620204042 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Useful Information
  • Provincial Bird

    Hainan Hill Partridge Arborophola ardens

Abbreviations Key

  • NNR Bawangling

    InformationSatellite View
    The Hainan Bawangling National Nature Reserve is a nature reserve in Changjiang County, western Hainan, China. It is home to the Hainan black crested gibbon, which is on the verge of extinction, and the endemic Hainan Hill Partridge. The total area of the reserve is 8,444.3 hectares.
  • NNR Jianfengling

    InformationSatellite View
    ianfengling National Nature Reserve is located in the southwest of Hainan, it is home to 7 species of animal that are protected at the national level, namely Hainan Eld's deer, Hainan black gibbon, clouded leopard, peacock pheasant, the monitor lizards, Hainan Partridge, and pythons. It's also rich in butterflies...
  • NNR Khingan Hanma Wetlands

    InformationSatellite View
    Located on the northern part of the western slope of the Grand Khingan mountains, the Site is one of the most well-preserved temperate coniferous forest areas in China
  • NNR Sanya Coral Reef

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    The seawater there is limpid and transparent, and in the water there are more than 100 species of reef corals…
  • NNR Yinggeling

    WebpageSatellite View
    ...a wealth of exciting biodiversity, including species new-to-science such as the Yinggeling Tree Frog (Rhacophorus yinggelingensis), new China records such as the tropical tree Trigonobalanus verticillata, and over 160 new Hainan records such as the tree Bretschneidera sinensis and Pygmy Wren Babbler (Pnoepyga pusilla)....
Trip Reports
  • 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…

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