Heilongjiang Province

Band-bellied Crake Porzana paykullii ©Craig Brelsford Website
Birding Heilongjiang

Heilongjiang is a province of the People’s Republic of China located in the northeastern part of the country. ‘Heilongjiang’ literally means Black Dragon River, which is the Chinese name for the Amur. The Manchu name of the region is Sahaliyan ula (literally, ‘Black River’), from which the name of Sakhalin island is derived.Heilongjiang borders Jilin in the south and Inner Mongolia to the west; it also borders Russia to the north.The Amur River marks the border between the People’s Republic of China and Russia to the north. Heilongjiang contains China’s northernmost point (in Mohe County along the Amur) and easternmost point (at the junction of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers).The provincial capital of Heilongjiang is Harbin.Heilongjiang is a land of varied topography. Much of the province is dominated by mountain ranges such as the Greater Khingan Range and Lesser Khingan Range, Zhangguangcai Mountains, Laoye Mountains, and Wanda Mountains. The highest peak is Mount Datudingzi at 1690 m (5545 ft), located on the border with Jilin province). The Greater Khingan Range contains China’s largest remaining virgin forest and is an important area for China’s forestry industry.The interior of the province, which is relatively flat and low in altitude, contains the Muling River, the Naoli River, the Songhua River, the Nen River, and the Mudan River, all tributaries of the Amur’s basin, while the northern border forms part of the Amur valley. Xingkai Lake (or Khanka Lake) is found on the border with Russia’s Primorsky Krai.Heilongjiang is subarctic in climate. Winters are long and frigid, with an average of −31 to −15°C in January, and summers are short and cool with an average of 18 to 23°C in July. The annual average rainfall is 500 to 600 mm, concentrated mostly in summer.

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Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 388

    (As at August 2018)
  • But one breeding endemic Manchurian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus tangorum

Abbreviations Key

  • NNR Fenglin

    WebpageSatellite View
    The forest belongs to the vegetation zone with coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forests. It belongs to the Lesser Hinggan Mountains and varies from 280 meters to over 683 meters above the sea level…
  • NNR Honghe

    InformationSatellite View
    173 birds are known from the Reserve including protected species such as black stork, black-billed capercaillie, greater spotted eagle, Steller's sea eagle, mandarin duck, Oriental white stork, red-crowned crane, white-naped crane, white-tailed sea eagle, and whooper swan.
  • NNR San Jiang

    WebpageSatellite View
    An alluvial floodplain typical of high-altitude wetlands, a mixture of rivers, open bogs, seasonally flooded meadows, and sedge marshes, the largest area of freshwater wetland in the country. The site is internationally important for waterbirds, particularly ducks…
  • NNR Xiao Xingkai Lake

    InformationSatellite View
    A complex wetland system including grassland, marshes, lakes, and forests, contiguous with Russia to the south across the Songacha River. The site, at the northern end of the large lake, provides important breeding habitat for a number of bird species protected in China…
  • NR Zhalong

    InformationSatellite View
    A system of permanent and seasonally flooded freshwater marshes, shallow lakes and ponds, with extensive reedbeds and grasslands. Its ponds and reeds make it an ideal home for over 300 different species of birds. It is protected by the Chinese government. Within the park, a large flock of red-crowned cranes is held in captivity for conservation purposes. The reserve is listed as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance...NR
Trip Reports
  • 2013 [06 June] - Paul Holt - Zhalong National Nature Reserve

    PDF Report
    …The reed bed held two singing Manchurian Reed Warblers and quite a few Northern Parrotbills – I saw both of these species on all three visits that I made to the site. There were also decent numbers of marsh terns (including one Black Tern), Great Bitterns and Black-browed Reed Warblers in the area. A summer plumaged Red-necked Grebe was one of rather few birds out on the lake itself….
  • 2016 [06 June] - Craig Brelsford & Elaine Du - Boli County,

    In this report, you will get an introduction to Boli and eastern Heilongjiang, you will discover the birds we met up there at the height of the breeding season, you will learn about the birds we missed, and you will find out how Elaine and I combine birding with family. There are as well 31 of my sound-recordings of Boli birds and plenty of photos.
Other Links
  • Avifauna of North Manchuria

    A note on the wintering birds of the valleys of desinho and yaluro near niengtzeshan station on the chinese eastern railway.

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