China is a heaven for nature lovers and birdwatchers. There are more than 9,000 bird species in the world, and China hosts about 1,300 different species, making it one of the countries with the most diverse bird species in the world. What’s more, three of the world's eight major flyways of migratory birds pass through China, and there are many habitats in mainland China, with excellent natural conditions for migratory birds. For enthusiastic bird lovers, don’t hesitate to have a China birding tour. Let’s read on to know some best birding spots in China.
Qinghuangdao is regarded as China’s capital of bird-watching, hosting more than 450 bird species, of which 68 species are national key protective birds. Beidaihe is one of the four famous birding spots in the world, with excellent natural conditions. Every year, a large number of migratory birds will stay here and inhabit. The migration of cranes and raptor birds is extremely spectacular, which is rare to see elsewhere.
Both spring and autumn are best seasons for bird-watching in Beidaihe, from March to May, or September to November. No matter you come here in spring and autumn, you will be amazed by the amount and rich varieties of migratory birds. New species are found every year, which is extremely tempting for bird lovers.
You can visit Beidaihe National Wetland Park and Geziwo Park. If you want to know more information about birds, you can visit the Museum of Birds inside the wetland park. You may need two days if you want to check out all the best spots for bird-watching in Beidaihe.
Qinghai Lake is well-known as the largest inland lake in China. Bird Island on Qinghai Lake is a spectacular wonder on the plateau, with mild climate and fine natural environment. It is a unique bird breeding place in Asia, ranking the top among the eight largest bird sanctuaries in China. Lots of bar-headed geese, cormorants and seagulls will breed on the island every spring.
Usually, the best bird-watching season is from May to July. At that time, a total of about 160,000 different birds migrate to live on the islands. If you’re interested in watching Whooper Swan, the best season is between November and the next February.
Poyang Lake is the largest fresh water lake in China, and also an important habit for migratory birds. The rich resources of aquatic products provide excellent natural conditions for birds to inhabit and multiply in Poyang Lake during winter season.
The vast wetland is really attractive to migratory birds. More than 700,000 migratory birds will fly from Siberia of Russia, Mongolia, Japan and North Korea to Poyang Lake each winter, including white cranes, swans and Oriental White Stork. Over 98% of white cranes on the planet will get through the winter here.
Normally, the best season for bird-watching is from October to November, lots of birders and photographers will gather here for the gorgeous views around Poyang Lake.
Caohai, the largest natural plateau freshwater lake in Guizhou, is one of the most popular birding spots in the world. Owning great ecosystem of plateau wetland, Caohai is an important habit for black-necked crane, which is one of the world’s rare waterfowls.
The water here is shallow and clear, as there are mainly silt at the bottom of Caohai, more varieties of water plants can be found here. Each year, more than 200 species of migratory birds will spend the winter in Caohai. The best bird-watching time is from December to the next March.
Dashanbao is the largest wintering area for black-necked cranes on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. Now, there are only 15 species cranes in the world, and black-necked cranes are the only cranes living in plateau wetlands. You can take nice pictures of groups of black-necked cranes at the Tiaodunhe Reservoir and Dahaizi Reservoir. The best time for bird-watching in Dashanbao is from October to the next April.
Black-necked Cranes, Dashanbao
Yancheng Rare Birds Nature Reserve was built in 1984, aiming at protecting various rare birds such as red-crowned cranes, and the colorful ecosystem of mud flat and wetland in this area. This is the largest wintering area for red-crowned cranes, about 800 red-crowned cranes can be seen here. What’s more, the nature reserve is also an important breeding place for Saunder’s Gull.
Red-crowned Cranes, Yancheng
As there are so many best birding spots in China, a China birding tour will be really amazing. Please feel free to share with us more ideas for bird-watching in China. You can start planning based on birds you’re interested, or let us help you with all the arrangement. See sample tours below for some inspirations.
Beijing, Xian, Lhasa, Chongqing, Yangtze Cruise, Yichang, Shanghai