Return of the migratory birds
For the 33rd Birdlover's Week, the Chengdu Municipal Administration of Forestry and Gardens and the Chengdu Bird Watching Society have published the second edition of the Chengdu Birdwatching Guide.
Freely available at tourist information centers and parks around the city, the bilingual guide lists 123 kinds of birds that can be seen at 30 bird watching sites in the urban area.
The widest variety on display around 100 can be seen in Huanhuaxi Park, and other key spots inlcude Sichuan University (Wangjiang campus), Donghu Park, Hetangyuese (Jinjiang Egret Wetland Park), Qinglong Lake (Shiling Forrest Park), Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, and the Chengdu Botanical Garden.
The guide explicitly honors educator and missionary Jane C. Balderston, who, in the first half of the 20th century pioneered West China's birdwatching studies and published the results of her 43 years of observations in 1969 (Bird Watching 1916-1949 in Chengtu Szechwan West China). Ten years ago the Chengdu Bird Watching Society (CDBWS) began following her footsteps and has since contributed to various educational and conservation activities and research programs in Chengdu and Sichuan. The efforts of these recreational birdwatchers and professional ornithologists have led to recent impacts on ecological tourism and city planning, and together they have identified 444 species of birds in Chengdu, 650 in Sichuan, and 30 Important Bird Areas as recognized by Birdlife International, making Sichuan one of China's primary biodiversity and ornithological research areas.
For more resources on Sichuan and Chengdu birdwatching, check Sichuan Birding, an extensive online English-language resource run by Chengdu-based Welsh/Chinese couple Sid and Meggie Francis.
Photo source: CDBPW