Hong Kong’s greenspaces offer locals and travellers the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Each space is also a hub of wildlife that enables birdwatchers to spot some of the most unique birds in Asia. Birders visit Hong Kong throughout the year for the chance to see local and migrating winged creatures. Hundreds of bird species can be seen in Hong Kong and there are some perfectly lush greenspaces for birders to seek out. These Hong Kong birdwatching locations are perfect for you when exploring the city.
What is the best bird watching locations in Hong Kong?
1. Hong Kong Park
Hong Kong Park is a lush greenspace situated in the centre of the Asian city. Although Hong Kong Park is in the middle of the city, its 80,000 metres of greenery give you the chance to find a relaxing spot to witness an abundance of birds that make the park their permanent or temporary home.
The park is home to some exciting birdlife including herons and songbirds. It isn’t just the birds that you can see flying around the trees. Hong Kong Park has an aviary that houses many birds that you can spot up close. The aviary has over 80 types of birds that live in a tropical themed rainforest.
Birders have a great incentive to visit the park in the morning. Hong Kong Park runs a free guided birdwatching walk. The weekly event is conducted by Hong Kong’s Birdwatching Society.
2. Mai Po Nature Reserve/Mai Po Marshes
The Mai Po Nature Reserve has been identified as an “Important Bird and Biodiversity Area”. The nature reserve is home to migrating birds that make Hong Kong home during the winter months. The warm days and nights are ideal for birds seeking a refuge from the cold weather further north.
Winter sees the nature reserve welcome an estimated 90,000 birds. Many of the birds that migrate to Mai Po Nature Reserve are waterbirds. Visitors can find vantage points to view these waterbirds while they go about their natural daily movements. Birds such as the Saunders’s gull and the black-faced spoonbill arrive in the Mai Po Nature Reserve in winter.
Spring and autumn are the ideal times to visit Mai Po Nature Reserve to experience the great birdlife that converges on the park. The Mai Po Nature Reserve is protected by the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance of Hong Kong. There is restricted access to the park and its areas when visiting.
The World Wildlife Fund offers visitor eco-visits to the Mai Po Marshes. The eco-visits are for families, individuals, or groups interested in finding out more about the wildlife of Hong Kong. The Mai Po Marshes host around 40,000 visitors a year. The lack of visitors gives the park’s birds and other wildlife a safe haven.
Mai Po Marshes is a destination for birders in the northern areas of Hong Kong. An estimated 10,000 migratory birds head to the Mai Po Marshes.
The Mai Po Marshes are a great example of the biodiversity found in Hong Kong. The insects and water animals that live in the marshes are the reason so many birds visit the region. One of the unique aspects of the Mai Po Marshes are the 24 shrimp ponds that are organised in the reserve. The shrimp located in the ponds provide the birds that visit Mai Po Marshes food.
3. Kowloon Park
Kowloon Park is home to around 100 spotted bird species. The park is located in the Tsim Sha Tsui area which is filled with shopping and nightlife destinations. The greenspace of Kowloon Park is an oasis for birds and birders as it offers an escape from the buildings and streets.
The park’s well-manicured bushes and trees give it a unique look. It is a beautiful location and great for birding. Kowloon Park was turned into a public area in 1970 after it was decommissioned as a military fortress. The Chinese Garden is a favourite location for visitors to stroll along with the 200-metre sheltered walkway. The walkway is a wonderful place to stroll on a rainy Hong Kong day.
Some of the birds that can be spotted in Kowloon Park throughout the year are the Black Kite, Alexandrine Parakeet, and Spotted Dove. The park has a slightly artificial feel compared to Hong Kong’s nature reserves. The trees, bushes, and grass areas area all mowed and trimmed. Still, it has plenty of great trees and bushes that birds seek out. The undergrow is also an area in which wildlife roam.
4. Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve
Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve is an immense greenspace that covers 460 hectares and comprises diverse landscapes including woods and hills. Some of the of the most common birds found in Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve are the Spotted Dove, Chinese Bulbul, owls, and Crested Bulbul. The entire nature reserve is unspoiled, quiet, and perfect for individual contemplation.
The reserve was first created in 1926 when the Hong Kong government began a forestation project in the area. It has since grown into an amazing natural hub of wildlife thanks to the trees and plant life. Along with birds, visitors can see other types of wildlife including porcupine and deer. The reserve has picnic areas making it a great destination for all types of visitors and not just birders. The nature reserve’s walk ways are the perfect vantage points to spot birds and enjoy Hong Kong’s outdoor spaces.
We are avid bird-watchers who recently retired, allowing us more time to travel the world. Fortunately, we have managed to visit numerous countries around Europe, Asia, and America. Watching and photographing birds has been a passion for many years and we are making the most of the extra time on our hands!