Birds of Qingdao

There are many factors to identifying birds in Qingdao.  Bird Identification is not always possible; Even as a bird guide I sometimes see birds but have difficulty and I am not sure that it is what it may seem to be.  That’s why a field guide like Mckinnon and Philips’ “Birds of China” is indispensable for anyone wanting to do serious birding in Qingdao.

If you can’t get a hold of that book, (Very hard to find in China) our Online Guide for Birds of Qingdao will suffice for those who want to identify the frequently seen species in Qingdao.

The guide bellow is in taxonomical order.  Field marks and status (Qingdao resident, here for the winter, for the summer or a migrant bird) are also included.  For the sake of cross cultural birding we also included the birds’ name in mainland China in Chinese, Pinyin and its literal translation.   Be sure to download the PDF guide if you plan to go birding in Qingdao — It includes photographs of each bird.  Happy Birding!

Birds of Qingdao – pdf  2.84 MB

Online Guide for Birds of Qingdao:
Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
Field marks:  large, pointed tail, brown, red and green head, white neck ring
环颈雉 – huán-jǐng zhì- ‘ring-necked pheasant’
雉鸡 – zhì-jī – ‘pheasant fowl’ (M&P, Atlas, Alternative in Cheng)

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)
Field marks:  large black and white, white cheek, red head spot.
大斑啄木鸟 – dà bān zhuó-mù-niǎo – ‘large striped/spotted wood-pecking bird’
斑啄木鸟 – bān zhuó-mù-niǎo – ‘striped wood-pecking bird’ (Viney)
note:  also named Picoides major

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Field marks:  Green, wings and head, orange belly, blue back, long bill
普通翠鸟 – pǔtōng cuì-niǎo – ‘common cui bird’

Spotted Dove (Streptopelia Chinensis)
Field marks:  pinkish brown long tail, black spotted patch on side of neck, white on the tip of the tail
珠颈斑鸠 – zhū-jǐng bān-jiū – ‘bead-necked striped dove’

Common Hoopoe (Upupa epops)
Field marks:  Long bill, large frilled crest, browning black and white striped wings and tail
戴胜 – dài-shèng – ‘wear headdress’

Forked-tailed Swift (Apus pacificus)
Field marks:  Long slender wings, forked tail, white rump patch
白腰雨燕 – bái-yāo yǔ-yàn – ‘white-rumped rain-swallow’

Eurasian hobby (Falco Subbuteo)
Field marks:  falcon shaped, long tail, long pointed wings)
燕隼 – yàn-sǔn – ‘swallow falcon’

Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo)
Field marks:  Rare, huge, long ears, orange eyes
鵰鸮 – diāo-xiāo – ‘eagle owl’

Oriental Scops Owl (Otus sunia)  
Field marks:  small, mottled brown, short ears, yellow eyes
红角鸮 – hóng jiǎo-xiāo – ‘red horned owl’
东方角鸮 – dōngfāng jiǎo-xiāo – ‘Oriental horned owl’ (M&P)

Tawny Owl (Strix aluco)
Field marks:  medium sized, brown, no “ears”, mottled brown,
灰林鸮 – huī lín-xiāo – ‘grey forest owl’

Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)
Field marks:  white and gray, black head, red head
红嘴鸥- hóng-zuǐ ōu – ‘red-billed gull’

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)
Field marks:  white and grey, black head cap, long bill
普通燕鸥 –  pǔtōng yàn-ōu – ‘common swallow-gull’

Little Tern (Sterna albifrons)
Filed marks: small, white and gray, black cap with white near bill
白额燕鸥 – bái-é yàn-ōu – ‘white forehead swallow-gull’

Black-eared Kite (Milvus lineatus)
Field marks:  dark brown hawk with slightly forked tail, white patches near wing tips (in flight
黑耳鸢 – hēi-ěr-yuān -‘black-eared kite’
麻鹰 –  má-yīng – ‘flax eagle’
Note:  milvus lineatus is a subspecies of Milvus migrans

Common Kestrel (Falco columbarius)
Field marks:  long grey tail, black pointed wings, streaked belly
红隼 – hóng sǔn – ‘red falcon’

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
Field marks:  large, crested, long neck
凤头䴙䴘 – fèng-tóu pìtī – ‘phoenix-headed grebe’

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Field marks:  large, long bill and legs, grayish
苍鹭 – cāng-lù – ‘dark blue heron’

Great Egret  Egretta Alba
Field Marks:  large, long bill and legs, all white
大白鹭 – dà bái-lù – ‘large white heron’
Note:  The Great Egret is also called Great White Heron.
It also has two other Latin names Ardea alba and
Casmerodius albus.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)
Field marks:  long legs, long bill, small all white
白鹭 – bái-lù – ‘white heron’
Note:  Can be seen at Liu Tin River out near the airport;
a dozen or more noticed more than once

Barn Swallow (Hirunda Rustica)
Field marks:  forked tail, blue above, white below, rusty throat
家燕 – jiā-yàn – ‘house swallow’

Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)
Field marks:  grayish above, light brown below, black eye “mask”
红尾伯劳 – hóng-wěi bóláo – ‘red-tailed shrike’
褐伯劳 – hè bóláo – ‘brown shrike’ (Alternative in Cheng)

Tiger Shrike (Lanius tigrinis)
Field marks:  black mask, white below, dark brown above, grey head cap
虎纹伯劳 –  hǔ wén bóláo – ‘tiger-pattern shrike’

Black-billed Magpie (Pica pica)
Field marks:  common iridescent black and white long tail.  Black part of bird appears to be a green to a blue in the right angle of light.
Resident喜鹊 – xǐ-què – ‘magpie’

Azure winged Magpie (Cyanopica cyanus)
Field marks:  black head, blue wings, loud blue tail, and white below
Resident (seen in Jining)
灰喜鹊 – huī xǐ-què – ‘grey magpie’

Blue Magpie (Urocissa erythrorhyncha)
Field marks:  red bill, white capped black head, blue above
红嘴蓝鹊 – hóng-zuǐ lán-què – ‘red-billed blue magpie’
Note:  Also called Red-billed Blue Magpie

Red-billed Chough  (Pyrrhocorax)
Field marks:  All black except for red feet and curved bill
红嘴山鸦 – hóng-zuǐ shān-yā  – ‘red-billed mountain crow’

Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrecynchos)
Field marks:  All black, heavy bill
大嘴乌鸦 – dà zuǐ wū-yā  – ‘large-billed crow’

Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)
Field marks:  all yellow except for wing tips and tail, black mask, long pinkish bill
黑枕黄鹂 – hēi-zhěn huáng-lí – ‘black naped yellow oriole’

Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus leucophaeus)
Field marks:  all grey, deeply forked tail, red eye
灰卷尾 – huī juǎn-wěi – ‘grey curl-tai

Light-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus Sinensis)
Field marks:  Olive colored, white throat, cheek crest spot
白头翁 bái-tóu wēng or ‘white-headed old man’
Note:  Has been spotted in the winter and may possibly be resident

Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi)
Field marks:  Extremely long tail, white or brown body, blue crested head
寿带 – shòu-dài – ‘longevity ribbon’
寿带鸟 – shòu-dài-niǎo – ‘longevity ribbon bird’ (Alternative in Cheng, Viney, Atlas)

Siberian Blue Robin (Luscinia Cyane)
Field marks:  small, blue above, white below, black cheek
蓝歌鸲 – lán gē-qú – ‘blue song robin’

Blue Whistling Thrush (Myophonus caeruleus)
Field marks:  All bluish black
紫啸鸫 – zǐ xiào-dōng – ‘purple whistling thrush’

Daurian Redstart (Phoenicurus Auroreus)
Field marks:  white wing patch, rusty breast and belly, black wings and throat
北红尾鸲 – běi hóng-wěi-qú – ‘northern red-tailed robin’
Note:  Though seen in Chen yang as late as December, possible resident

Plumbeous Water Redstart (Rhyacornis fuliginosus)
Field marks:  small, tiny bill, grayish-blue with rusty tail, always near water
红尾水鸲 – hóng-wěi shuǐ-qú – ‘red-tailed water robin’
Note: Can also be called Plumbeous Redstart

Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)
Field marks:  tiny, black eye stripe, grey and light brown, descends trees head first
普通䴓 – pǔtōng shī – ‘common nuthatch’

Great Tit (Parus Major)
Field marks: head and throat black, white cheek, black band through breast
大山雀 – dà shān-què – ‘large mountain finch’

Dusky Warbler (Pylloscopus fuscatus)
Field marks:  small, drab brown, white throat, white stripe over eye
褐柳莺 – hè liǔ-yīng – ‘brown willow warbler’

Vinous-throated Parrotbill (Paradoxornis webbianus)
Field marks:  pinkish brown, small bill, light streaks on belly
棕头鸦雀 – zōng-tóu yā-què – ‘reddish-brown headed crow finch’
棕翅缘鸦雀 – zōng-chì-yuán yā-què  – ‘reddish-brown wing-edge crow finch’ (Cheng)

Oriental Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus sophiae)
Field marks:  large song birds, brownish above, white below, whitish stripe over eye, throat streaks
方大苇莺 – dōngfāng dà wěi-yīng – ‘Oriental large reed warbler’
大苇莺 – dà wěi-yīng – ‘large reed warbler’ (Viney)

Pallas’s Leaf Warbler (Pyllscopus proregulas)
Field marks:  small, green back, yellow rump, two wing bars, stripe over eye, white below
黄腰柳莺 – huáng-yāo liǔ-yīng – ‘yellow-rumped willow warbler’

Yellow-browed Warbler (Pylloscopus inoratus)
Field marks:  small, green back, two wing bars, stripe over eye, white below
黄眉柳莺 – huáng-méi liǔ-yīng – ‘yellow-browed willow warbler’

Arctic Warbler (Pylloscopus borealis)
Field marks:  larger than other warblers, long yellow stripe over eye, bill slightly upturned
极北柳莺 – jí běi liǔ-yīng – ‘extreme north willow warbler’

Two-barred Warbler (Pylloscopus plumbeitarsus)
Field marks:  two sharp wing bars, prominent stripe over eye, uniformly green above
双斑绿柳莺 – shuāng-bān lǜ liǔ-yīng – ‘double-barred green willow warbler’
暗绿柳莺 – àn-lǜ liǔ-yīng – ‘dark-green willow warbler’ (Viney – Clashes with P. trochiloides)
Notes: also called Two-barred Greenish Warbler

Radde’s Warbler (Pylloscopus schwarzi)
Field marks:  uniformly brownish olive, no marking except for light stripe above eye
巨嘴柳莺 – jù-zuǐ liǔ-yīng – ‘giant-billed willow warbler’

White Wagtail (Motacilla Alba)
Field marks:  wags tail, patchy white and black
白鹡鸰 – bái jílíng – ‘white wagtail’ – Note: Also called Pied Wagtail (Chen)

Eurasian Skylark  (Alanda arvensis)
Field marks:  mottled grayish brown with streaks, has erectile crest
云雀 – yún-què  – ‘cloud sparrow/finch’
Note:  also called Northern Skylark

Oriental Grey-capped Greenfinch (carduelis sinica)
Field marks:  grey, thick pink bill, yellow patch on wing
金翅雀 – jīn-chì-què -‘gold wing finch’
金翅 – jīn-chì – ‘gold-wing’ (Alternative name given in Cheng, M&P, Atlas)
Note:  Also called Chinese Greenfinch

Yellow-billed Grosbeak (Eophona migratoria)
Field marks:  large, very thick bill, black wings and head, yellowish green
黑尾蜡嘴雀 – hēi-wěi là-zuǐ-què – ‘black-tailed wax-billed finch’
Note:  Also called Black-tailed hawfinch (Cheng) and Chinese Grossbeak

Japanese Grosbeak (Eophona personata)
Field marks:  large, very thick bill, black wings and head, yellowish green, like Yellow-billed Grosbeak but bill is all yellow and bigger
黑头蜡嘴雀 – hēi-tóu là-zuǐ-què – ‘black-headed wax-billed finch
Note: Also called Masked Hawfinched

Little Bunting (Emberiza pusilla)
Field marks:  small, brown, striped head, eye ring
小鹀 – xiǎo wú – ‘small bunting’

Yellow-throated Bunting (Emberiza Elegans)
Field marks:  black and yellow head pattern crest
黄喉鹀 – huáng-hóu wú – ‘yellow-throated bunting’
Note:  Also called Yellow-headed Bunting

Chestnut-eared Bunting (Emberiza fucata)
Field marks:  fairly large, dark brown ear patch, grey head crown, white throat bordered by black streaks
栗耳鹀 – lì-ěr wú – ‘chestnut-eared bunting’
赤胸鹀 – chì-xiōng wú – ‘red-breasted bunting’
Note:  Also called Grey-headed Bunting or the Grey-hooded Bunting

Yellow-breasted Bunting (Emberiza aureola)
Field marks:  brown above, yellow below, white bar on upper wing
黄胸鹀 – huáng-xiōng wú – ‘yellow-breasted bunting’

Chestnut Bunting (Emberiza rutila)
Field marks:  head, back and throat brown, belly yellow
栗鹀 – lì wú – ‘chestnut bunting’

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer Montanus)
Field marks:  common brown and white, black throat cheek spot, reddish brownish crown
麻雀 – má-què – ‘sparrow’
树麻雀 – shù má-què – ‘tree sparrow’ (Alternative in Cheng, M&P, Atlas)

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