in the field -
a hong kong
a hong kong
There are a number of egretries scattered throughout the New Territories in Hong Kong. The one I stop at most often is adjacent to the busy Castle Peak Road at Mai Po village. This is, in fact, the largest egretry in the territory. When there, I try to park away from the trees and avoid directly walking under them as the birds’ droppings can be a minor nuisance. However, this doesn't detract from the great interest of the bird activity in the colony.
The second largest egretry (in 2016 it contained 151 nests of four heron species) is along the main road on the edge of Tai Po Market. This egretry has been established for many years in spite of its proximity to a busy road and in spite of the number of people who pass by on a regular basis.
Apparently, there was a recent complaint made about the droppings from the egrets at Tai Po and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) felt compelled to respond. As I understand it, they sent in a team (along with a crane on the back of a lorry) to cut down the branches overhanging the pavement. In doing so, they also cut down nests with a number of small chicks in them. The chicks fell to the ground and a number of them died. (I have heard of 14 chicks being sent to the rehabilitation unit at KFBG with only 8 of those being alive, but more will have been involved.)
Photographs of the action and its effects can be found at
This action on the part of a government department is unconscionable; it is also illegal and leaves those involved liable to prosecution. Personally, I’m struggling to understand why they responded to the complaint in such an insensitive, heavy-handed fashion when there are obvious means of solving the problem - if it is indeed a problem - without harming the trees or the egrets.
The owner of the website HK Wildlife has set up a petition protesting against the actions of the LCSD. It can be found at http://hkwildlifeegretry.weebly.com (Chinese only.)
Hopefully, the publicity generated by the negative response to the above will prevent this from happening again.