Migrant birds settle early in NE China nature reserve

The first batch of returning migrant birds including red-crowned cranes and black-headed gulls have settled in the Qixinghe National Nature Reserve in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, more than ten days earlier than last year.

The red-crowned cranes are the first to arrive every year with this year's number increasing.

Migratory birds including wild ducks, red-billed gulls and coots can also be found in the wetlands.

Red-billed gulls /VCG Photo

Red-billed gulls /VCG Photo

Birds under national protection including oriental white storks, white-naped cranes, swan geese, egrets, and herons can also present in the wetlands.

"This year's first batch of migratory birds returned more than 10 days earlier than last year. As of now, we have monitored more than 10 red-crowned cranes, which are listed as a first-class protected animal in China, 10 oriental white storks, and nearly a thousand other kinds of birds including wild ducks, wild geese, egrets and herons. This shows that the environment of the reserve is becoming better and better," said Li Dehai spokesperson for Qixinghe Wetland Management and Protection Station.

Black-headed gulls mating /VCG Photo

Black-headed gulls mating /VCG Photo

With the improvement of the ecological environment in reserve, the living environment has also increased year by year, and more migratory birds have come to inhabit and breed.

"We have strengthened our management and protection. On the one hand, outside personnel is prohibited from entering the reserve. On the other hand, the management and maintenance personnel are patrolling throughout the day to ensure the safety of migratory birds," Li added.

(Cover image: The red-crowned crane. /VCG Photo)

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