Chinese hwamei

Chinese hwamei
Garrulax canorus
Photo by Guy Miller (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
Chinese hwamei (en); zaragateiro-da-China (pt); garrulaxe hoamy (fr); charlatán canoro (es); China-Augenbrauenhäherling (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Timaliidae

This species is found in central and south-east China, Taiwan, Hainan, and northern Indochina. It has also been introduced to the Hawaiian Islands of Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, Molokai, and Kaua’i.

These birds are 21-25 cm long and weigh 60-78 g.

The Chinese hwamei inhabits scrubland, open woodland, secondary forest, parks and gardens, from sea level up to an altitude of 1800 m.

They typically feed on the ground, among leaf litter, mostly eating insects and some fruits.

These monogamous birds breed in April-July. They build a large cup-shaped nest, made of bamboo leaves and roots, located in a scrub or bamboo clump about 2 m above the ground. There the female lays 3-5 blue or blue-green eggs which she incubates alone for 15 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 13 days after hatching. Each pair may raise up to 2 broods per years.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
The Chinese hwamei has a very large breeding range and is described as relatively common. The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the impacts of habitat modification on population sizes. The species is also the target of massive exploitation for the cage-bird trade, but it is not considered threatened at present.

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