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Bird-watching opens path to many possibilities

Growing interest in hobby leads to changes to lives, as well as to minds and habits.

China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-27 10:04

People photographing in bird blinds in Baihualing village, southwestern China's Yunnan province.[Photo provided by Ge Baozhi/Mei Jian/For China Daily]

Bird-watching, a hobby gaining significant traction in China, draws a varied crowd of enthusiasts, from dedicated scientists to retirees looking for an engaging pastime. Its appeal lies in the fact that it offers an enriching experience that is mutually beneficial to both bird-watchers and to their avian friends.

Liu Yang, a professor at the School of Ecology at Sun Yat-sen University and the deputy secretary-general of the China Ornithological Society, is one of the country's most accomplished bird-watchers, and has a sighting list of approximately 1,330 species.

Since childhood, Liu has been fascinated with studying the nests of house swifts, an interest that sparked his love for nature and biodiversity. During high school in 1994, he embarked on his birdwatching journey. While others were captivated by collecting stamps or matchboxes, Liu's interest was piqued by the unique characteristics of each bird. Hence, observing and identifying all the birds he saw and keeping a record, which is also known as a "life list", became his "small goal".

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