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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

Wang Zhou looks at a catalogue. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Zhang has dedicated nearly two decades to bird photography. He finds birds energetic and nimble, and particularly admires the elegance of a white egret in flight. He acknowledges that bird photography demands skill, up-to-date equipment, physical vigor and, above all, patience.

"A great shot often requires a lengthy wait. There are times when half a day or even an entire day passes without a glimpse of the desired bird," he says.

He is familiar with the species that frequent Beijing's main parks during different seasons and occasionally ventures to nearby cities in search of unique subjects. He occasionally accompanies younger bird enthusiasts on their outings.

"Due to my age, they express concern about potential incidents during long journeys and so they sometimes invite me on shorter trips."

Some individuals also visit bird blinds or bird ponds (or niaotang in Chinese), where they can stay hidden while observing and photographing birds.

"Throughout the bird-watching season, which extends from December to April, around 30,000 visitors come to our village's bird ponds. Retirees make up about 80 percent," says Ge Baozhi, the manager of a guesthouse in Baihualing village on the outskirts of Baoshan city in Yunnan province.

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