Birds flock in droves to China for winter migration

HARBIN, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) — A large number of birds are flocking to northeast China for a stop-over before heading further south for winter migration.

More than 20,000 migratory birds are stopping at the Xingkai Lake National Nature Reserve every day for temporary stays, according to Liu Huajin from the reserve.

“Every year, from mid-September to mid-November, migratory birds from Russia make stop-overs at the reserve,” said Liu.

The lake is located in Jixi, Heilongjiang Province and is the biggest border lake on the China-Russia border. The wetland in the reserve is connected to Russia.

“Each autumn, we can monitor up to 400,000 birds flying here, but the actual number might be bigger,” Liu said, adding that the birds include red-crowned cranes, oriental white storks and grey sea eagles.

The nature reserve is an important national station for examining wildlife diseases, and staff there often collect bird waste for testing. This year, staff will collect more than 2,000 such samples for testing purposes.

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