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Birdwatchers flock to photograph rare short-eared owl appearance in Xiamen

By HU MEIDONG and CHEN MEILING | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-12-26

1.jpegShort-eared owls have recently been observed at the Maluanwan wetland in Xiamen, Fujian province. [Photo by Zhang Taohong / for chinadaily.com.cn]

Several short-eared owls have recently been spotted in groups at the Maluanwan wetland in Xiamen, Fujian province. The sighting has attracted birdwatchers to come and observe and photograph them.

"The short-eared owl is a small to medium-sized raptor of the owl family. It is a second-level protected animal in China," said Chen Hao, vice-president of the Xiamen Birdwatching Society.

Short-eared owls hunt in the morning and evening, often flying close to the ground and lurking in the grass. Their favorite food is mice, but they also consume small birds, lizards, insects, and small amounts of seeds and fruits. They live throughout northeastern China, and their appearance in Xiamen is believed to be a stopover to replenish energy during migration.

As local ecology improves, more migratory birds stop and breed in Xiamen. The city has welcomed its best season to observe winter migratory birds such as the oriental white stork and black stork.

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