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23 April 2012

'Strange Birds' News

Hi all,

Just read interesting new online articles about "chim lạ" ("strange birds" in Vietnamese), concerning vagrants Asian Openbills in North̃-West & Centre Vietnam (recently) and flocks of Red-necked Phalaropes in Ninh Thuân province (one month ago).
Asian Openbills feeding in rice fields in Muong Te district, Lai Châu province (Dan Tri, 23th April 2012)
*The first articles (here and here, 23th April 2012) concern “hundreds of strange birds” (Asian Openbills) recently appeared at the frontier district of Muong Te (Lai Chau province). The local authorities told the farmers not to kill the birds, with few success. The farmers think that the birds trampled their rice plants - an excellent reason to shoot them. This article said also that those birds were “relatively tame and approachable, so easy preys for local people”! At least 10 individuals have been shot dead and eaten.

*The second one (here, 20th April 2012) concern a huge (200 individuals) Asian Openbills roosting flock in the perimeter of a temple (khu di tích lịch sử Văn hóa đền Cả) in Nghe An province (Yen Thanh district). The birds arrived on April 20th in the afternoon, flew up the day after at 6 o’clock and disappeared heading due south. The author said that the birds were not afraid at all by the curious who came to “admire” them. Apparently, the local authorities took measures to protect them against hunters.

From where did those Asian Openbills come ? From the Thai population? Post-breeding dispersion? What do you think?
Red-necked Phalaropes in the district of Thuân Nam, Ninh Thuân province (Ninh Thuân Online, 23th April 2012)
*And again news about big flocks of Red-necked Phalaropes in shrimp ponds of Ninh Thuân province (Centre Vietnam), according to the official provincial Website (here, video here), 1 month ago. “Thousands of strange birds”, in March, so the same month as one year ago (read my 1st Online Press Review here). Also the same story : farmers were afraid that the birds would spread the "white spot" virus - one of the most important viral disease of shrimp - from one pond to another so they didn't give them a warm welcome. You can understand what I mean...


  1. Hi Sebastian,

    Nice to have another news round-up. The Asian Openbills almost certainly come from the population on Tonle Sap lake, Cambodia, which has been expanding rapidly over the past 10 years thanks to protection from MoE and WCS - there are now approximately 30,000 breeding pairs at the lake!


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