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Bird news from Vietnam, from Vietnam's resident and visiting birders.

27 June 2016

Breeding colony of Oriental Pratincoles near Hanoi

Oriental Pratincole (Vinh Phuc, June 26, 2016). 

In the Hanoi area, the Oriental Pratincole is a regular migrant on the spring and autumn passages, in small numbers. April is when most of the spring records occurred. 

At the beginning of June 2016, I observed an Oriental Pratincole flying over rice fields in Vinh Phuc Province, 30 km from Hanoi. Being doubtful it was a late migrant bird, I followed it and finally found a small colony. Subsequent visits confirmed presence of ca 30 pairs. The birds were very sensitive to my presence as they were in breeding mode.

This is apparently the first confirmed breeding record of Oriental Pratincole in Tonkin (i.e. northern Vietnam).

Sébastien Delonglée

PS: I didn’t see any poachers in action - I think that is worthy of note...But disturbance is a big problem in the late afternoon when kids frequent the area to play football or fly kites.

This bird is performing a distraction display (feigning injury) to attract the photographer’s attention away from the nest or chicks (Vinh Phuc, June 26, 2016).

The site is a large piece of arid land (about 1.5 by 1 km) planned for industrial use. It looks like a shortgrass “steppe” with about 30 percent of the surface covered with stones. Nearby is a small river and there are some pools around. Cattle graze the area but they seems to avoid the stony places with very little grass cover (in the foreground) – which have been chosen by the Pratincoles for nesting sites. The other birds worthy of note were Savanna Nighjar and White Wagtail (2 + 1 individuals at pools on 26th June) - the latter common winter visitor/passage migrant but also listed as breeding resident in W. & E. Tonkin (Robson, 2009), something I was not aware of. 
Note: the mountain on the horizon is Tam Dao.

Oriental Pratincole (Vinh Phuc, June 26, 2016). 


  1. wow, nice Sébastien!
    Cheers, Florian

  2. Thanks, Florian - It's always fun to find something different, especially in summer !

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