Travel Log of a rehabilitated Black-faced Spoonbill “A49”

Animal Stories

We have an exciting travel story to share: A rescued Black-faced Spoonbill with leg ring number “A49” returned to Hong Kong from South Korea. It was previously treated in our Wild Animal Rescue Centre and fitted with a transmitter by the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (HKBWS) and AFCD before release.

The Black-faced Spoonbill was sent to our Wild Animal Rescue Centre on 23 December 2020 after being found weak with blood on its right-wing feathers due to injury in Fung Lok Wai, Hong Kong. It recovered well after treatment and was returned to the wild in Mai Po on 13 January 2021. Then we started to monitor its travel route logged into the transmitter. Its destination was Incheon, in South Korea where it enjoyed its summer when it arrived in May. Then it started its winter migration in November and arrived in Hong Kong in December 2021.

康復黑臉琵鷺「A49」的飛行日誌 追蹤1年喜見港現身

A Black-faced Spoonbill “A49” is back! This map shows the route it travelled after release in January 2021.
Photo credit: AFCD


“A49” has enjoyed foraging in the Wetland Park and the surrounding areas during its recent time in Hong Kong. What about in South Korea? We checked a Black-faced Spoonbill Migration Track website* and found that it liked staying in Yonghyun Tidalflat Channel Reservoir (Check Google Map here). It sometimes joined with a group of 2 - 46 birds and at one time nearly 400 Black-faced Spoonbills. So good site management and protection in both South Korea and Hong Kong are vital to protect this endangered species.

These post-release data are essential to rehabilitators and conservation biologists. With such data gathering, rescue centres like KFBG can make the decision to continue to put resources into good processes for successful contribution to the release of wildlife, and also record failures or successes of the animals to adapt adequately to the wild environment.

* Taiwan Black-Faced Spoonbill Conservation Association


2020 年 12 月抵達本園野生動物拯救中心時,黑臉琵鷺很虛弱,右翼有個小傷口,羽毛上有一些血跡。頭幾天牠坐在膝關節上,無法站立。

On arrival at the KFBG Wild Animal Rescue Centre in December 2020, it was weak. There was a minor cut on its right wing and some blood on its feathers. It could not stand for the first few days.
Photo credit: KFBG / Alice Wong



After receiving treatments in the Rescue Centre, its condition improved. It could stand and was walking well.
Photo credit: KFBG / Alice Wong



Our KFBG animal carer released the rehabilitated black-faced spoonbill on 13 January 2021. HKBWS and AFCD attached a satellite transmitter to track its migration route.