Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Chinese Hwamei

Garrulax canorus

The Chinese Hwamei is a medium-sized reddish-brown thrush. It is native to southeastern & central China and northern & central Vietnam & Laos. It has a distinctive white ring around the eye which extends backwards as a white stripe. It’s a popular caged bird due to their vocalizations.

Range & Habitat

Chinese Hwamei live within dense forest undergrowth, and other shrublands. The species’ range is native to southeastern & central China and northern & central Vietnam & Laos. 

Conservation Status: Least Concern

This species acquires an extremely large range thus does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable criteria. Their population size has not been fully evaluated and quantified and thus not believed to be classified as Vulnerable.


The Chinese Hwamei typically feeds on the ground among leaf litter, foraging for insects and fruit. 

Life Span

They can live from 12-17 years in captivity

Fun Facts about the Chinese Hwamei

  • The Chinese Hwamei has a loud, long, and varied song, involving mimicry of other birds, whistles, and harsh notes that are often repeated.  
  • The species has been introduced into Hawaii’s ecosystems and in Taiwan in which they now interbreed with the species Taiwan Hwamei


Image of Chinese Hwamei. Lincoln Park Zoo: Chinese Hwamei - Lincoln Park Zoo ( July 24, 2021

eBird; Avian Scientific Advisory Group (

BirdLife International. 2018. Garrulax canorusThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: Garrulax canorus (Chinese Hwamei) ( Retrieved on July 24, 2021.

Updated June 13, 2023
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