The death of a stork-billed kingfisher, a rare bird spotted in southwest China's Yunnan Province, has put bird watchers and photographers in deep sorrow.
"Every time I look at its photos and videos, my heart ached," said Zhao Xian'gai, a bird guide in the town of Nabang in Yingjiang county. Rich in biodiversity and harboring over 600 species of birds, Yingjiang is one of China's most rewarding birding spots.
The rare bird was first spotted in a local wetland last October. Unfortunately, it was found dead after accidentally hitting the glass wall of a building on April 30.
During its stay of nearly 200 days, about 3,000 bird lovers at home and abroad visited the town to have a glance at the beautiful large-beak bird.
Zhao said the number of visitors allowed into the wetland was controled so as not to disturb it.
Sun Xiaohong, a 60-year-old retiree from Beijing, had paid three visits to watch and take photos of the bird.
Visiting bird lovers also boosted incomes in the local catering and accommodation sectors, Zhao said.
Ban Dingying, president of the bird watching association in Yingjiang, said its body was frozen for now and would be made into a specimen.
The stork-billed kingfisher is usually 33 to 37 centimeters long, weighing 140 to 200 grams and mainly lives in southeast and south Asian countries. It is a class II protected species in China.