Black-faced Spoonbills breed in areas around northeast China and the Korean peninsula and seasonally disperse to their wintering areas in south China, Taiwan and southeast Asia. Like other birds that depend on tidal mudflats, they are finding increasing human pressure on their habitat. In the 1980s the species was classified as Critically Endangered, and became the focus of conservation efforts, including coordinated surveys. The size of the known population has steadily risen, and BFS was downgraded to Endangered in 2000. The 2012 survey, coordinated here in Hong Kong, revealed an estimated population of 2,693. But BFS is not yet out of trouble, it is dependent on too few wintering sites… as an outbreak of avian botulism (which killed 73 birds) in Taiwan in 2003 sadly demonstrated. It is a “flagship” species for HK’s Mai Po Nature Reserve, where this photo was taken. The black tips to the flight feathers show that these are first-year birds.