Lee Richardson Zoo

Chinese Hwamei

Order:  Passeriformes

Family:  Timaliidae

Scientific Name:  Garrulax canorus


Description: - Approximately 9 inches in length and brown in color with fine dark streaks on head and breast. Their bill and feet are a dusky yellow. Hwameis have a very distinctive white ring around their eye that extends backwards in a line

Home Range:   Central and southeast China, Hainan and northern Indochina


Habitat Type:   Scrub, secondary forests, and farmland


Reproduction:   Hwameis are monogamous and create a bowl-shaped nest. They will lay between 2-5 bluish eggs that are occasionally with large white spots. The female will incubate the eggs for 12-15 days and the chicks will fledge after 13 days. They typically lay two clutches each breeding season (between February and September).


Diet in the Wild:   Insects, fruits, and seeds foraged from leaf litter on the ground



General Information:   These thrushes are considered the most revered and one of the best-known song birds in China. While they do inflict a small amount of damage to peanut and pea crops, this negative aspect is offset by their ability to keep the insect population under control. They can be found singly, in pairs, or in small parties. The name “Hwamei” means “beautiful eyebrows” after the unique pattern around their eye.


Conservation Status:   Populations are considered of “least concern” by IUCN Red List. Listed CITES Appendix II. They are quiet common on the Chinese mainland.




Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedias, 2nd edition. Volume 10, Birds III, edited by Michael Hutchins, Devra G. Kleiman, Valerius Geist, and Melissa C. McDade, 2003. Gale Group, Farmington Hills, MI. pp. 510 and 516. Handbook of the Birds of the World, Volume 12, Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees, edited by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliot, David Christie, 2007. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Pp248 IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. . Downloaded on 05 September 2013. The Birds of China, Rudophe Meyer De Schauensee, edited by Eleanor D. Brown. 1984. Smithsonian Institute, pp. 379.