Chinese hwamei in exhibit

Chinese Hwamei

Scientific Name

Spizixos semitorques






Southeast Asia, Japan, and Hawaii


Shrublands, open woodland, parks, and gardens

Estimated Wild Population

Chinese hwamei in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN IUCN Conservation Status: LEAST CONCERN

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Physical Description

Chinese hwameis have rich brown and ochre plumage; a dusky yellow bill; and strong, yellowish legs. Males and females closely resemble each other, and adults can measure up to nine inches long. Females lay clutches of three to four eggs and are primarily responsible for incubation, a period of about 12 days. They make cup-like nests from leaves, grasses, and other vegetation in small trees and bushes.

Interesting Fact 1

Males sing varied, repetitive, high-pitched songs and females reply with a series of monotonous calls.

Interesting Fact 2

They have a bold white ring around each eye—their name, hwamei, means “painted eyebrow” in Chinese.

Interesting Fact 3

Chinese hwameis, sought for their melodious song, are often trapped as part of the illegal pet and wildlife trade.

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Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

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Commitment to Care

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