Wetlands are found all over the earth, and are areas where there exists permanent or transient areas of water. They are a rich resource of food for many kinds of animals, providing invertebrates, fish and other prey for birds and many other creatures. Waterbirds, also called waterfowl, are a group of birds that depend on wetlands to feed, breed or rest for all or part of their life-cycle. Some feed under the water, some at the edge of water and land and others in the vegetation associated with wetlands.
Many species of waterbirds are migratory, meaning that they breed in one wetland area and fly to different wetland areas to spend the winter, stopping-off en route at other wetlands in order to rest and feed, and prepare for the next stage of the journey. Consequently, in order to protect waterbirds, it is necessary to conserve wetlands throughout the breeding, migratory and wintering area.
Waterbird counts are administered, coordinated and carried out by members of the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, using subvented funds provided by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of the HKSAR Government.