Martin W

    I sent email with idea re the mynah being among batch of birds released at temple, inc Chris Patten releasing birds in 1997, to HK Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department; obviously too brief in email, as just received:  

    Thanks for your email dated 1.2.2006   Since the release was done in 1997, we cannot ensure whether the mynah therein is one of the birds in the batch released. Thank you for bringing the matter to our attention.

    to which I’ve replied:   I hadn’t meant the mynah was released in 1997! That was just to show that bird releases can take place at the temple.   I meant, instead, the mynah was maybe released there during this Chinese New Year. (At Wong Tai Sin temple or nearby).   If so, the mynah was not a wild bird, but was captive.   The magpie robins maybe also captive (for fighting?) – have they been examined for signs of this?   Captivity/trade a far more likely means of these birds becoming infected with H5N1 than any contact with wild ducks (where to find these in HK outside Deep Bay? – not easy)   For instance, in Shenzhen I’ve been to market where they had both poultry/farm animals, and wild animals inc birds. This species is commonly sold in markets in s China:

    Wild Animal Trade Monitoring Selected Markets Guangzhou Shenzhen (pdf file)