Twenty-six kilometer away from Qiqihaer is Zhalong Nature Reserve, an approximately 810 square miles of wetland in Heilongjiang, China. This marshland is a major breeding ground for more than 300 species of birds including the Marsh Grassbird as well as a major migratory route for birds such as the storks, swans, herons, and grebes in the Far East
Zhalong Nature Reserve is protected by the Chinese government. It breeds red crowned crane which is endangered. However the bred cranes will not migrate any more. The easy life kept them in one place. They are well fed and become bigger than the wild crane which still migrate to burn up the stored fat. Every day the crane keeper let them out to fly before feeding them, so they would get their exercise. The wild crane do not like the fed food, so they would stay wild. This marshland is a very important breeding place for not just the various types of cranes, but also for water fowls, different species of fish, and other marsh dependent animals. This is a terrific place for bird watching, but be sure to put on a lot of mosquito repellent.