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Bayanbulak is a beautiful wetland, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. It accommodates three-fifths of the world’s total swan population, living up to the name of “Home of Swans.” In the Mongolian language, Bayanbulak means “fountain of affluence.” It is located in central Xinjiang and lies in the heartland of the Tianshan Mountains. With an elevation of 2, 300 to 3, 100 meters, it enjoys a mild climate with no distinct seasons. Encircled by snowy mountains, the region boasts 100,000 hectares of fertile grassland nurtured by snow water from melting glaciers. Just as a child being well-nurtured by his mother, Bayanbulak has received plenty of water from the surrounding snowy mountains and has become one of the best wetlands in Xinjiang with a high concentration of rivers and lakes. The “swan lake” of Bayanbulak is located on the grassland, in southwest Bayan Town. It is actually a large swamp comprising numerous, interconnected small lakes.
As China’s first nature reserve for swans, “the swan lake” is truly a paradise for the birds. It is home to tens of thousands of swans of various species, including whooper swan, whistling swan and mute swan. They build their nests in the food-abundant swamp and lead an easy, happy life in the lakes. At times of leisure, they either plume their white feathers with their bills or sing loudly and excitedly. The most charming scene on the lake is a group of swans dancing a “water ballet” together. The local residents regard the swans as “birds of purity and chastity” and “a symbol of good luck.” Therefore, they have never tried to capture any swans, guaranteeing a safe and peaceful living environment for the birds. In addition to Swans, Bayanbulak also accommodates nearly 130 other birds, such as the black stork, golden eagle, imperial eagle and snow cock. For those long- distance-travelling, exhausted migrating birds, Bayanbulak is a warm, peaceful and safe haven forever.
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