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General Introduction of Birding in Taiwan

Among the 27 endemic species we can category them into:

  1. Urban birds: Taiwan Barbet, Styan's Bulbul (only in S and E Taiwan), Taiwan Blue Magpie (only easy around Taipei city and some limited sites)
  2. Low-elevation (0-800m) endemics: Gray-cheeked (Morrison's) Fulvetta, Taiwan and Black-necklaced Scimitar Babbler...etc
  3. Mid-elevation (800-2000m) endemics: Yellow Tits, Swinhoe's Pheasant, White-eared Sibia, Taiwan Cupwing, Rusty Laughingthrush, Rufous-crowned Laughingthrush, Steer's Liochila..etc
  4. High-elevation (2000-3000+m) endemics: Flamecrest, Taiwan Rosefinch, Collared Bush Robin, Taiwan Fulvetta, White-whiskered Laughingthrush, Mikado Pheasant...etc
  5. Lanyu island: Elegant Scope Owl, Japanese Paradise Flycatcher, Philippine Cuckoo-dove, Lowland White-eye...etc
  6. Good wintering birds: Black-faced Spoonbill, Saunder's Gull, Nordmann's Greenshank...etc
  7. Special common bird: Malayan Night Heron

For the partridges and pheasants:

  • Taiwan Bamboo Partridge: Widespread but difficult to look for. In Yingmingshan NP, Taipei there is a relateive eaiser site for them.

  • Taiwan (Hill) Partridge: There are two feeding sites in Dasyueshan and Alishan region.

  • Swinhoe's Pheasant: Not difficult to see along the roadside in good forest. There are two feeding sites in Dasyueshan and Alishan region.

  • Mikado Pheasant: Thre is one feeding site in Dasyueshan. In alpine region (Hehuahshan & Yushan) we can find them walking along the road. When we drive across Hehuanshan sometimes we can find them there.

The key primary birding site in mountains are:

  1. Dasyueshan Forest Recreation Area: There is a very good trail running from 300m to 2600m. The best birding site in Taiwan. Almost we saw most endemic species here.
  2. Hehuanshan: Very good for high-elevation birds and good for mid-elevation birds. The Alpine Accentor can only be found here.
  3. Alishan/Yushan region: Good for low to high elevation birds, but it's very difficult to find Rufous-crowned Laughingthrush and Yellow Tit.

How we organize bird tours in Taiwan

For a typical hardcore birding tour, the day we spend in  Dasyueshan, Hehuanshan and Alishan/Yushan region would be 2+1+2 or 3+1+1 days.

If the time is limited, usually I would pick Hehuanshan to save the time traveling between birding sites.

If we don't care Alpine Accentor much, I would pick Alishan/Yushan region therefore we can try to see most of the breeding endemics.

 

If we would like to make to tour relax, it would be 3+1+2 days.

For the Styan's Bulbul, we need 1 or 2 extra days to drive to S or E Taiwan.

For the Black-faced Spoonbill (late Sept to next May) and waders (Aug-next May), we have to spend 1 extra day.

For the migratory raptors (mid-Sept to mid-Oct), it's can be combined with the Styan's Bulbuls in S Taiwan.

For the birds in Lanyu (Apr to Oct, the season with ferry): 1 or 2 extra days. Can be combined with the Styan's Bulbul in S Taiwan.

If we have 1-2 extra days, there are some secondary birding sites we can visit.

 

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