- Three key mountain areas
- SW Coastal for shorebirds
- Remote islands
Key Birding Sites for Endemic Species
There are three important mountain birding sites for endemic birds in Taiwan. In a short trip, we can only visit Dasyueshan. With more time, we can visit one more area to make up the endemic species we miss. In long trip, we would visit all of them to secure every endemic birds and any potential lifers.
1. Dasyueshan forest recreation area 大雪山
BEST birding site for breeding endemics in Taiwan. We would look for the birds along the a very good driving road running from 300m to 2600m. In this area we are able to find EVERY endemic species except for Styan’s Bulbul. 29 out of 30 endemic species were recorded in this region. We can stay in this region 3-4 nights.
Among all the endemic birds, Rufous-crowned Laughingthrush is almost exclusive here. The Rusty Laughingthrush and Taiwan Yellow Tit are only easier in this area. Mikado Pheasant, Swinhoe’s Pheasant and Taiwan Partridge are also important star birds here.
2. Hehuanshan 合歡山
Best for high-elevation birds and good for mid-elevation birds. The Alpine Accentor, which is an endemic subspecies can only be found here. Also, we can drive up to 3275m in Wuling to find all these alpine breeding birds.
3. Yushan NP 玉山國家公園/Alishan region 阿里山
Good for low to high elevation birds where we have a special lodge hosting Taiwan Partridge bird hide here. This is also another good place for Mikado Pheasant. The Taiwan Shortwing and the Golden Parrotbill are relatively easy here.
Wuling, Hehuanshan area, 3275m
Show Me the Pheasant and Partridges!
- Taiwan Bamboo Partridge: Widespread but difficult to look for. In Yingmingshan NP, Taipei there is a relative easier site for them, but only in good weather.
- 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: There 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.
Key Birds in Different Landscapes
- 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)
- Low-elevation/foothill (0-800m) endemics: Gray-cheeked (Morrison’s) Fulvetta, Taiwan and Black-necklaced Scimitar Babbler…etc
- Mid-elevation (800-2000m) endemics: Yellow Tits, Swinhoe’s Pheasant, White-eared Sibia, Taiwan Cupwing, Rusty Laughingthrush, Rufous-crowned Laughingthrush, Steer’s Liochila..etc
- High-elevation (2000-3000+m) endemics: Flamecrest, Taiwan Rosefinch, Collared Bush Robin, Taiwan Fulvetta, White-whiskered Laughingthrush, Mikado Pheasant…etc
- Lanyu island: Elegant Scope Owl, Japanese Paradise Flycatcher, Philippine Cuckoo-dove, Lowland White-eye…etc
- Winter shorebirds: Black-faced Spoonbill, Saunder’s Gull, Nordmann’s Greenshank…etc
- Special common bird: Malayan Night Heron