Endemic species which only easier around Taipei--two BLUE BIRDS!

taipei kchung chating taiwanwhistlingthrush taiwanbluemagpie birdingsite

Any common become difficult when you want to find it--let's talk about Taiwan Blue Magpie and Taiwan Whistling Thrush 2019/08/14 20:42

  • Taiwan Blue Magpie stand on the top of warning sign
  • Taiwan Whistling Thrush build a nest in a abandoned house

Every common birds would become difficult if you want to LOOK FOR it in a short time, no matter how ofter you saw it before. As a bird guide, one of the nightmare is two BLUE BIRDS: Taiwan Blue Magpies and Taiwan Whistling Thrushes. More importantly, this two BLUE BIRDS are ENDEMICS!!!

If you have chance to talk with any birders come from Taiwan in social media or real world, everyone would say these two blue birds are not difficult at all. The reason is the birder you meet have more than 50% chance that they live around Taipei. Taipei, as the capital city of Taiwan, no doubt has the most birders in Taiwan. TBM and TWT are really common around Taipei, it's a truth everyone would agree.

The reasons why they are easy around Taipei might be: 1) there are lots of good forest in short hills around Taipei , 2) they could be really close to human, such as building nest in the park or near your building and 3) sampling bias: lots of birders in Taipei see them everyday!

To be fair, let me describe the status of these birds:

Taiwan Blue Magpie (eBird Map): Common in N Taiwan, in C and S Taiwan become very patchy and locally. Shihmen Reservoir is another good site for them.

Taiwan Whistling Thrush (ebird info): Common and even-distributed all around Taiwan, but lots of the record is heard only. 

For a very short trip such as 2-3 days only in Taiwan, It quite often we  we have to give up spend time around Taipei and focus on the key birding site--Dasyueshan in central Taiwan.  In some extreme case we would start and finish the tour in the airport without visiting Taipei. That's why these two BLUE BIRDS become one of the nightmare for bird guides. The point is birds they won't understand why we can't find this common birds in a short time. The only way to compromise is to find more good endemic such as Mikado Pheasant!

If you want to do some cultural tour by yourself in Taipei, don't forget carry your binoculars with you, you would have a very good chance to see TBM or TWT by yourself.!