Friends are coming to visit me over Chinese New Year and are keen bird watchers/photographers. Does anyone know where I can take them to see/find birds? They travel a lot, taking pictures and adding to their profiles of birds around the world, and I’m a bit nervous that Taiwan will be a bit of a downer to them if they can’t take at least a few pics Please help
you could contact these guys, and get some good areas to go to
also, search on line for birders blogs. All ‘big listers’ come to Taiwan to pick up the endemics here. I remember reading about some easy well-known trails where there’s a great chance of seeing Swinhoe’s Pheasant, and that other one. Mikado Pheasant.
Last year i cycled into (almost literally) a group of birders who were just stopping and starting along the Central Cross Highway. Of course the trip leader was playing back bird-song recordings, which help to lure the little critters into viewing range.
Mazu is a good spot for birding. Closer to Taipei there’s the birding park at Guandu. I don’t know about either location around CNY, though.
That time of year I think the spoonbills will be at Qigu, Tainan. They’re certainly rare enough.
There were a couple of families of those in the park near the Tianmu Mitsukoshi Department Store. But I haven’t seen any there lately. One can often spot night herons there as well. And wuseniao which are easy to hear but hard to spot.
Contact Barking Deer. Richard Foster regularly takes serious overseas birdwatchers out around Taiwan. He knows the right spots and is becoming a pretty adept birder himself.
barkingdeerinfo AT gmail.com
One of the top spots is Daxueshan forest recreation area (aka Anmashan). I was part of a bird spotting race in the spring and the winning team spotted 100 species in 24 hours. My team, amateurs and two Malaysians spotted over 40. We also managed to spot over 20 endemic species in 2 days here and at Basianshan Forest.
We also saw flying squirrels each night around the visitor center. It’s a cool spot.
Thank you so much for all the info!
Some update on this thread ? I would definitely be interested to know more, any tours are still organized by the “Birding in Taiwan association” ?
If you haven’t seen the most recent issue of Travel in Taiwan, you can read my birdwatching article here:
Another good resource is the birding year blog written by the aforementioned Richard of Barking Deer Adventures:
This is a great season for bird watching. Had one of these close to my house the other day, so pretty:
Thought it was a parrot until I saw his “face”!
[quote=“Icon”]This is a great season for bird watching. Had one of these close to my hous ethe otehr day, so pretty:
Thought it was a parrot until I saw his “face”! [/quote]
Found this too: natural-kingdom.com.tw/en/index.htm
Taiwan will not be a downer for birding. Easy places to reach: Yangmingshan: you can see Crested Serpent Eagles on fairly clear deays from the areas around Xiao Yu Keng (the fumorole) and higher. I have also spotted Formosan blue magpies up there on several occasions, and also in the hills of Neihu (Wu Chi Shan -5-finger mountain; sorry, I don’t know pinyin or whatever you call it).
Tanshui: walk along the boardwalk between Hongshulin and Tanshui Stations: spoonbills hang out in there, and black drongos are commonly found on the telephone wires. On campus at Tamkang University in Tanshui I commonly hear then see -with some effort (it pays to know what they sound like and then you try and locate them): Muller’s barbets, Crested serpent eagles, black drongos, other species.
Actually, Muller’s barbets and Japanese white eyes -both pretty birds- can be found in many places in Taipei, even downtown. Here is a video with a good look at a Muller’s barbet and it’s call (in this video, the one you see is communicating with another): youtube.com/watch?v=rXfAokTrRH4
I live south of Taipei up on the Linkou/Gueishan plateau, and in the community where I live I see all of the birds listed (minus the spoonbill) plus the very rare Malayan Night Heron, of which there are 2 or 3 that live in the forested hills on the edge of the area. Malayan Night Herons are not to be confused with the common Night Heron, which can be easily found staring into the murky waters of the Keelung or Tanshui Rivers every day.
I would say trying Yangmingshan on a weekday morning/afternoon, and also Wulai, getting off at the Cheng Kung stop and walking down to the river for a look. Your guests will be delighted with the birdlife in Taiwan.
Got some great views of a Swinhoe’s Pheasant today on the trail (Taroko). I was about 10m behind it on the trail and it hadn’t got a Scooby I was there!
Stock photo as I had no camera
Just replace that wire-fence with broadleaf beech forest
Nice looking hoe.
Somewhat surprised to hear of a beech forest in Taroko. What trail were you hiking?
Downer? In Taiwan? You gotta be kidding! This morning I saw crested eagles, sparrowhawks, goshawks, Japanese white-eye, black-browed barbet, Himalayan tree pies, Forsmosan blue magpie, scimitar-billed babblers, black bulbul, white-headed bulbul, Asiatic turtle dove, mynah birds, Formosan whistling thrush, kingfisher, and several other species. And I wasn’t even looking.
I know this thread is a little old, but I just wanted to throw in my two cents.
First off, I just got back from a 3 day trip to Kenting with the Wild Bird Society of Taipei, and they are a great organization. The entire trip cost $6200 NT, and included all travel from taipei, all food, two nights (shared room) at a nice hotel in kenting, and all guiding. 71 species including two endangered species were counted on the trip. Although the English is very limited, people are very friendly, and the few that do speak English will go out of their way to help. If you would like more information, you can email them, or PM me and I will give you some additional contact info.
Also, just wanted to throw out there that if anyone is interested in doing some bird-watching in the Taipei area, I go rather regularly, and am always keen to have company. PM me if you’d like. Taiwan has the second highest concentration of bird species per km of any country in the world, its a shame to miss out on it.
At the risk of intruding, i saw a pair of really pretty birds the other day. Lie a pigeon in shape, maybe a touch smaller, but all brilliant green. they were eating the berries at about 600m elevation in the south. You birders know the one? really fantastic looking birds, but pretty shy.
what were the 2 endangered that you saw?
Taiwan Green Pigeon. Aka, Taiwan Whistling Green Pigeon:
Or possibly Emerald Dove.
I wish that site had mp3s of the bird song.
I hear so much more than I see here.
Re Nult, the Black-Faced Spoonbill and the Pheasant-Tailed Jacana. The Jacan is not considered endangered elsewhere, but is now a rare bird here because of habitat loss, and its numbers are estimated at fewer than 100. The next ones on my very hopeful list; the Oriental White Stork, Mikado and Swinhoe’s Pheasants, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Fairy Pitta, and Indian Black Eagle. Might be a while…