Birding Factoids

463 species in
58 families

14 endemic species
22 endangered species
18 speciality species
2-3 week trip expectation -
about 150 species, including 
most of the endemics

Checklist of Taiwan BirdsTours and GuidesEco-LodgesSpeciality BirdsMap and General Information

Check out the Beauty of Wild Birds in Taiwan
also, Wayne Hsu's Bird Photo Gallery
or C. C. Chang's Gallery of Formosan Birds.

Taiwan Specialities
Formosan Blue Magpie - endemic to Taiwan
Photo copyright Wayne Hsu

White-whiskered Laughingthrush - Photo copyright C. C. Chang

Photo copyright C. C. Chang

Grey Treepie - Photo copyright Wayne Hsu

Photo copyright Wayne Hsu

Vinaceous Rosefinch - Photo copyright C. C. Chang

Photo copyright C. C. Chang

Light-vented Bulbul - Photo copyright Wayne Hsu

Photo copyright Wayne Hsu

Mikado Pheasant - Photo copyright Tragopan Pheasantry, Belgium

Photo copyright Tragopan Pheasantry, Belgium

Black-faced Spoonbill - Photo copyright Naoto Kitigawa

Photo copyright Naoto Kitigawa
    ....The Ten Best Bird Watching Sites in Taiwan -
      Bird watching is possible during all four seasons in Taiwan. The following ten bird watching sites are among the best on the upland.
    ....Wildlife Refuges in Taiwan - information (and a map)
      is provided on the following refuges, of particular interest to birders:
      • Cat Islet Wildlife Sanctuary
      • Wuwei Harbor Waterfowl Sanctuary
      • Tanshui Wildlife Sanctuary
      • Szutsao Wildlife Sanctuary
      • Tatu Creek Mouth Wildlife Sanctuary
    ....Birding in Taiwan - by Wayne Hsu. Wayne started doing ....
    ....Taiwan's National Parks - includes links to information
      on Kenting, Yushan, Yangmingshan, Taroko, Shai-Pa, and Kinman National Parks. Includes map. Each park has at least a brief reference to birds in the park, including one with the Fire-Breasted Flowerpecker (!?!).
    ....Taiwan's Protected Natural Landscapes - this site provides
      links to both National Parks and Nature Reserves in Taiwan. Birdlife is often referenced in the park/reserve references. "Nearly all of the areas described in these catagories are good birding places, and in some cases, even better than the wildlife refuges." Information obtained from Wayne Hsu.
    ....Kenting National Park - the unique sealand preserve of the Republic
      of China, is actually the tip of the Hengchun Peninsula--the southernmost part of Taiwan Island and its only tropical-- zone region. Nearly 300 species of birds take advantage of both its open areas and dense forests.
    ....Trip Report: Taiwan & Malaysia, November 4-17, 1995 - by Rob 
      Goldbach. Taking into account that we had only 3 days to spend in this bird-rich country, we chose to visit 2 important areas rather close to Kuala Lumpur and the Subang international airport: Fraser's Hill (including "The Gap") and the Nature Park ("Taman Alam") Kuala Selangor.
    ....Trip Report: Taiwan and Japan, February 27-March 7, 1997 - by
      Claudius Feger. This trip, although confined to mostly urban or near urban areas, again showed me that as a birder one will see more of a country. The wish to see new birds makes each trip, even a business trip, an adventure.
    ....Trip Report: Taipei (Taiwan), December 12, 1999 - by Francis Toldi. 
      I was recently in Taiwan on business. Alas, there was little time for birding, or in fact anything but sitting in conference rooms or my hotel in downtown Taipei. Nevertheless, I thought chatters might be interested in some of my impressions on my experiences in the Taipei area.
    ....Trip Report: Taiwan, October 5-8, 2000 - by Graham Talbot. Being
      based in Hong Kong I took the opportunity to spend a long weekend in Taiwan in the hope of being able to see 14 of the 15 endemics currently recognised. I had no information on the Taiwan Scrub Warbler. With Taiwan being a relatively small country and with the majority of the endemics being located in the central highlands I was quite hopeful. 
    ....Trip Report: Taiwan, Jan 15th and Jan 30th to Feb 4th 2003 - by
      Jon Hornbuckle. Taiwan has long been on my list of countries to visit, so I took the opportunity of a quick trip after my latest visit to the  Philippines. It proved to be very rewarding with 16 new birds including all the endemics except Taiwan Partridge (very  difficult), Styan's Bulbul (easy but not on my route) and Mikado Pheasant, the one disappointment. I have no hesitation in  recommending Taiwan as a first class destination, with numerous birds and a very safe environment; the helpfulness,  hospitality and friendliness of the Taiwanese was outstanding.
    ....Trip Report: Taiwan - Northern Taiwan 25th September to 2nd 
      October 2005, by Alan Miller. A beautiful country with outstanding scenery and friendly people. Five days in northern Taiwan produced a list of 114 species including 12 endemic species and 30 endemic sub-species.

    Factoids taken from Where to watch birds in Asia  - by Nigel Wheatley

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Tours and Guides

...>> A Birding Pal is not a paid guide, but someone who likes to help out of town visitors. You can become a Birding Pal today! Help someone to enjoy your local birding spots and find a pal to help you when you travel. Click here for Taiwan Birding Pals, or join to be a Birding Pal!
Chinese Bamboo-Partridge - Photo copyright C. C. Chang
Photo copyright C. C. Chang
    **..Taiwan Tours with Tropical Birding. Our trips are generally 
      for keen birders, both experienced and inexperienced. It is not necessary to be an expert or a super-lister to enjoy yourself. Our tours are designed for enthusiastic travellers who enjoy spending most, if not all, of their holiday time birding. Our goal is to get birders to the world's most amazing places, seeing the world's most amazing birds, in as much comfort as possible. Our trips range from shorter day-trips out of Cape Town to intensive three-week birding safaris throughout the continent and we offer both set departure and custom-made tours.
    **..Hong Kong and Taiwan with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT)
      Taiwan hosts some 16 endemics, including a number of very striking species such as the delightful Flamecrest, elusive Mikado Pheasant, and very handsome Taiwan Magpie; you can expect to see most, if not all, of the endemics, in addition to a number of other species with only limited distributions elsewhere. Much to first-time visitor's surprise, Taiwan also harbors some of Asia's most impressive scenery, as well as the finest of Chinese cuisine and very comfortable accommodations. 
      • March 18 - April 7, 2002 (21 days, limit of 10) with David Bishop & Peter Kennerley
      VENT offers nearly 140 tours to over 100 land-based destinations each year and is the largest tour company in the world specializing in birding and natural history.


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Pacific Reef-Egret - Photo copyright Wayne Hsu
Photo copyright Wayne Hsu


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Endemics and Specialities

in Taiwan

Information on endemics and specialities is derived from Sibley & Monroe checklists and bird distribution lists in Thayer's Birder's Diary - Version 2.05, supplemented by material found in Where to watch birds in Asia  - by Nigel Wheatley with additional information from BirdArea from Santa Barbara Software. Asian speciality birds, while not endemic, are those that can only be found in three or less countries of Asia. Information on endangered birds is derived from the IUCN Red List, Birdlife International, and supporting data bases developed by Ian Patton, of Merlin Species Watcher.  The endemic, endangered and speciality birds may be uncommon, extremely rare vagrants, may be extirpated in the country now or may only be present in migration. However, documented sightings of each species noted below have been made in Taiwan. 

Endemics in Taiwan
For more information on endemic birds, see the Wildbird Federation of Taiwan's website.
___ Collared Bush-Robin
___ Flamecrest
___ Mikado Pheasant
___ Steer's Liocichla
___ Styan's Bulbul
___ Swinhoe's Pheasant
___ Taiwan Barwing
___ Taiwan Magpie
___ Taiwan Partridge
___ Taiwan Whistling-Thrush
___ Taiwan Yuhina
___ White-eared Sibia
___ White-whiskered
___ Laughingthrush
___ Yellow Tit
Endangered Birds in Taiwan
(endemics are printed in bold italic)

Breeding Birds

Non-Breeding Birds

___ Fairy Pitta
___ Japanese Night-Heron
___ White-fronted Scops-Owl
___ Baer's Pochard 
___ Baikal Teal
___ Black-faced Spoonbill
___ Chinese Egret
___ Greater Spotted Eagle
___ Hooded Crane
___ Imperial Eagle
___ Japanese Murrelet
___ Lesser White-fronted Goose
___ Oriental Stork
___ Nordmann's Greenshank
___ Red-crowned Crane
___ Saunder's Gull
___ Scaly-sided Merganser
___ Short-tailed Albatross
___ Spoonbill Sandpiper
___ Swan Goose
___ White-naped Crane
___ Yellow Bunting

Other Speciality and Near-endemic Birds in Taiwan
(adapted from Where to watch birds in Asia  - by Nigel Wheatley.)

___ Chinese Bamboo-Partridge
___ Collared Finchbill
___ Golden Parrotbill
___ Grey-headed Bullfinch
___ Hwamei
___ Island Thrush
___ Japanese Wagtail
___ Japanese Waxwing
___ Japanese Wood-Pigeon
___ Light-vented Bulbul
___ Philippine Cuckoo-Dove
___ Rusty Laughingthrush
___ Ryukyu Scops-Owl
___ Saunders' Gull
___ Varied Tit
___ Vinaceous Rosefinch
___ Whistling Green-Pigeon
___ Yellow Bunting

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