Birding in Taiwan


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Hue Mackenzie


Hugh Currie













“Coming to Taiwan Five Times in Two Years and Spending More Than A Million [NT] Dollars, 84-year-old Hubert Watched All Taiwan’s Birds”

Nancy Lee, China Times / Taipei

May 15, 2006/95-5-15


“Mikado Pheasant!  Swinhoe’s Pheasant!  I have no more regrets in my life,” said Hubert, “after finally watched all 15 endemic species and subspecies birds in Taiwan.”  Hubert MacKenzie is an eighty-four year old Canadian, from Surrey, British Columbia, and he came to Taiwan five times in two and a half years, spending more than a million [New Taiwan] dollars. All of this was for bird watching!


Traveling with Canadian and Australian birders to Taiwan this time, Hubert saw endangered Little Forktail in Aowanda National Forest Recreation Area, Lanyu Scops-Owl and Black Paradise Flycatcher in Orchid Island (Lanyu), White-whiskered Laughingthrush in Mt. Hehuan Recreation Area, and Mikado Pheasant—a bird that he always dreamed to see—in Alishan National Forest Recreation Area.  He was much luckier than on four other visits to Taiwan.


“I’m already old,” Hubert said with complicated feelings, “and who knows if I can come back here next year?  Anyhow, I really got more than I expected during this trip.  I saw every bird I wanted to see in Taiwan, and I even visited the only bird temple (The Sansia Zhshih Temple) in the world!”


He observed the bird temple thoroughly with guide-commentators, and he thought the temple was like a stone-bird-carving museum, housing numerous stone carving columns related to birds.


“You have plenty of treasured materials, and now what you need is only a useful map that explains these treasures.”  Hubert thinks that The Sansia Zhshih Temple has already established its architectural and aesthetic importance, and it would be even better if it adds and enhances descriptions of these bird carvings, so that people who do not know much about birds can also enjoy this bird festival.




2006.05.15     中國時報

從加來台 25次 花上百萬

84歲修伯特 看盡台灣特有鳥


    「包括帝雉、藍腹鷴在內的十五種台灣才看得到的特有鳥,我終於全都看到,這輩子沒有遺憾了!」高齡八十四歲,來自加拿大的修伯特(Hubert MacKenzie),兩年內飛來台灣五次,旅費花了上百萬元,一切都是為了鳥。







Tsu-Sze (Zhshih) Temple, San-Hsia (Sanshia), Taiwan

            The beautifully designed Tsu-Sze (Zhshih) Temple, located in San-Hsia (Sanshia), Taipei County, is more than two hundred years old.  It was originally built in 1769, destroyed by an earthquake in 1833, rebuilt in the same year.  Japanese soldiers burned it down in 1895, and it was rebuilt in 1899.  The temple we see now was rebuilt for the third time in 1947 because of nearly total decay of the original temple.  One third of the rebuilding work is still going on.

            Chen Tsao-Yin, the “Tsu Sze Yay” in Chinese, which means “God of Tsu-Sze temple,” was a native of Henan province in mainland China, migrating to Chuan Chou in Fukien province with his fellowmen.  His image was enshrined in the temple, and Fukien people showing respect for his exploits regarded him as the patron saint.  The temple memorializing him was built here by people migrating from Chuan Chou and settling in Taiwan.

            The whole temple mainly consists of three materials; stone, wood and copper.  For example, stone makes up the lower portion of this temple, including the columns, and wood makes up the upper portion.  Copper was used for protection as the wall or the gate.  Wooden portions of the ceiling were assembled without any nails or glue.  According to the blueprint, the total number of columns should be 156; 122 columns have been built now.  The carvings consist of flowers, birds and other creatures, gods and Chinese history.

            From 1947 to 1983, a painting artist, Li Mei-Shu, supervised the rebuilding process of Tsu-Sze Temple, contributing greatly to the amazingly delicate art distributed throughout the whole temple.

            The main structure of the temple was designed and built by the descendants of Chen Yin-Ping, the famous conventional architect in north Taiwan. 

            In summary, the Tsu-Sze temple, a symbol of the combination of conventional folk religion and art, created by numerous workmen and artists, is representative of the best blend of eastern art and architecture.


                                                                        Lee Kai-Rui; translation by Juan Shau-Chiu