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SPOTLIGHT ON TAIWAN “Endemic Subspecies of Taiwan birds—first impressions”, by
N. J. Collar, from BirdingASIA No. 2,
December 2004. Presented with permission.
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Prunella collaris fennelli
Endemic subspecies. The Alpine Accentor is a small (18 cm) bird with a short, straight, fairly thin bill, a grey head and breast, and flanks heavily mottled bright chestnut. Sexes are alike. Alpine Accentors breed in mountain ranges, from alpine meadows above the tree-line up to the snow-line. In winter they may be found at lower elevations in rocky and scrubby habitats. Their diet consists mainly of insects, some spiders, earthworms and other invertebrates and, especially in fall and winter, various plant seeds. They usually feed on the ground, among rocks, grasses, moss and lichens.
In breeding season (May-Aug.), males sing a loud, melodious song lasting as long as 10 sec. They usually sing from the ground, perched on a prominent rock, but also in flight. The nest is built by the female, and consists of a cup made from grass, moss and plant stems, and is lined with feathers and hair. It is situated on the ground, usually in a rock crevice or near a rock or grass clump. The three or four eggs are incubated by the female, but the male may share in feeding the young. The Alpine Accentor is a fairly common resident at higher elevations in the central mountains of Taiwan, breeding above the tree-line.
Reference: Handbook of Birds of the World Vol. 10