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Taiwanese Birding Stories

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Jo Ann on Birding in Taiwan

It was an honour and privilege to be part of the first Taiwanese-organized and led birding tour to Taiwan in March 2003. I considered the opportunity to be a special treat because I had been interested in Chinese life and culture since my childhood. Before the trip, I read all I could about Taiwan, the birds and everything else....MORE

Peter on Birding in Taiwan

My wife Gloria and I were privileged to join the first birding tour to Taiwan led by Simon Liao and Wu Ten-Di, in March, 2003. On March 21, after a comfortable flight, we arrived in Taipei at 5 a.m. local time to meet Mr. Wu and board our bus. We then proceeded south along the coast, birding the Dadu River mouth, the Hombau wetlands, the Changhua area and the Choshui River.... MORE

Dale on Birding in Taiwan

From Nov. 10 through Nov. 19, 2003, I joined the Birding tour of Taiwan. We spent three+ days in the mountains of central Taiwan where we found many passerines, including several species endemic to Taiwan, several hawks, the Whistling Green-Pigeon, and had excellent views of the Mikado Pheasant....MORE

John on Birding in Taiwan

In November, 2004, I joined a group of birders on a tour of Taiwan.  The country is not large and we were able to cover it well during our 10 days there.  We traveled from Yangmingshan National Park near Taipei at the northern tip of the island down to Kenting National Park at the very southern end, and back again....MORE

David on Birding in Taiwan

I went to Taiwan for the birds and I was not disappointed.  We saw a group of endangered Black-faced Spoonbills left over from winter and enjoyed “wow!” sightings of the beautiful Fairy Pitta at its summer home in the dense bamboo thickets of Mango Valley.  In the forests the continuous rattling of the endemic subspecies of Black-browed Barbet almost drowned out the calls of bulbuls and drongos.  Overhead soared Crested Serpent-Eagles and a rainbow load of butterflies in the tree tops. MORE

Mandarin Version


Macdonald Burbidge

Don on Birding in Taiwan

The Fairy Pitta is a brilliant and elusive bird with long legs and eight colours—blue, yellow, red, brown, black, white, azure, and green — which breeds in some forested regions of southern Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan.  It was the prime goal of the birders with whom we shared a trip to the island of Taiwan, and our BIRDING IN TAIWAN group spent a good deal of time seeking it, listening to it calling in the depths of forest thickets, and playing its call on a recorder.  Eventually we were rewarded with brief views.  MORE

Rob on Birding in Taiwan

The Chinese crested tern is one of the rarest birds in the world that until recently, was thought to be extinct. But thanks to Taiwan’s Executive Yuan’s Council of Agriculture and Lienchiang County Government who commissioned the Taiwan Wild Bird Federation to make a film in the Matsu Tern Conservation Area, film-maker Liang Chiei-de and Chang Zen Hua re-discovered the tern in 2000. Their discovery was confirmed by Liu Hsiao-ru, a research fellow at Academia Sinica's Insitute of Zoology who pointed out how few sightings there had been for over a century. Since the first discovery in 2000, a very small number of Chinese crested terns have been seen each year in the Matsu Island archipelago about 180 kilometers northwest of Taiwan. MORE



Karen on Birding in Taiwan



Birding in Saint Lucia

Jo Ann MacKenzie

Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

During the last week of November, 2007, a Taiwan International Birding Association delegation traveled to Saint Lucia, West Indies, on a mission of “eco-diplomacy,” to assist the government of St. Lucia in producing a bird book specific to St. Lucia.  At present, the birds of St. Lucia are only illustrated in books on the West Indies.  A Birding in St. Lucia website will also be developed to encourage ecotourism for birding.  MORE


Madelon on Birding in Taiwan

 In May of this year [2005], Don and Wilda Burbidge and I traveled to Taiwan.  We saw many fascinating and beautiful birds, butterflies and plants.  We ate wonderful food, met and made many friends. MORE

今年五月(2005年),Don、Wilda Burbidge 和我到了台灣,我們見到了許多迷人且美麗的鳥、蝴蝶和植物。我們也品嘗了許多美食,並結交了許多的朋友。




Simon on Birding in Taiwan


廖世卿 鳥類專家推銷台灣

自由時報記者鄭旭凱 95/2/2

操著一口「台式」英語,台灣國際觀鳥協會常務理事廖世卿(見圖)去年多次受邀在加拿大演講,他架設的Birding In Taiwan網站,不僅把台灣獨一無二的特有種鳥類及相當特殊而難得的鳥類生態環境介紹給國際鳥人,更把台灣也推銷給了全世界。


George Clulow

George on Birding in Taiwan

 So what’s more memorable: a cracking view of a deep blue and black Formosan Magpie drifting across a green, forested hillside, its white bordered tail streaming behind, and then landing for a great scope view; or a close binocular look at a Yellow [Taiwan] Tit, suddenly appearing in a mixed flock of passerines, its brilliant yellow breast and striking black crest locked in view, and just as suddenly disappearing with the departing flock?  How do you choose? MORE



Bill Keay


Bill on Birding in Taiwan

 I don't remember who shouted "Painted Snipe" first, but I do remember George Clulow showing me the opening in thick grass where this magnificent bird was last seen. Focusing the scope produced not only one, but 15 (or so) Painted Snipe running through this small opening.  For me, it was the bird of the trip - It is one thing to see Painted Snipe paintings in birding guides, but to see it close and personal is breath-taking!  For 10 minutes we watched this incredible bird.  Just one of the 107 lifers I saw on this trip. MORE


楊宗哲 鳥人立委趴趴走




穿著賞鳥背心,上面繡著立委楊宗哲、台灣國際觀鳥協會的字樣,這位來自彰化縣溪湖鎮的立委,一談到生態、賞鳥、環境等字眼時,眼睛就亮了起來。在立法院,大家都叫他鳥人立委。 MORE

Allan Ridley


Allan on Birding in Taiwan

Taiwan surprised me most with its spectacular mountain ranges. Much of the island consists of steep mountains that rise from the heavily populated, industrial and agricultural west coast region. A number of peaks exceed 18,000 feet, falling off abruptly to the less populated east coast. Our guide kept referring to the “good birds” we would find in our forays into these ranges, which we accessed on winding roads, frequently cut by landslides, the result of a particularly heavy summer typhoon season. Fortunately, large portions of these mountain areas are protected as national forests, national scenic areas, and national parks. MORE




“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!



Hugh Currie

Hugh on Birding in Taiwan

After four weeks of fairly intensive and strenuous birding on 6 Philippine islands, it was a pleasure to visit Taiwan where the travel, food and accommodations were always of the highest standard.  Here we were to see or hear 118 species including 12 of the 15 endemics. 

          Everyone in our small group of six Canadians was eager to see Taiwan’s birds, especially the endemic ones.  Unfortunately, when planning our visit, we had underestimated the extent to which Taiwanese people celebrate the Lunar New Year and how much they love their highlands.  There were traffic delays but still we got around pretty well and, in the end, we joined in the festivities.More



Kijja Jearwattanakanok on Birding in Taiwan

It was less than one month before the trip when we decided to have a birding trip to Taiwan. Our group, my son (Ayuwat), Dr. Rangsrit Kanjanavanit, Dr. Suparat Kanjanavanit, and I, did research on the internet and the Lonely Planet to plan for the trip. As our trip was to be a very short one, good planning was crucial. We found that this website (www.birdingintaiwan.com) is the most helpful source of information on birding in Taiwan. We are indebted to Jo Ann MacKenzie and Simon Liao for their suggestion and arrangement for this trip.


Peter Candido - Re-Tern to Taiwan

In July 2006 my wife Gloria and I, together with Jo Ann MacKenzie, had the opportunity to return to Taiwan at the invitation of Simon Liao, President of the International Taiwan Birding Association,  to attend a conference on the Chinese Crested Tern, held July 18-20 in the Matsu Islands.   More

Dave & Carol Roelen

Dave & Carol on Birding in Taiwan

            HUGS!  Hugs all around for we have just seen the absolutely magnificent Formosan Magpie, a long-tailed blue bird with striking red bill and legs.  What a sight!  In the low mountains of central Taiwan we share our sighting in Simon Liao’s customary enthusiastic hugs fashion.  Simon is our guide from the “Birding In Taiwan” organization and has brought us to a known site for this endemic bird and after some searching we find a small group of the birds at close range … and this is only the beginning!




Mark B. Wilkie

Mark on Birding in Taiwan

During June I received a very unexpected invitation from Simon Liao, President of the International Taiwan Birding Association(ITBA), to attend a conference on the Chinese Crested Tern, due to be held from July 18-20 on the Matsu Archipelago in the Taiwan Strait.


Phil Rostron


Phil on Birding in Taiwan

As a keen world birder, I was looking forward to heading to Taiwan to try to get to grips with the 15 current endemics.  In addition I wanted to see as many of the distinctive, endemic taxa which are currently classified as subspecies only (two of these, namely the Hwamei and Black-browed [Muller's] Barbet have been published in English recently and raised to the species level).  I signed up with Birding Taiwan, understanding that I would be very lucky to see all my targets. MORE

Héctor Gómez de Silva


Héctor on Birding in Taiwan

 The only birding I had done in the Oriental Region before was a month’s travelling in eastern China (temperate to tropical latitudes), yet as it happens I was pleasantly surprised that almost one of every two birds I saw in this 12-day trip were new to me! This included 13 out of the 15 endemics, though it seems that it is not too difficult to see all of the endemics in a trip of this duration – in this case, it was just phenomenal bad luck that we failed to encounter two of the species (Swinhoe’s Pheasant, Yellow Tit).  MORE

Hanno Stamm

Taiwan had never really figured very highly on our list of places to go birding in, I did not even know it had birds. However, I did come across a trip report by Mike Kilburn from Hong Kong on the BirdForum earlier this year, read up a little, and had lots of information material sent to me by Mark Wilkie, yet another BirdForum member who lives in Taiwan. One thing led to another, and soon enough Luong Thanh Ha, my wife, and I were booked on a flight to Taipei. MORE



Terry Wright
I had only one day, January 15, 2008, to see some birds in the Taipei area.  Wanting to make the most of my very limited time, I arranged for Simon Liao to be my guide.  The day turned out to be spectacular!  Simon showed me an outstanding array of birds in numerous locations. MORE


Valerie Gebert

             Birding in Taiwan with Simon Liao is a joyful event.  He is an amazing guide and a charming man.  He knows where to find each of the 15 endemic bird species in Taiwan's Central Mountains with minimal effort.  He knows their habitats and their habits.  Our first walk in the woods garnered 22 species, followed by another casual stroll through the jungle mountainside reaping 20 more.  Wow, my first day's total:  42 species, 10 endemics.  Pretty good "Dollar-To-Bird-Ratio," as my friend used to say when we had a particularly bounteous day birding in Texas or Arizona. MORE


Max Berlijn


Roger Barnes



Terry Wright

回台灣參加2007年世界海鳥國際會議                      廖純如


國際台灣觀鳥協會(International Taiwan birding Association)引進第二次的國際會議(Pacific Seabird conference)2007104日到107曰在鹿港立德飯店舉行。有加拿大、美國、曰本、韓國及台灣國內外人士約两百多人參加。這次由彰化師範大學生物學系、彰化縣政府、台灣國際觀鳥協會、彰化野鳥協會及田秋蓳、楊宗哲、陳憲中三位立法委員共同主辦。地點選在鹿港是因翁金珠縣長任內的承諾。此次彰化縣政府是非常的配合,最賣力的是彰師大生物系主任王瑋龍教授及夫人趙麗玲女士、林宗歧教授及七十多位學生義工,他們的付出奉献安排及全程的服務使會議非常順利進行。彰師大的教授領導有方及學生個個彬彬有禮、熱誠、面帶微笑招待國內外貴賓,給貴賓們留下很好的印象。值得一提,最感動的是颱風即將來臨,學生義工們都沒缺席,颱風登陸的晚上老師為安全考量決定所有學生都住進旅社,學生們非常興奮快樂聚一起。看這羣準老師的盡責任表現,以後將為人師表,可以期待的是台灣青年子弟的福氣。






會議結束後幾天,由台灣國際觀鳥協會台灣的副會長林茂男先生的安排,Dr.Robert Butler Jo Ann Mackenzie及幾位尚未離開台灣的美國朋友、加上廖世卿會長、興國及我,受邀參加元佑公司董事長郭耿光先生的鳥類攝影展開幕。展覽地點在台北新光三越九號舘九樓。郭先生攝影技術之高、攝影圖片之美之多之大,讓人相當震撼,令觀賞者讚美不停,我們有這機會欣賞到,真有眼福。連外國朋友都非常讚賞台灣鳥類的亮麗,我們心想假使能讓這些作品到北美展覽,對台灣的宣傳多好。