Birding in Taiwan



Birds in Taiwan

Endemic Species

Collared Bush-Robin


Formosan Magpie

Formosan Whistling-Thrush

Mikado Pheasant

Steere's Liocichla

Styan's Bulbul

Swinhoe's Pheasant

Taiwan Barwing

Taiwan Bush-Warbler

Taiwan Partridge

Taiwan Yuhina

White-eared Sibia

White-whiskered Laughingthrush

Yellow Tit


Possible Future Full Species

Black-necklaced (Spot-breasted) Scimitar-Babbler


Endemic Sub-Species

Alpine Accentor

Barred Buttonquail


Black Bulbul

Black Drongo

Black-browed Barbet

Black Kite

Black-naped Monarch

Bronzed Drongo

Brown Bullfinch

Brownish-flanked Bush-Warbler

Brown-eared Bulbul

Chinese Bamboo-Partridge

Collared Finchbill

Collared Scops-Owl

Collared Owlet

Coal Tit

Crested Goshawk

Crested Myna

Crested Serpent-Eagle

Dusky Fulvetta

Eurasian Jay

Eurasian Nutcracker

Golden Parrotbill

Gray Treepie

Gray-cheeked Fulvetta

 Gray-headed Bullfinch

Green-backed Tit

House Swift


Island Thrush

Kentish (Snowy) Plover

Lanyu’ Scops-Owl

Light-vented Bulbul

Little Ringed Plover

Maroon Oriole

Mountain Scops-Owl

Oriental Skylark

Oriental Turtle-Dove

Pheasant-tailed Jacana

Plain Flowerpecker

Plain Prinia

Plumbeous Redstart

Pygmy Wren-Babbler

Ring-necked Pheasant

Rufous-capped Babbler

 Rusty Laughingthrush

Silver-backed Needletail

Slaty-legged Crake

Snowy-browed Flycatcher

Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler

Streak-throated Fulvetta

Striated Prinia

Varied Tit

Vinaceous Rosefinch

Vivid Niltava

Vinous-throated Parrotbill

Whistling Green-Pigeon

White-backed Woodpecker

White-bellied Green-Pigeon

White-browed Bush-Robin

White-browed Shortwing

White-tailed Robin

White-throated Laughingthrush

Winter Wren

Yellowish-bellied Bush-Warbler


More Birds in Taiwan

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-naped Oriole

Black-throated Tit

Black-winged Stilt

Brown-headed Thrush

Cattle Egret

Chinese Crested Tern

Chinese Goshawk

Cinnamon Bittern

Common Kingfisher

Common Kestrel

Common Moorhen

Common Snipe

Daurian Redstart

Eastern Marsh Harrier

Eurasian Wigeon

Eurasian Teal

Fairy Pitta

Fork-tailed or Pacific Swift


Gray-chinned Minivet

Gray-faced Buzzard

Gray Heron

Great Cormorant

Great Egret

Greater Painted-Snipe

Ijima’s Leaf-Warbler

Intermediate Egret

Japanese White-eye

Lesser Coucal

Little Egret

Little Forktail

Little Grebe

Malayan Night-heron

Northern Pintail

Northern Shoveler


Pacific Golden-Plover

Pale Thrush

Peregrine Falcon

Red Collared-Dove

Russet Sparrow

Spot-billed Duck

Spotted Dove

Tufted Duck

White-breasted Waterhen

Yellow Bittern


Abstracts of ornithological masters’ theses from Taiwan, 1977–2003

Originally published by the Oriental Bird Club in FORKTAIL— the journal of Asian ornithology, Number 21 (2005): 99–120.   Reprinted with permission.


SPOTLIGHT ON TAIWAN “Endemic Subspecies of Taiwan birds—first impressions”, by N. J. Collar, from BirdingASIA No. 2, December 2004.  Presented with permission.  BirdingASIA is the bulletin of the Oriental Bird Club.  Please see our Links page for benefits of membership in the OBC.



Birds in Taiwan

Japanese Green Pigeon

Although small in area, Taiwan has a complex topography-ranging from high mountains and huge forests to rugged, varied plains and onrushing streams and rivers-giving the island many small, localized ecological environments. In addition, despite being located in the subtropics, Taiwan boats a wide range of altitudes endowing it with multifarious climates-tropical, subtropical, temperate, and even frigid. Lastly, deep oceanic influences-such as high humidity and plentiful amounts of rain-give Taiwan an abundance of flourishing, diverse vegetation, which consequently contributes to the island's bountiful and complex biological species.

Approximately 500 bird species have been recorded in Taiwan, of which about 150 species are resident. They include 15 endemic species* (Collared Bush-Robin, Flamecrest, Formosan Magpie, Formosan Whistling-Thrush, Mikado Pheasant, Steere's Liocichla, Styan's Bulbul, Swinhoe's Pheasant, Taiwan Barwing, Taiwan Bush-Warbler, Taiwan Partridge, Taiwan Yuhina, White-eared Sibia, White-whiskered Laughingthrush, Yellow Tit ) and 69 endemic subspecies.
For its area, Taiwan has a very high proportion of endemic species and subspecies. This well reflects the special characteristics of island bird life. But past research into these local bird was very limited, and information about them is far from complete. Furthermore, excessive development of our environment is changing or destroying bird species' habitats, and local people's habit of indiscriminately capturing or releasing wild birds, or keeping them as pets, are accelerating the threat to wild species' survival.


*Clements, James F. 2000. Birds of the World: A Checklist. (Updated 2004).


Abstracts of ornithological masters’ theses from Taiwan, 1977–2003

Originally published by the Oriental Bird Club in FORKTAIL— the journal of Asian ornithology, Number 21 (2005): 99–120.   Reprinted with permission.


SPOTLIGHT ON TAIWAN “Endemic Subspecies of Taiwan birds—first impressions”, by N. J. Collar, from BirdingASIA No. 2, December 2004.  Presented with permission.  BirdingASIA is the bulletin of the Oriental Bird Club.  Please see our Links page for benefits of membership in the OBC.


Crested Serpent Eagle
Crested Goshawk Purple Heron

 A partial revision of the Asian babblers

電話:02-23586186  傳真:02-23586190    聯絡人:卓倩慧


國際鳥盟全球研究計畫負責人Dr. N. J. Collar 與一組鳥類分類學家,於近期內密集拜訪大英自然歷史博物館、美國自然歷史博物館、紐約、華盛頓特區、巴黎自然歷史博物館及Genoa自然歷史博物館,檢查了各類亞洲畫眉的標本,然後測量每一隻鳥不同的部位,比較牠們的大小、型態及顏色,用一個計數系統標準來分級,它的標準是巨大明顯差異部分得三分、中度差異兩分、小差異一分。所有的得分標準如果超過七分,那麼證據足夠將特有亞種提升為一個獨立的特有種,用這套標準台灣將有上述七種新的特有種產生。


台灣國際觀鳥協會(TIBA)理事長楊宗哲立委表示,以台灣這麼小的面積中,除了原來的十五種特有種外,若再加上這七個新的特有種,那麼對於吸引世界各國的鳥友來台灣從事賞鳥及生態旅遊有很大的誘因。觀鳥協會所設立的網站http://www.birdingintaiwan.com在短短一年內以黃文欣、郭耿光及廖本興等鳥類攝影家,所拍攝精美的特有種及特有亞種照片,吸引了超過一百四十五個國家的鳥友,點閱率更突破五百萬人次,成為全球最受歡迎的鳥類網站之一。協會並將Dr. N. J. Collar的論文貼在網站上,讓全球的鳥人分享這個好消息。





FORKTAIL, Journal of Asian Ornithology, No. 22, August 2006, pp. 85–112

A partial revision of the Asian babblers (Timaliidae)


N. J. Collar, BirdLife International, Wellbrook Court, Girton Road, Cambridge, CB3 0NA



            Dr. Nigel Collar visited seven major natural history museums in the UK, USA, France, the Netherlands and Italy (Natural History Museum, Tring, UK; American Museum of Natural History, New York; National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC; Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris; Naturalis, Leiden; Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh; and Museum of Natural History, Genoa) to examine study skins of Asian babblers.  He measured the birds’ various body parts and compared their size, shape and colors.  Using a scoring system developed by a team of ornithologists (including himself), he graded differences between the birds.  He assigned 3 points for major differences, 2 points for medium differences, and 1 point for minor differences.  All of the points had to equal at least 7 (including at least some major or medium differences) for a bird to be raised from subspecies status to full species status.

            Although the scoring method is “simplistic, crude and arbitrary,” it is a consistent and useful evaluation tool.  Using this scoring method, 44 Asian subspecies qualify for elevation to full species status.  Under this scoring system, Taiwan would gain 7 more endemic babbler species:  Garralax ruficeps, G. poecilorhynchus, G. taewanus, Pomatorhinus erythrocnemis, P. musicus, Pnoepyga formosana and Alcippe formosana.


Bird names in the following table are according to Inskipp, T., Lindsey, N. and Duckworth, W.  (1996)  An annotated checklist of the birds of the Oriental region.  Sandy, U.K. :  Oriental Bird Club.


Proposed new species:


Rufous-crowned Laughingthrush, Garrulax ruficeps

White-throated Laughingthrush, Garrulax albogularis

Rusty Laughingthrush, Garrulax poecilorhynchus

Note: This proposed species is currently treated  with the proposed Buffy Laughingthrush Garrulax berthemyi as two (of 3) subspecies of G. poecilorhynchus.  The new Taiwan endemic would retain both the English and Latin names.  

Taiwan Hwamei, Garrulax taewanus

Chinese Hwamei, Garrulax canorus

Black-necklaced Scimitar Babbler, Pomatorhinus erythrocnemis

Spot-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Pomatorhinus erythrocnemis.  The new Taiwan endemic would retain the Latin name.  

Taiwan Scimitar Babbler, Pomatorhinus musicus

Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Pomatorhinus ruficollis

Taiwan Wren Babbler, Pnoepyga formosana 

Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler, Pnoepyga albiventer

Taiwan Fulvetta, Alcippe formosana

Streak-throated  Fulvetta, Alcippe cinereiceps


            On Taiwan, Rufous-crowned Laughingthrush seems to be relatively uncommon, or with very limited distribution.   Taiwan Hwamei is more common, but is at greater risk because of genetic swamping from Chinese Hwamei, which is imported into Taiwan as a cagebird because of its song, and which escapes regularly.


            Acknowledgement:  Thanks to Dr. Nigel J. Collar for comments on this condensation of his article.   Jo Ann MacKenzie


FORKTAIL is published twice yearly, January and June, by the Oriental Bird Club, Bedford, UK, .