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


Endemic Sub-Species

Alpine Accentor

Barred Buttonquail


Black Bulbul

Black Drongo

Black-browed Barbet

Black Kite

Black-naped Monarch

Bronzed Drongo

Brown Bullfinch

Brown-eared Bulbul

Chinese Bamboo-Partridge

Collared Finchbill

Collared Scops-Owl

Collared Owlet

Coal Tit

Crested Goshawk

Crested Serpent-Eagle

Dusky Fulvetta

Eurasian Jay

Eurasian Nutcracker

Gray Treepie

Gray-cheeked Fulvetta

 Gray-headed Bullfinch

Green-backed Tit

House Swift


Island Thrush

Lanyu’ Scops-Owl

Maroon Oriole

Mountain Scops-Owl

Oriental Skylark

Oriental Turtle-Dove

Plain Prinia

Pygmy Wren-Babbler

Ring-necked Pheasant

Rufous-capped Babbler

 Rusty Laughingthrush

Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler

Streak-throated Fulvetta

Striated Prinia

Varied Tit

Vinaceous Rosefinch

Vinous-throated Parrotbill

Whistling Green-Pigeon

White-bellied Green-Pigeon

White-browed Bush-Robin

White-browed Shortwing

White-tailed Robin

White-throated Laughingthrush

Winter Wren


More Birds in Taiwan

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-naped Oriole

Black-throated Tit

Black-winged Stilt

Cattle Egret

Chinese Crested Tern

Cinnamon Bittern

Common Kingfisher

Common Kestrel

Common Moorhen

Daurian Redstart

Eurasian Wigeon

Fairy Pitta

Fork-tailed or Pacific Swift


Gray-chinned Minivet

Gray-faced Buzzard

Gray Heron

Great Egret

Greater Painted-Snipe

Ijima’s Leaf-Warbler

Intermediate Egret

Japanese White-eye

Little Forktail

Little Grebe

Malayan Night-heron

Northern Shoveler


Pale Thrush

Red Collared-Dove

Russet Sparrow

Spot-billed Duck

Spotted Dove

White-breasted Waterhen

Yellow Bittern



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.



Black Kite

Milvus migrans formosanus


Endemic Subspecies


The Black Kite is a medium-sized (M 55cm; F 60 cm) raptor with a blackish brown body and a slightly forked tail.  The wings are long and narrow, and the underside of the primaries shows a large whitish patch.  The Taiwan race formosanus is said to be smaller than mainland races, but the difference appears to be subtle; furthermore, this subspecies is said to occur on Hainan as well, so its endemic status is questionable.


The Black Kite catches a variety of prey including mice and other small rodents, small birds, bats, lizards, amphibians and large insects.  It also eats a wide variety of animal remains, scraps from abattoirs or fisheries, garbage and any kind of carrion, including animals killed on roads.  It spots prey from the air, flying fairly low in an agile, maneuverable manner.  It is gregarious and roosts communally, usually in trees.  The Black Kite occurs in all types of open or lightly wooded habitat including grasslands, rivers, lakes, wetlands and seashores.  It nests in tall trees or on cliffs, building a nest of sticks lined with various materials; the female lays 2-3 eggs and incubates them, while the male brings her food.


In Taiwan the Black Kite is a rare resident in lowlands to 800 m.  Previously quite common, its population is now estimated at only around 200 birds in five isolated sites:  Wan-li, Rei-fang and Hsin-tien in Taipei County, Tseng-wen Reservoir in Chiayi County and Northern Mountain in Pingtung County.  It is listed as endangered in Taiwan and is legally protected.



References:  Guide to Threatened Birds of Taiwan, BirdLife International Red Data Book, 2005  (Woei-horng Fang);  Handbook of Birds of the World Vol. 2; A Field Guide to the Birds of China (Mackinnon and Phillipps); 100 Common Birds of Taiwan (Wild Bird Society of Taipei); N. J. Collar, “Endemic subspecies of Taiwan birds—first impressions”, in Birding ASIA, Number 2, December 2004