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


Endemic Sub-Species

Alpine Accentor

Black-browed Barbet

Black-naped Monarch

Black Bulbul

Black Drongo

Bronzed Drongo

Collared Finchbill

Crested Goshawk

Crested Serpent-Eagle


Lanyu’ Scops-Owl

Oriental Skylark

Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler

Vinaceous Rosefinch


More Birds in Taiwan

Black-faced Spoonbill

Black-naped Oriole

Black-throated Tit

Black-winged Stilt

Chinese Crested Tern

Common Kingfisher

Common Moorhen

Daurian Redstart

Fairy Pitta

Gray-chinned Minivet

Gray Heron

Japanese White-eye

Malayan Night-heron


‘Lanyu’ Scops-Owl

Otus elegans botelensis

Endemic subspecies

          ‘Lanyu’ Scops-Owl is a small rufous-brown scops-owl.  The facial disk is brown, the lores and line above the eye are white, the facial ruff is cinnamon bordered by dark brown.  The ear tufts are rufous with blackish spots.  The rest of the upperparts are reddish-brown mottled with buff and dark brown.  The throat and breast are dark cinnamon finely streaked with dark brown, mottled with white and brown.  The bill is olive-gray, the eyes are yellow, the feet are grayish-brown.

          The nominate race, Ryukyu Scops-Owl (Elegant Scops-Owl), Otus elegans elegans, occurs on the Ryukyu Islands, southern Japan.  The ‘Lanyu’ Scops-Owl, subspecies O. e. botelensis, darker and more finely marked than Japanese birds, is endemic to Lanyu (Orchid) Island, a small 46 square km island, 65 km east of the southern tip of Taiwan.  It inhabits subtropical evergreen forest, from sea-level to 550 m or higher.  ‘Lanyu’ Scops-Owl is also found near human habitation, sometimes perching on village rooftops. 

          BirdLife International lists Otus elegans as Near threatened because of habitat degradation and loss, pesticide use, and natural disasters.  On Lanyu Island, the O. e. botelensis population is thought to be stable, at about 1,000 birds, and its outlook for survival there is good as long as suitable habitat is protected.


            References:       Field Guide: Birds of Taiwan; by Wang, J., C. Wu, G. Huang, X. Yang, Z. Cai, M. Cai and Q. Xiao.  (1991)

                                    BirdLife International Fact Sheet, 2005

                                    Elegant Scops Owl, “Endemic subspecies of Taiwan birds—first impressions”, by N. J. Collar, in Birding ASIA, Number 2, December 2004