More Birds in Taiwan
More Birds in Taiwan
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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Ijima’s Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus ijimae, (also called Ijima’s Warbler, Ijima’s Willow Warbler, Izu Leaf-Warbler) breeds on the Izu and Tokara islands in the southern Japanese Archipelago. The breeding islands are small; the breeding population is also small, estimated at 2,500 to 10,000. This warbler qualifies as Vulnerable (BirdLife International) because of its small, declining and severely fragmented population resulting from loss of habitat (broad-leaved evergreen forest), potentially compounded by pesticide use. Its wintering range is poorly understood; there are sparse records from Japan, Taiwan (1, Hualien County, March 1960; 2, Puli, Taichung County, December 1924; 2 in 2006; see below) and the Philippines.
Observers should watch for and report sightings of this bird, to contribute to better understanding of its seasonal movements.
Description: The breeding adult has a rather long orange bill with dark brown culmen; greenish-grey crown and nape; whitish broken eye ring; thin buff supercilium extending to the rear ear coverts; medium green upperparts; bright green wings and tail with obvious contrast between the green of the wing and brown primary coverts. Underparts are white with greyish wash on the sides of the neck and flanks; yellowish undertail coverts. Legs are pale. The key to identification in the non-breeding season is the call; a loud, melodic “twee” very different from the distinctive metallic “dzik” of Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis and soft “phit phit” of the Eastern Crowned Warbler Phylloscopus coronatus.
These photographs were taken by Liao Pen-Shing on April 9, 2006, at Yehliou, Taipei County. Mr. Liao noted the presence of another Ijima’s Leaf-Warbler, for a few days, approximately September 23–25, 2006, also at Yehliou. Yeliou Scenic Area, a known “migrant trap”, is a long, narrow spit of land extending from Taiwan’s northeast coast.
References: BirdingASIA 2 (2004): 70–71. Ijima’s Leaf Warbler, Richard Thomas, BirdLife International, Wellbrook Court, Girton Road, Cambridge CB3 0NA, UK.
BirdLife International (2003), Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLIfe International Red Data Book, Cambridge, UK.