Birding in Taiwan



Bird Tours

International Waterbird Society 2005 Post-Conference Field Trips

Scheduled Tours

November 7–16, 2005

May 1-13, 2006


Trip Photos

Trip Report:  BIRDING IN TAIWAN, MAY. 21-24, 2005

ANNOTATED SPECIES LIST, Taiwan, MAY. 21-24, 2005

Trip Report:  BIRDING IN TAIWAN, NOV. 8–17, 2004


Taiwan Trip Report, March 21 – 28, 2003

ANNOTATED SPECIES LIST, Taiwan, March 21 – 28, 2003

Taiwan Trip Report, November 11-19, 2003

ANNOTATED SPECIES LIST, Taiwan, November 11–19, 2003






International Waterbird Society 2005 Post-Conference Field Trips


5 days, 28 November – 2 December, 2005

A 5-day birding trip is planned after the close of the conference. The trip will begin at the conference hotel in Tainan and will end in Taipei where you will have the option of going to the airport or staying on in Taipei.


Although a small island, Taiwan has a complex topography.  It has high mountains over 3000 meters in elevation, huge forests, varied plains and many streams and rivers.  The climate ranges from tropical, subtropical, temperate to frigid.  Oceanic influences produce high humidity and plenty of rain, resulting in diverse vegetation, and contributes to the island’s varied biological species.  Currently, Taiwan has 15 endemic species of birds and 69 endemic subspecies.


Dress for warm to hot and humid conditions in the lowlands.  Daytime temperatures at high elevation will be pleasantly warm with intense sunlight (sunscreen advised), but nights will be chilly to cold.  An all-weather jacket over a wool sweater or synthetic pile/fleece would be appropriate, and gloves may be appreciated.  Rain is possible (though unlikely in November), so rain pants and an umbrella might be useful.  Sturdy, waterproof shoes or boots are recommended.  The Shuiyen (water) Trail is aptly named for the plastic water pipes (some leaking) that lie alongside the trail; expect walking through occasional water/mud.


Bring a day pack for snacks and bottled water.


The trip will showcase wetland and mountain birds with an emphasis on endemics and sub-endemics.  Thirteen of Taiwan’s 15 endemic species might be seen.  They are: Taiwan Partridge, Swinhoe’s Pheasant, Mikado Pheasant, Flamecrest, Formosan Whistling-Thrush, Collared Bush-Robin, White-Whiskered Laughingthrush, Steere’s Liocichla, Taiwan Barwing, White-eared Sibia, Taiwan Yuhina, Yellow Tit, and Formosan Magpie.  A 14th endemic, Taiwan Bush-Warbler is a shy, skulking species, virtually impossible to find when silent, outside of the breeding season.  The 15th is found only in the extreme south and east, where the trip will not go.


Day 1 will be devoted to prime wetland habitats on or near the west coast, including Aougo, Hambao, and Kwangtien.  On Day 2, we head for the mountains of Taiwan’s interior where we have a good chance of seeing most of the endemics and many sub-endemics.  There will be beautiful mountain scenery and possibly Taiwan’s native monkey, the Taiwan Macaque [Formosan Rock Monkey].  The highest elevation will be 3275 m (10,759 ft.) by road; no steep mountain hiking is necessary.  We will remain at higher elevation in the early morning of Day 5, arriving in Taipei in the afternoon.

N.B.  “Shan”, pronounced “sahn” = mountain





US $1,000 (sharing); US $1200 (single).  If registering before October 15:  US $900 (sharing); US $1100 (single). Price includes all meals, travel, and accommodation.



The conference and field trips are open to anyone with an interest in waterbirds.





Day 1:  Monday, 28 Nov.


7 – 8 a.m:  Drive to Kwantien Wetland; Pheasant-tailed Jacana habitat.  This is the site of the first successful re-introduction program in Asia.


8 – 9:30 a.m:  Birding in Kwantien area; Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Greater Painted-Snipe, Common Moorhen, Oriental Skylark.


9:30 – 10:30 a.m:  Drive to Aougo (Aouwu) Wetland, the largest and most important wetland in Taiwan.


10:30 – noon:  Birding at Aougo; look for Little Grebe, Saunders’ Gull, Black-headed Gull, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, Caspian Tern, Common Redshank, Greenshank; Marsh, Green, Terek and Common Sandpipers; Red-necked Stint.


Noon – 1:20 p.m:  Lunch at “It’s Delicious;” considered the best seafood restaurant in Taiwan.


1:20 – 2:30 p.m:  Birding at Tungshih Bridge; gulls, terns, herons, egrets.


2:30 – 3:30 p.m:  Drive to Hambao.


3:30 – 5 p.m:  Birding; Hambao wetland for shorebirds; look for Northern Lapwing, Pacific Golden-Plover, Black-bellied Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Lesser Sandplover, Common Snipe, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Gray-tailed Tattler, Ruddy Turnstone.


5:00 – 5:30 p.m:  Drive to historic city of Lukang.


6:00 – 8:00 p.m:  Welcome Party and supper, hosted by Changhua County with welcoming remarks by Mayor Ong.


8 – 10 p.m:  Visit Matsu Temple, dedicated to Matsu, Goddess of the Sea, and Lugang heritage area.  The temple contains an original image of Meijhou Matsu, thought to possess strong spiritual powers.


Overnight at Leader Hotel, Lukang.



Day 2:  Tuesday, 29 Nov.


Huisun Forest Station


7 – 9 a.m:  Drive to Huisun Forest Station.


9 a.m. – 5 p.m:  Birding in Huisun Forest Station, elevation 770 m (2530 feet) is where we hope to see Formosan Magpie, Grey Treepie, Malayan Night-Heron and Daurian Redstart.  The forested slopes are a good place for Ashy Wood-Pigeon, Black-browed Barbet and Gray-capped Woodpecker.  Other birds such as Gray-chinned Minivet, Grey Treepie, Black Bulbul, Rufous-capped Babbler, White-bellied Pigeon, and White-bellied Yuhina are expected in the area.  Chinese Bamboo Partridge may be present in the undergrowth and Swinhoe’s Pheasant might be spotted on the forest road if we are lucky.


Overnight at Huisun Forest Station.



Day 3:  Wednesday, 30 Nov.


Huisun Forest Station, cont’d.


5 – 9 a.m:  Forest trail.

            In the early morning, we might hear an owl and see Swinhoe’s Pheasant.  Gray-cheeked Fulvetta, Black Bulbul, Green-backed Tit, Varied Tit, Japanese White-eye, and House Swift are possibilities.


9 – 10:30 a.m:  Drive to Auwanda Forest Recreation Area.


10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m:  Streams in the Auwanda National Forest Recreation Area, elevation 1200 m (3900 feet) are home to Plumbeous Redstart.  Also possible here are Emerald Dove, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Crested Serpent-Eagle, Taiwan Yuhina, Yellow Tit, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Black-browed Barbet, Gray-chinned Minivet, Winter Wren, and Large-billed Crow.


4 – 5 p.m:  Drive to Chingjing, elev. 1750 m (5740 feet).


Overnight at Chingjing Resort.



Day 4:  Thursday, 1 Dec.


Meifeng area


5 – 9 a.m:  Birding along Shuiyen (water) Trail, also called “Blue Gate Trail.”


The Blue Gate Trail is where we hope to find the Mikado Pheasant, Taiwan Partridge, White-eared Sibia, Taiwan Yuhina, Collared Bush Robin, Taiwan Barwing, Steere’s Liocichla, Pygmy Wren-Babbler, White-browed Shortwing, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Plain and Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Ashy Wood-Pigeon, Brown Bullfinch, Rufous-faced Warbler, Grey-faced Woodpecker, Gray-chinned Minivet, Eurasian Nuthatch, Asian Stubtail, Yellowish-Bellied Bush-Warbler, Vivid Niltava, Rufous-capped Babbler, Eurasian Jay.


9 a.m. – noon:  Drive to Hehuan Shan (Mt. Snow) Forest Recreation Area, elev. 3275 m (10,750 feet).


Noon – 12:30 p.m:  Simple lunch.


12:30 – 4 p.m:  Just inside the western edge of Taroko National Park we will be near the 3461 m (11,360 ft.)  summit of Hehuan Shan.  During some winters, there is enough snow to ski.  We will look for Vinaceous Rosefinch, White-whiskered Laughingthrush, Flamecrest, Coal Tit, Green-backed Tit, and Yellow Tit.


4 – 5 p.m:  Return to Chingjing.


Supper and overnight at Chingjing Resort.



Day 5:  Friday, 2 Dec.


Chingjing,  cont’d.


5 – 9 a.m:  Birding in Chingjing area, near the hotel might turn up Siberian Rubythroat, Striated Prinia, Vinaceous Parrotbill and Steere’s Liocichla.


9 a.m. – 1 p.m:  Drive to Taipei.  Lunch on the way.


End of field trip. Travel to Airport or stay on in Taipei (on own).  If you wish to stay on, accommodation can be arranged at YMCA Royal Host Hotel.