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

Black-browed Barbet


Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler

Vinaceous Rosefinch


More Birds in Taiwan

Black-faced Spoonbill

Chinese Crested Tern

Crested Serpent-Eagle

Fairy Pitta

Japanese White-eye

Malayan Night-heron


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.


Malayan Night-Heron

Gorsachius melanolophus


Malayan Night-Heron is a medium-sized heron, about 47 cm in length.  The crown is black, with black crest extending to the nape.  The upperparts are dark reddish-brown with fine streaks.  The eye ring is light blue.  Wings are black, fading outward to reddish-brown.  Primary feather tips are white.  The face is reddish-brown; the chin and upper breast are paler.  The yellowish-brown breast has a central row of black streaks.


            The immature is grayish-brown above with black and white spots; underparts are buff with brown spots and bars.

            The usual call is:  “bo-bo.”

            Malayan Night-Heron is a shy, rare resident of lowland vegetation near water.  When disturbed, it may raise its crest.  It is seen comparatively easily in appropriate habitat in middle and southern Taiwan.

            Malayan Night-Heron is also known as Tiger Bittern.

            Similar Species:  Japanese Night-Heron lacks a crest, has an olive eye-ring; primary tips are brown.


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


Reproductive Success of the Malayan Night Heron in Central Taiwan


Cheng-te Yao,1 Liang-kong Lin,2 Shao-pin Yo3


1.  Endemic Species Research Institute, COA

2.  Department of Life Science, Tunghai University

3.  Department of Life Science, National Chung Hsing University


The Malayan night heron (Gorsachius melanophus) lives in the lowland wooded areas in Taiwan.  I studied the reproductive success of the Malayan night heron in the urbanized areas of Tai-chung, Nan-tao, Yun-lin, and Chia-I Counties, in Central Taiwan.  A total of 67 nests of Malayan night heron were monitored in the breeding seasons of 2000 and 2001.  Breeding season lasted for 210 days in 2000, and 220 days in 2001.  Clutch size ranged 2-6 eggs (3.4±0.8, n=67); brood size ranged 0-4 nestlings (2.5±1.5, n=67).  The mean number of young fledged per nest was 1.9±1.5.  Incubation period was 30.4±1.2 days, and nestling stage was 36.0±2.1 days.  The nesting success measured by the Mayfield method was 64.44% in 2000, and 61.72% in 2001.  There is no difference between pooled interval success rate of the 1st nests in the breeding season and that of the 2nd broods.  The pooled interval success rate of the nests of yearlings was 21.11%, whereas it was 74.27% for the nests of older birds.  The mean number of young fledged per nest was 2.2±1.5 by parents of older birds, while it was only 0.9±1.3 by parents with at least one yearling.  Reuses of old nests were common in Malayan night heron(50%).  The breeding success of nests of reused was 80.29%, while it was 47.18% of nests of only used once.  Predation, starvation, infertile or addled eggs, and inclement weather caused death were identified to be the major causes of the mortality during incubation and nestling stages.  The main factors that affect the reproductive success of the Malayan night heron are: the age of the breeding pairs, nest predation, and reused of old nests.