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

Light-vented Bulbul

Oriental Skylark

Plumbeous Redstart

Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler

Vinaceous Rosefinch

Vivid Niltava


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

White-breasted Waterhen


White-breasted Waterhen

Amaurornis phoenicurus


The White-breasted Waterhen is a large (33 cm) rail with dark slaty-gray upperparts, white face, breast and belly, and rufous rear flanks, vent and undertail coverts.  The bill is greenish yellow with a red frontal shield, the legs are dark yellow and the iris is red.  White-breasted Waterhens are found in a wide variety of freshwater habitats such as marshes, lakes, ponds, ditches, rice fields, river shores, and grassy areas with reeds and shrubs.    They are omnivorous, eating worms, molluscs, insects, spiders and small fish in addition to grass seeds, shoots and roots of marsh plants. 


In Taiwan the breeding season is from March to July.  The nest is a shallow platform of twigs, stems and leaves, placed either on the ground near water, or in a shrub or thicket up to 2 m above ground, sometimes far from water.  The number of eggs may vary from 4 to 9.  The black chicks leave the nest soon after hatching, and are cared for by both parents.  During the breeding season White-breasted Waterhens are very vocal, especially in early morning and evening; they make a loud series of croaks, grunts and cackles, as well as a persistent “ku-o, ku-o, ku-o”.  The White-breasted Waterhen is a common resident of Taiwan year-round in paddy fields, ponds and marshes at elevations below 700 m.



References:  Handbook of Birds of the World Vol. 3; The Complete Guide to Birds in Taiwan (Jin-yuan Wang)