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

Brown-eared Bulbul

Collared Finchbill

Collared Scops-Owl

Crested Goshawk

Crested Serpent-Eagle

Eurasian Jay


Island Thrush

Lanyu’ Scops-Owl

Oriental Skylark

Oriental Turtle-Dove

Pygmy Wren-Babbler

Ring-necked Pheasant

Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler

Vinaceous Rosefinch

Whistling Green-Pigeon

White-bellied Green-Pigeon

White-browed Shortwing

Winter Wren


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-faced Buzzard

Gray Heron

Greater Painted-Snipe

Japanese White-eye

Little Forktail

Malayan Night-heron

Red Collared-Dove

Spotted Dove

White-breasted Waterhen


Winter Wren

Troglodytes troglodytes taivanus

Endemic subspecies

The Winter Wren is a very small (10 cm), dark brown bird with a short tail.  Its head and back are grayish brown, while its wings and tail are brown with fine darker brown bars.  The chin and throat of the Taiwan subspecies are light buff, the belly is brown with dark barring on the flanks, and there is a short buffy supercilium extending mainly behind the eye.  The fine sharp bill is blackish above, with a mostly yellowish lower mandible.  The legs are light brown.


The Winter Wren feeds on a wide variety of invertebrates including insects and spiders, and also small vertebrates such as small fish, tadpoles and young frogs.  It also eats some vegetable matter such as berries and seeds.  The Winter Wren usually forages low in vegetation, on the ground under shrubs, in forest litter and in the damp forest understorey.  It moves quickly, constantly flicking its erect tail.  It makes sharp "tac-tac" notes and loud churrs, but its song is a powerful and melodious cascade of bubbling notes, clear notes and trills. 


The nest is a domed structure with a side entrance hole, made of grasses and fibres.  The male builds surplus nests, and the female then selects one and adds the lining herself.  The nest may be in dense vegetation or in a cavity or crevice, usually low down.  It will also use man-made nest-boxes.  The number of eggs can vary widely, but is usually 5-8; they are incubated only by the female, but the male helps feed the young.


The Winter Wren is the only member of the Wren family which occurs in Eurasia, the others being confined to the Americas.  In Taiwan it is a common resident of mountain forests at mid to high elevations.



References:  Handbook of Birds of the World Vol. 10; A Field Guide to the Birds of China  (Mackinnon and Phillipps); 100 Common Birds of Taiwan (Wild Bird Society of Taipei); The Complete Guide to Birds in Taiwan (Jin-yuan Wang)