Birder's Guide

MAR 2015

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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臺灣 40 Taiwan Birder's Guide to Travel | March 2015 lief to see a fock of these purple-and-black beasts come bounding out of the forest. The lowlands of the east coast, particularly south of the mag- nifcent Taroko Gorge, support Styan's Bulbul. Unfortunately, its closest congener, the Chinese Bulbul, seems to be displacing it, and some hy- bridization is occurring, pushing this locally com- mon endemic farther south and creating one of the few threatened species on the island. On the steep slopes of the mountains, the mid- to high-altitude mixed broadleafed and coniferous forests support most of the endemics. Many of the forest plants are familiar to people from temper- ate northern latitudes, with maple, fr, pine, and spruce being common, but there are also plenty of mystical oriental infuences, with bamboo, palms, and fgs mixed in. The two endemic pheasants are the most spec- tacular birds on the island. The steely-blue Mikado Pheasant has been dubbed "king of the mists" because of its elegant plumage and its secretive habits; it prefers foraging in misty or rainy condi- tions. Generally found between 4,500 and 10,000 ft. (1372 and 3048m), it was the last Taiwanese- endemic species to be described by scientists in 1900. The scarlet face patches of the male add dramatic effect. Occurring at slightly lower al- titudes, Swinhoe's Pheasant upon its discovery was described as "the most beautiful bird in the world". Although Swinhoe's is more common than Mikado, the former's timidity, agility, and propen- sity to be startled mean that it is usually seen only Male Taiwan Rosefnch. Photo © 阿堯 Taiwan Fulvetta. Photo © Keith Barnes Taiwan Barbet. Photo © Keith Barnes

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