Idiots Guide.

A Idiot’s New-bee’s Guide to Common Taiwan Birds.

Learn something about a couple of the common birds in Taipei.

Chinese Bulbul.
aka ‘Light-vented Bulbul’. Very common. Medium sized (bigger than the sparrows), greenish rear and tail, note the white ‘cap’.

Japanese White-eye.
Common. These very small yellow-green (white belly) birds, have light-colored rings around their eyes.

Tree Sparrow.
Very Common. The most common kind of sparrow in Taiwan. Are smaller than House Sparrows - the common kind in the UK.

The slightly larger white birds you see may be egrets - probably either Little Egret, or Cattle Egret (they have beautiful orange plumage in summer).
Swans are rare in Taiwan; Gulls not very common.

Taiwan Barbet.
This is endemic (that means only found here) to Taiwan . Medium-sized, green bird. Look out for it’s colourful face that gives it its Chinese name - ‘5-color bird’. Has an interesting 'gurgling' call.
Taiwan Blue Magpie.
Also called Formosan Magpie.These stunning (and endemic) birds found on the edges of the city. Look out for their long tails as they fly.

Black Drongo.
Yes, that’s it’s real name. Common. Looks like a crow (not very common here), look out for the forked tail. They are insect catchers - so sit on branch, and swoop through the air catching insects, and return to branch. The slightly smaller black birds with red beaks are Black Bulbuls.

What you need - nothing really, but a pair of binoculars (x8 magnification best) and a book (this one is a good start) describing birds HELPS A LOT.

Where to go - Have a look in your local park. In Taipei check out the Botanical Garden, Guandu, and Huajiang Park. If wanting to explore more, try Yangmingshan and Wulai. Look out for Taiwanese birdwatchers or photographers, they are usually eager to help out - just don’t be too noisy or get in the way.

Why Taiwan is great for birdwatching - Even though Taiwan is relatively small it has high biodiversity - that means it has a high range of different species that can only be found here (endemics). Also, it is a stop-off point for birds migrating between winter and summer homes.

Other reasons IMHO - safe (low crime, good health care, few diseases), friendly people, good infrastructure (roads, accommodation etc), not over-touristed

This page is a work in progress. What should I change/add?