taiwan birds

April 14, 2017 - Styan’s Bulbul or Taiwan Bulbul (Pycnonotus taivanus)

These bulbuls are found along much of the eastern coast of Taiwan. They eat fruits and flowers, along with some insects, spending most of their time alone or in pairs during the breeding season and forming large flocks during the rest of the year. Females build cup-shaped nests from stems, leaves, and grasses and pairs often raise two broods a year. They are classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to hybridization with the closely related Chinese Bulbul, along with habitat loss.

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Formosan Blue Magpie | Source

January 6, 2016 - Taiwan Blue Magpie, Taiwan Magpie, or Formosan Blue Magpie (Urocissa caerulea)

This member of the crow family is found in the mountains of Taiwan. Their diets include reptiles, including snakes, as well as small mammals, insects, plants, fruit, and seeds. Living in groups of six or more, they follow one another closely in flight, forming a line in the air. Monogamous cooperative breeders, the females incubate the eggs and the males assist with nest building and feeding the chicks. Older chicks often assist the parents. They strongly defend their nesting area and attack intruders relentlessly until they retreat.

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The Taiwan blue magpie (Urocissa caerulea), also called the Taiwan magpie or Formosan blue magpie(Chinese: 臺灣藍鵲; pinyinTáiwān lán què) or the “long-tailed mountain lady” (Chinese: 長尾山娘; pinyin:Chángwěi shānniángTaiwanese: Tn̂g-boé soaⁿ-niû), is a member of the Crow family. It is an endemic species living in the mountains of Taiwan at elevations of 300 to 1200m.

In the 2007 National Bird Voting Campaign held by the Taiwan International Birding Association, there were over 1 million votes cast from 53 countries. The Taiwan blue magpie defeated the mikado pheasant and was chosen as Taiwan’s national bird, though it has yet to be formally accepted.

The Taiwan blue magpie is about the size of European magpie, but with a longer tail. It is 64–65 centimeters in length. Wing measures 18–21 centimeters and tail measures 40 centimeters in length.

The plumage of male and female look alike. Its head, neck and breast are black; eyes are yellow; bill and legs are red; the rest of the plumage on the bird is a rich dark blue to purple in color. It also has white markings on the wings and the tail.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has currently assessed the species to be of Least Concern as it is common throughout its range. Due to its endemism, however, the Taiwan blue magpie has been listed as a rare and valuable species (珍貴稀有保育類) and protected by Taiwan's Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (Traditional Chinese: 文化資產保存法) since 1989. There is a small population of red-billed blue magpies that have been introduced to Wuling Farm in Taichung County (now part of Taichung City). In 2007, three hybrids were found in Taichung, which has caused some concern to conservationists, who fear the Taiwan blue magpie could be threatened in a similar way to the Taiwan hwamei. However, the Endemic Species Research Institute of Taiwan has been working to control red-billed magpie populations by capturing individual birds and relocating their nests.

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