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October Getaway to Kenting for observation of the Gray-faced Buzzard

Every year around National Day (October 10), thousands of gray-faced buzzards on their migration pass by and hover over Hengchun Peninsula in groups. They use this vast region as a temporary stopover and rest spot before moving southward at dawn the next day. Manchu Township of Pingtung County is the best birdwatching site to observe gray-faced buzzards. Let’s go to Kenting Peninsula to see these wonderful birds! 

Taiwan is situated in the Western Pacific, a stopover habitat on the important route of southeast Asian migratory birds during their 4- or 5-thousand-mile long-haul flights. Every year, a large number of migratory or transit birds choose Taiwan as their temporary stopover site to take a rest. 

You can watch the Gray-faced Buzzards hovering above in the sky 〈Photo provider-Roger Rao〉
Butastur indicus, also known as gray-faced buzzards, are one of these transient visitors; they are from southeastern Siberia, the area from northeast China to Hebei Province, the Japanese islands, and the Korean Peninsula. Every year during September and October as the weather gets colder and the birds face food shortages, gray-faced buzzards always stopover in Taiwan on their southern migration route to Southeast Asia to escape the harsh winter. Due to their landing at Manchu, Pingtung in October, which is around the time of National Day, people call them “National Day Birds” or “Southern Route Eagles.” In spring, they fly northward and transit over Paguashan Terrace in Changhua, Taiwan. Consequently, people of central Taiwan call them the “Qingming Bird” or “Saomu Bird” (Tomb Sweeping Bird). Also, people give them the name “Nanlu Eagles” because of their migration from the south – all evidence which proves how much attention people in Taiwan pay to the gray-faced buzzards.

Each year in October you can admire hundreds of these spectacular flying buzzards hovering in the sky 〈Photo provider-Roger Rao〉
Lide Village, Manchu Township in Pingtung County is one of the best birdwatching sites to observe gray-faced buzzards in autumn. Upon the approach of the gray-faced buzzards every year, telescopes are ready on the Lide Bridge in Lide Community, and a free guided bird-watching service is available to the public. At sunset, hundreds of gray-faced buzzards hover in the sky as they locate a suitable site for their overnight stay. Once they have found one, they pull their wings in close to their body and swiftly land; this is why they are also called the “Luo Eagle” (Falling Eagle). The best bird-watching site for observation of gray-faced buzzards heading out to sea at dawn is the Lingxiao Pavilion in Sheding Nature Park. If you arrive at the site around the sunrise (about 5:30 a.m.), you might be lucky enough to see large groups of gray-faced buzzards taking advantage of the natural air currents to rise and glide out to sea; this scene is called “Qi Ying” (Soaring Eagle). 

Gray-faced Buzzards
Besides the outdoor observation of gray-faced buzzards’ soaring presence in the sky, there’s the “Hengchun Peninsula Ecology of Raptor Specimen Exhibition” which takes place at Kenting National Forest Recreation Area to welcome the arrival of the gray-faced buzzards. Visitors to the exhibition can take a close look at gray-faced buzzards, Chinese Goshawk, and other common birds of prey.

Lide Community Ecology Tour
Community telephone: 886-985-800-823
Contact email: lideblog@gmail.com
Official Website: https://lide.uukt.com.tw/