The documented bird species in Taiwan number more than 600, among which 29 species that can only be seen in Taiwan are known as “the endemic species in Taiwan”. Taiwan is ranked first in Asia in terms of its density of endemic bird species per unit area.
With the distribution of different types of vegetation zones at diverse altitudes, the forests in Taiwan comprise tall and big arbors and short bushes, beneath which are herbs that grow close to the ground, naturally forming a layered structure like a multi-storied building which allows all kinds of living creatures to find a suitable place to live on different floors.
Taiwan’s endemic Mikado Pheasant and Swinhoe's Pheasant which mainly take the surface layer as their activity space prefer forests with a cool temperate climate. To them, the ground level is like the food court in a department store where a variety of dainties and delicacies are available for their selection: seeds and fruits that fall off the trees, or insects, snails and earthworms that hide amidst the fallen leaves are their favorite foods. Nevertheless, you will need to try your luck if you wish to meet them. Some call Mikado Pheasant “the king in the mist” as they like to appear at the edge of a misty forest after drizzle. In contrast, Swinhoe's Pheasant is more observant than Mikado Pheasant, and thus it is also known as “the hermit of birds”.
The Mikado Pheasant and Swinhoe's Pheasant look remarkably similar. If you are lucky enough to come across a blue bird with red eyes, you will be puzzled by the species in front of you. It is quite normal to be unable to tell which is which because they are so alike. What you should do is look closely at their feet to discriminate the two birds from each other: whereas Swinhoe's Pheasant has red feet, gray feet is the feature of Mikado Pheasant. It is so simple, isn't it?
Come. Bring your own lucky charm to Dasyueshan National Forest Recreation Area or Alishan National Forest Recreation Area in search of the two national treasure birds. Sometimes it is necessary to wait to see the beauty of the world.
May we remind you to please be a bird-watcher of high quality by following the five principles of birdwatching: do not frighten, do not allure, do not chase, do not cause damage, and do not catch.