Saturday, 26 July 2008

Taiwan Bird Books

Under Construction !

Field Guides:

At present there isn't a specific English field guide to the birds of Taiwan....But fear not ! Help is at hand.

A Field Guide to the Birds of China by MacKinnon & Phillipps covers the whole of China and Taiwan. This is a rather heavy book covering the 1300 odd species found in the region. The guide is a pioneering work so plates and maps aren't quite up to the standard of the US and European guides but the guide is still very usable and a valuable resource for Taiwan.

A Field Guide to the Birds of China, John MacKinnon & Karen Phillipps, Oxford University Press 2000, ISBN-10: 0198549407.

Another option is to use the Mandarin guide. The Chinese language guide, A Field Guide to the Wild Birds of Taiwan by Wu Sen-hsiang et al has very good plates. The English common names and scientific names are given. This book is about a third of the size of Birds of China. Maps are still useful. The plates alone are more than adequate to identify almost everything. The book for published in 1991 so some taxonomy has obviously changed but overall it is a very useful resource for Taiwan even if you can't read a word of Chinese. The guide is out of print and can be hard to get hold of outside of Taiwan. The Wild Bird Society of Taipei stocks the guide and it can be ordered through them.
Contact person: May

A Field Guide to the Wild Birds of Taiwan, (John) Wu Sen-hsiang et al. Taiwan Wild Bird Information Centre 1991, ISBN: 957-9578-00-1. (Mandarin with English common names).

An additional option is, Field Guide to the Birds of Taiwan by Chang Wan-fu. Again this is basically a Chinese language book with English names. This book is also out of print but is still available through NHBS and likely the Wild Bird Society of Taipei. Personally, I prefer Wu's Field Guide to the Wild Birds of Taiwan over Chang's. Most Taiwanese birders seem to prefer Wu's.

A Field Guide to the Birds of Taiwan, (James) Chang Wan-fu, Cheng & Tsui 1999, ISBN-10: 0917056434; ISBN-13: 978-0917056437. (Text in Mandarin with common names and status in English).

Older Taiwan Field Guides
Some older Taiwan field guides are listed below. These guides have long been out of print and have limited information and would be of limited use in the field.

A Guide to the Birds of Taiwan, Sheldon Severinghaus, Kang Kuo-wei and Paul Alexander; The China Post 1970.

New Guide to the Birds of Taiwan, Sheldon Severinghaus & Kenneth Blackshaw, Mei Ya Publications 1976, ISBN-10: 0915180057; ISBN-13: 978-0915180059.

Birding Location Guides:

The current birding location guide to Taiwan is Birdwatching in Taiwan by Shi et al. This book is pretty useful as a location guide. The maps are a little on the poor side unfortunately but still holds a wealth of information.

Birdwatching in Taiwan, Shi Rui-De et al, Wild Bird Society Taipei 2005, ISBN: 957-98751-9-7.

Birdwatcher’s Guide to the Taipei Region by Kao et al is an extremely useful guide to the Taipei region. Maps and directions in this guide are far better than the Taiwan guide. A very useful guide if birding in the Taipei region.

Birdwatcher’s Guide to the Taipei Region, Kao Li-fung et al, Department of Information, Taipei City Government 2004, ISBN: 957-01-7797-7.

Older Location Guides

An older location guide is A Birders Guide to Taiwanby Dave Sargeant. This guide is rather out of date and difficult to get hold of.

A Birders Guide to Taiwan, Dave Sargeant, Spiralbound, 1998.

Threatened Birds:

For an overview of Taiwan's threatened birds look no further than Guide to the Threatened Birds of Taiwan by Fang.

Guide to the Threatened Birds of Taiwan, Fang Woei-horng, Owl Publishing House 2005, ISBN-10: 9867415817. (Bilingual).

Saving the Black-faced Spoonbill, Chung Hung-pin & Kang Jih-sheng, Tainan County Government 2003, ISBN: 957-98168-1-6. (Bilingual).


This book isn't a history of Taiwan ornithology but a very interesting read. The book covers Taiwan's more recent bird conservation issues and the history of those issues and the experiences of the author during her time spent in Taiwan.

The Swallows’ Return: A foreigner’s history of birdwatching, conservation and culture in Taiwan, Kate Rogers, Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute 2006, ISBN: 986-00-4146-6. (Bilingual).

Some of these books are available through the Wild Bird Society of Taipei.
Contact person: May

1 comment:

THOMAS said...

Wonderful pheasant and birds!