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Yunlin County, Taiwain. Huben is a recognized Important Bird Area (IBA). Huben (TW017) is listed as an IBA on Birdlife International's IBA list as an A1 criteria IBA.
The Hu-ben / Hu-shan area is that it's the world's top breeding site for the Fairy Pitta (Pitta nympha).The global population of this vulnerable species may be as low as 2500-3500 birds,and each summer(late April-August) between 120-170 pairs breed in the area. The Pitta are best viewed from the last week in April through to mid June. Sighting Pitta after the end of June is very difficult.
The area has some good low altitude forest and bamboo thickets,thus many of Taiwan's low altitude forest birds can be seen.
Six Taiwan endemics have been recorded in the area: Taiwan Blue Magpie; Taiwan Partridge; Taiwan Whistling Thrush; Swinhoe's Pheasant and in winter White-eared Sibia and Steere's Liocichla. Striated Prinia and Maroon Oriole are rare residents.
Species common in the area are Grey-cheeked Fulvetta; Dusky Fulvetta; Common Kingfisher; Oriental Cuckoo (summer); Spotted Dove; Red Collared Dove; Barred Buttonquail; Arctic Warbler (winter); Rufous-faced Warbler; Rufous-capped Babbler; White-bellied Erpornis; Plain Prinia; Warbling White-eye; Grey Treepie; Black Drongo; Bronzed Drongo; Black-naped Blue Monarch; Taiwan Scimitar Babbler; Black-necklaced Scimitar Babbler; Light-vented Bulbul; Black Bulbul; Collared Finchbill; Black-browed Barbet; Grey-chinned Minivet; Striated Swallow; Pacific Swallow; Long-tailed Shrike; Brown Shrike (winter); Malayan Night Heron; Crested Serpent Eagle; Crested Goshawk; Besra; Emerald Dove; Taiwan Bamboo Partridge; Grey-headed Pygmy Woodpecker; Scaly-breasted Munia; White-rumped Munia; Collared Scops Owl
Birds you can see here include:
Little Egret, Malayan Night Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Besra, Chinese Sparrowhawk, Crested Goshawk, Grey-faced Buzzard, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Crested Serpent Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Eurasian Kestrel, Hen Harrier, Grey Nightjar, Taiwan Partridge, Taiwan Bamboo Partridge, Swinhoe's Pheasant, Barred Buttonquail, Common Moorhen, Slaty-legged Crake, White-breasted Waterhen, Ruddy-breasted Crake, Little Ringed Plover, Emerald Dove, Rock Pigeon, Ashy Wood Pigeon, Spotted Dove, Oriental Turtle Dove, Red Collared Dove, White-bellied Green Pigeon, Lesser Coucal, Oriental Cuckoo, Large Hawk-Cuckoo, Collared Scops Owl, Mountain Scops Owl, Northern Boobook, House Swift, White-throated Needletail, Common Kingfisher, Ruddy Kingfisher, Black-capped Kingfisher, Dollarbird, Black-browed Barbet, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Fairy Pitta, Oriental Skylark, Asian Martin, Barn Swallow, Striated Swallow, Pacific Swallow, Plain Martin, Sand Martin, Gray-chinned Minivet, Bronzed Drongo, Black Drongo, Maroon Oriole, Grey Treepie, Taiwan Blue Magpie, Vinous-throated Parrotbill, Black-throated Tit, Green-backed Tit, Chestnut-bellied Tit, Dusky Fulvetta, Grey-cheeked Fulvetta, Rusty Laughingthrush, White-eared Sibia, Steere's Liocichla, Black-necklaced Scimitar Babbler, Taiwan Scimitar Babbler, Rufous-capped Babbler, White-bellied Erpornis, Black Bulbul, Light-vented Bulbul, Collared Finchbill, White-tailed Robin, Taiwan Whistling-Thrush, Daurian Redstart, Dusky Thrush, Pale Thrush, Scaly Thrush, Rufous-faced Warbler, Oriental Reed Warbler, Japanese Bush Warbler, Golden-headed Cisticola, Zitting Cisticola, Arctic Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Plain Prinia, Striated Prinia, Grey-streaked Flycatcher, Black-naped Blue Monarch, Ferruginous Flycatcher, Vivid Niltava, Olive-backed Pipit, White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Brown Shrike, Warbling White-eye, Scaly Munia, White-rumped Munia, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Taiwan Yuhina ^*, White-rumped Shama
- There is a single record of Taiwan Yellow Tit.
^* Presumed escape
History and Use
Areas of Interest
The best place to bird is the area behind the Tian-sheng Gong Temple. There is a small track on the right of the temple grounds(it is a continuation of the road leading into the temple),and that's where to go. A quiet walk along this track that leads up into the hills should offer encounters with most of the common birds in the area.
Access and Facilities
Hu-bin Village is in Yunlin County,Southern West-Central Taiwan. The village is about 10KM north east of the town of Douliou (Pinyin spelling)/ Touliu (Wade Giles spelling). Douliou is just off the No.3 National Highway,and can be reached by train or bus.
The village of Hu-ben is about 10km from the Douliou CBD,between Douliou and Lin-Nei. It's possible to take a taxi from Douliou to Hu-ben.
There is a Fairy Pitta information Centre,with accommodation in the village. It's tel number is +886(0)5 5890375, but you'll need to speak Mandarin for them to understand you. Local English speaking help is available through the Wild Bird Society of Yunlin or Birdingpal.
Content and images originally posted by Mark Bruce