China / Taiwan Tally Sheet

Here is a complete list of all the birds seen throughout our trip to China and Taiwan.  Where available, I have included a link to photos of each species.  There are 89 species listed.

Waterfowl – Anatidae    
Eastern Spot-billed Duck Anas zonorhyncha Taiwan
Grouse – Phasianidae    
Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus China, Taiwan
Grebes – Podicipedidae    
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis China, Taiwan
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus Taiwan
Herons & Bitterns – Ardeidae    
Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis Taiwan
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea China, Taiwan
Great Egret Ardea alba China, Taiwan
Intermediate Egret Mesophoyx intermedia China
Little Egret Egretta garzetta China, Taiwan
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Taiwan
Chinese Pond-heron Ardeola bacchus Taiwan
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax Taiwan
Ospreys – Pandionidae    
Osprey Pandion haliaetus Taiwan
Hawks – Accipitridae    
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus Taiwan
Rails – Rallidae    
White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus Taiwan
Eurasian Moorhen Gallinula chloropus Taiwan
Oystercatchers – Haematopodididae    
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus Taiwan
Plovers – Charadriidae    
Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola Taiwan
Greater Sand-plover Charadrius leschenaultii Taiwan
Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus Taiwan
Sandpipers – Scolopacidae    
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos Taiwan
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus Taiwan
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus Taiwan
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia Taiwan
Common Redshank Tringa totanus Taiwan
Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis Taiwan
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata Taiwan
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres Taiwan
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata Taiwan
Gulls & Terns – Laridae    
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida Taiwan
Royal Tern Sterna dougallii Taiwan
Doves – Columbidae    
Rock Pigeon Columba livia China, Taiwan
Oriental Turtle-dove Streptopelia orientalis China
Red Collared-dove Streptopelia tranquebarica Taiwan
Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis China, Taiwan
Cuckoos – Cuculidae    
Asian Koel Eudynamys scolopaceus Taiwan
Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis Taiwan
Swifts – Apodidae    
Pacific Swift Apus pacificus Taiwan
Kingfishers – Alcedinidae    
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis Taiwan
White-throated Kingfisher Halcyon smyrnensis Taiwan
Bee-eaters – Meropidae    
Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus Taiwan
Hoopoes – Upupidae    
Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops Taiwan
Woodpeckers – Picidae    
Grey-capped Woodpecker Dendrocopos canicapillus China
Shrikes – Laniidae    
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus China
Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach China, Taiwan
Drongos – Dicruridae    
Black Drongo Dicrurus macrocercus China, Taiwan
Crows & Jays – Corvidae    
Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus China
Red-billed Blue-magpie Urocissa erythrorhyncha China
Eurasian Magpie Pica pica China, Taiwan
Large-billed Crow Corvus macrorhynchos China
Collared Crow Corvus torquatus Taiwan
Swallows – Hirundinidae    
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica China, Taiwan
Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica Taiwan
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica China
Tits – Paridae    
Marsh Tit Poecile palustris China
Coal Tit Periparus ater China
Japanese Tit Parus minor China
Long-tailed Tits – Aegithalidae    
Black-throated Tit Aegithalos concinnus Taiwan
Bulbuls – Pycnonotidae    
Collared Finchbill Spizixos semitorques China
Light-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus sinensis China, Taiwan
Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus Taiwan
Chestnut Bulbul Hemixos castanonotus China, Taiwan
Bush-warblers – Cettidae    
Brownish-flanked Bush-warbler Horornis fortipes China
Yellowish-bellied Bush-warbler Horornis acanthizoides China
Cisticolas – Cisticolidae    
Common Tailorbird Orthotomus sutorius China
Hill Prinia Prinia superciliaris Taiwan
Parrotbills – Paradoxornithidae    
Beijing Babbler Rhopophilus pekinensis China
Vinous-throated Parrotbill Sinosuthora webbiana China
White-eyes – Zosteropidae    
Japanese White-eye Zosterops japonicus China, Taiwan
Old World Babblers – Timaliidae    
Rufous-capped Babbler Cyanoderma ruficeps China
Streak-breasted Scimitar-babbler Pomatorhinus ruficollis China
Laughingthrushes – Leiotrichidae    
Chinese Hwamei Garrulax canorus China
Père David’s Laughingthrush Ianthocincla davidi China
Chinese Babax Ianthocincla lanceolata China
Red-billed Leiothrix Leiothrix lutea China
Old World Flycatchers – Muscicapidae    
Dark-sided Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica China
Oriental Magpie-robin Copsychus saularis China, Taiwan
Blue-and-white Flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana China
Blue Rock-thrush Monticola solitaria China
Thrushes – Turdidae    
Orange-headed Thrush Geokichla citrina China
Starlings – Sturnidae    
Crested Myna Acridotheres cristatellus Taiwan
Javan Myna Acridotheres javanicus Taiwan
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis China
Black-collared Starling Gracupica nigricollis Taiwan
Daurian Starling Sturnia sturnina China
Finches – Fringillidae    
Oriental Greenfinch Chloris sinica China
Old World Sparrows – Passeridae    
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus China, Taiwan
Estrildid-finches – Estrildidae    
White-rumped Munia Lonchura striata China

eBird: Birding in the 21st Century

I don’t typically do this, but in keeping with the spirit of sharing opinions and information, I thought I’d write a little blurb for eBird.  eBird is an online database hosted by Cornell University and the National Audubon Society, which acts as a portal for the citizen science movement.  Established in 2002, eBird is now a global repository for bird sightings, and catalogs millions of sightings worldwide each year.  Just recently, eBird reached its 100 millionth record, and is showing no signs of slowing down as more and more birders across the globe begin to input data.

I’ve been using eBird since 2008.  A good friend of mine from Ottawa got me onto the site, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  The allure of eBird is multi-faceted: it automatically catalogs all of your sightings and organizes them into multiple formats, allowing you to keep track of how many species you’ve seen within a given county, state, country, continent, or hemisphere.  It also creates lists of bird sightings for month, year, and lifetime, so you can keep track of Year Lists without any extra work.  All that is required is logging in and inputting your sightings for the day…eBird does the rest.

But it’s more than just a useful tool for the bird-obsessed.  The data are used by scientists to track and monitor migration movements and population trends, which is especially useful in creating policies that protect or destroy critical habitats or species.

eBird began as a repository for North American sightings, but quickly expanded and now covers every country around the world.  Individual reports are reviewed at a local level by volunteers, so rare or unusual sightings are reviewed and confirmed before entering into the data stream.  The eBird database is also updated about once a year, to include new species and other taxonomic updates that are critical to our understanding of birds and their evolution.

Data entry is simple, and with the smartphone app, you can enter data right in the field.  I’m still a traditionalist and keep a notebook and pencil with me on my outings, but the online entry form couldn’t be simpler.  You can create locations by using a number of options, including finding it on Google Maps, inputting GPS coordinates, or simply choosing from a list of local “hotspots” that you may already be familiar with.


Once the location is set, add a little information concerning the time and date of your sightings, and whether you were travelling, searching over a set area, or just happened to see something from you bedroom window.  You’ll be presented with a list of common and expected species for the location you chose, and you can enter in the number of each species, add species that don’t appear on your list, and even go as far as identifying the subspecies of a bird (if you know it).  Then just hit submit.  Any unusual species, or higher-than-expected numbers, will be flagged for review.  You can also add information about gender, age, and breeding information, include photos and make comments that might be relevant to the sighting.


Besides keeping track of your totals and checklists, eBird compiles all of the sightings entered into the database onto a searchable map, which allows you to locate sightings of a given species anywhere in the world.  This is a great tool for locating rare sightings in your area, or for planning a birding trip somewhere new.  Going to Yosemite National Park and you’re interested in where the best place to find an American dipper is?  Search “American Dipper” in the Range & Point Maps section to bring up color-coded maps of every sighting reported to eBird of that species.

A detailed map showing all the American dipper sightings throughout North America.

A detailed map showing all the American dipper sightings throughout North America.

A closer look at Yosemite National Park.  More recent sightings are marked in red.

A closer look at Yosemite National Park.  More recent sightings are marked in red.

The only downside I’ve found with eBird is that it follows the Clements taxonomic profile, endorsed by the ABA (American Birding Association), and as such may not list as many species as other taxonomic profiles, such as the IOU (International Ornithologists’ Union).  This mainly affects birders outside of North America.  For example, the IOU recognizes three species of herring gull; Clements and the ABA only recognize one, and considers the three forms to be subspecies only.  This can pose a slight problem if you are an international birder, as some of your lists may not correspond to the eBird lists.  In my case, I have two species listed on my Life List that are only recognized as subspecies by eBird.

Overall, eBird is a tremendous tool, both for birders and professional scientists alike.  I’d highly recommend checking out the site on your own, and giving eBird a try.