Migratory birds over Pingtung hit record high in 31 years

10/05/2019 09:07 PM
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Photo courtesy of the Kenting National Park Headquarters
Photo courtesy of the Kenting National Park Headquarters

Taipei, Oct. 5 (CNA) More than 250,000 Chinese sparrowhawks have been observed migrating south over the Hengchun Peninsula in Pingtung County this season, the most since records on the birds' movements were first kept 31 years ago.

Every year from September to mid-October, Chinese sparrowhawks and grey-face buzzards cross over Kenting on their way from northeastern Siberia to the Philippines for the winter, according to the Kenting National Park Headquarters on Saturday.

As of Friday, 252,932 of these predatory birds had been sighted crossing over the Sheding Nature Park, one of many popular birdwatching locations in Taiwan, the park headquarters said.

It was the most ever recorded in 31 years, and well above the 214,102 recorded in 2017 and 187,599 recorded in 2018, it said.

(Photo courtesy of Kenting National Park Headquarters)

Kaohsiung Medical University was commissioned by the Kenting National Park Headquarters this year to keep records of the migratory birds, coupled with the assistance provided by observers from the Raptor Research Group of Taiwan.

According to the national park, birdwatchers can now also get to observe the grey-faced buzzard, whose migratory peak will likely take place between Oct.8 - 18.

Grey-faced buzzards usually flock at the break of dawn, which is the best time to observe them, the park said, adding that the birds usually stop in Manjhou Township on their southward migratory path.

(By Huang Huei-min and Ko Lin)


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