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GALLERIES > BIRDS > PASSERIFORMES > TIMALIIDAE > TAIWAN HWAMEI [Garrulax taewanus]


Taiwan Hwamei Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Taiwan Hwamei (Leucodioptron taewanum, formerly Garrulax taewanus) is a passerine bird in the Old World babbler family, Timaliidae. It is endemic to the island of Taiwan. It was formerly regarded as a subspecies of the Chinese Hwamei (Leucodioptron canorum) but has recently been split as a separate species. It is estimated to have diverged from the Chinese Hwamei about 1.5 million years ago. The two were formerly placed in the genus Garrulax with the other laughingthrushes but have recently been moved to a new genus Leucodioptron.

It is about 24 centimetres long. It is mainly grey-brown with heavy streaks on the crown, nape and back and fine streaks on much of the underparts. It lacks the white eye-markings of the Chinese Hwamei which is also more rufous in colour and less heavily streaked. The whistling song is long, melodious and varied.

It inhabits secondary woodland in the foothills and lower mountains up to 1,200 metres above sea-level. It forages alone, in pairs or in small groups, searching amongst the understorey for insects and seeds.

It has a declining population of 1-10,000 individuals and is classified as a Near Threatened species by Birdlife International. Habitat loss may affect its numbers but the main threat is hybridization with introduced populations of the Chinese Hwamei.





                                     



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