Birding in Taiwan: 5. The Emperor of Dasyueshan, Mikado Pheasant

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“There are two endemic pheasants in Taiwan, the Mikado Pheasant (Syrmaticus Mikado) (above) and the Swinhoe’s Pheasant (Lophura swinhoii).

“Both serve as icons for bird splendour and bird watching in the country. The Mikado Pheasant is displayed on the 1000 Taiwan dollar currency note (above). Both pheasants are relatively easy to see in the Dasyueshan National Forest if you are willing to be patient.

“The Mikado Pheasant is also known as an Emperor Pheasant; the word ‘mikado’ mean ‘emperor’. And the bird is truly regal. I found this pheasant more ‘enchanting’ than the Swinhoe’s which many photographers wait patiently to image. Above shows the royal family.

“Note that I took two images in succession, one focused on male (above) and the other on the female (below) and merged them to allow both birds to be sharp in the image.

“The images shared here were taken on a wet and misty morning, the ideal conditions for the Mikado Pheasant. I ignored lens damage in my excitement to view these magnificent birds. I will not describe the birds and let the images speak for themselves, but I will say that the female’s plumage was as mesmerizing as the male’s.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
19th December 2014

Location: Dasyueshan National Forest Recreation Area, Heping District, Taiwan
Habitat: 2400 meter ASL, forested region

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