Birding in Taiwan: 2. Black-necklaced Scimitar-babbler

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“The only other scimitar-babbler in Taiwan is also an endemic bird. Not uncommon but more often heard then seen well. We were fortunate that Richard Foster spotted one in the early morning, calling out responsively and it was located in some under growth that was just below us. In my excitement, I zoomed right in and images were a little less sharp due to the lighting.

“This is the bigger Black-laced Scimitar-babbler (Pomatorhinus erythrocnemis) with a longer down-curved beak. Although I only saw one bird, I had extended views of it. Descriptions of this bird need to be improved as the colours are much richer and varied than described.

“There are delightful, bright chestnut strips at the tip of the forehead, just anterior to the eyes. Another small chestnut patch above the black moustachial stripe, at the base of the bill. The peri-orbital skin and feather are bluish anteriorly and posteriorly. There is also a bluish tint to the ear coverts and malar region when seen in good light (seen in some images even without any processing). The striking feature is the one that it is named after, the large black stripes in the neck extending to the upper breast that stand out against the white background. There is a nice rufous to rufous-brown on the mantel, wings and tail. The iris is much lighter than described, a pale yellow. All in all a magnificent bird. Will post calls later.

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
21st December 2014

Location: Shihmen Reservoir, Longtan Town, Taoyuan County, Taiwan
Habitat: Secondary growth around the Shihmen Reservoir

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