Taiwan Wren Babbler (Taiwan Cupwing) 

on 25th March 2022

Post 1.

The Taiwan Wren Babbler (Taiwan Cupwing) (Pnoepyga formosana), endemic of high montane forest, is a tiny, fast moving bird, usually in the dark undergrowth; making for challenging observations. Very much like the Malaysian Pygmy Wren-babbler (Pnoepyga pusilla). Handbook of the Birds of the World (2019) describes both a dark and a pale morph (Post 1-3 would be a pale morph) but I am not able to find similar descriptions in other references.

Post 2.

I managed to record the song and an edited recording is here:

Post 3.

Brazil (2009) rightly describes the song has having a first note separated from the rest – this is heard well when you record and play back the song but can be missed in the field. The song comprises 6 notes. The first note that starts off the song is not well seen on the sonogram but clear on the waveform (Post 4). It is followed by a rapid sequence of 5 notes that have both a high frequency and low frequency sound (quite complex). The song last approximately 1 to 1.2 second (but I measured a number of them; Handbook of the Birds of the World says 1.5 seconds). The song is repeated 6-26 seconds apart (spacing 13, 18, 26, 13, 10, 9, 6, 9 seconds on record).

Post 4.

Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Location: Daxueshan National Forest Recreation Area, Taichung City County, Taiwan

Habitat: 1,750-2,500 meter ASL, forested region

Date: 15 & 17th January 2019

Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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