A Taiwan blue pheasant has prompted a large international meeting of over 2,000 experts to be held in Taiwan!
When Peter Ward, a Canadian birdwatcher, came to Taiwan to watch birds six years ago, he happened to see a Taiwan blue pheasant, which is unique to Taiwan. Ward was attracted by the bird’s beautiful blue plumage and fell in love with Taiwan’s ecology. He strongly recommended Taiwan to his wife Rabab K Ward, with the result that the IEEE Signal Processing Society is currently holding its annual meeting in Taipei, beginning last Sunday and closing tomorrow. Ecological travel has not only increased Taiwan’s international visibility, it also brings in money. With each person expected to stay for four or five days, this would bring business worth at least NT$100 million.
Ward, who has been a birdwatcher for 47 years, is an adjunct professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of British Columbia. When he visited Taiwan in 2003, he had to leave the group when nature called at the Hsuehshan Forest Road. He was dazzled when he happened to see a Taiwan blue pheasant. In 2004, when Rabab served as vice chair of the IEEE Signal Processing Society she was racking her brain on where to hold the association’s annual meeting in 2009. Ward lobbied his wife, prompting the meeting to be held in Taipei.
Simon Liao, chairman of Taiwan International Birding Association, says that as everyone is concerned about the number of Chinese tourists traveling to Taiwan, they are neglecting other kinds of international tourism. Birdwatching and other kinds of ecological tourism may be a small market, but Taiwan’s bird ecology is among the best in the world, and it could increase the market for conference tourism.
Jeanette: You won’t believe what happened to me today!
Braydon: What happened?
Jeanette: I was birdwatching at the park when I spotted an extremely rare pigeon.
Braydon: That’s really...exciting.
Jeanette: Yes, I know. That kind of pigeon is spotted once in a blue moon. I feel privileged to have seen it.
Braydon: Did you manage to take a picture?
Jeanette: Yes, and I can’t wait to show the other twitchers!
once in a blue moon 千載難逢
Something that happens once in a blue moon seldom happens. For example, “We’re lucky if Bill visits us once in a blue moon.”
用「once in a blue moon」來形容某事發生的機會，就表示這件事難得發生。例如：「比爾鮮少來訪，如果他來，我們真是幸運」。
Liao says birdwatching in Taiwan is becoming internationally renowned, and that in addition, many foreign birdwatchers are lawyers, teachers, accountants and other professions commanding high incomes. They may return to Taiwan or recommend it to friends and family, and that would be the best kind of promotion Taiwanese tourism could get.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Perry Svensson)