Wed, Jul 30, 2008 - Page 2 News List

No black-faced spoonbills this summer

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

No black-faced spoonbills have stayed beyond winter on the Tainan County coast this year for the first time in five years, the Wild Bird Society of Tainan said yesterday.

The endangered black-faced spoonbills usually winter in Taiwan before migrating north in late spring, but since 2004 at least two juvenile birds had remained in Taiwan for the entire year, the society said.

This year, eight juvenile birds were last seen in Tainan on May 29 and apparently left together, the group said.

Group members did not know none of the birds remained in Taiwan this year, but discounted environmental factors, saying there had been no change to the county’s coastal environment.

The society has also never been able to fully explain why some birds spent the summer in Taiwan.

Members have speculated that some juvenile birds had stayed behind because they did not need to breed and therefore did not need to return to the birds’ breeding habitats on the border between North and South Korea.

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