Tens of thousands of migrating birds of prey have filled the sky above Kenting (墾丁) in recent days as the winter migration approaches its annual peak, Kenting National Park officials said in a press release yesterday.
Chinese sparrowhawks have drawn particular attention from local bird watchers and Malaysian researchers at the park in Pingtung County these past few days, the officials said.
More than 100,000 birds of prey fly over Kenting every fall, making the area one of the world’s top 20 places to view the birds. Staff member Tsai Yi-jung (蔡乙榮) said that over the past 20 years, the record for a single season was about 221,000.
A professor and two graduate students from Universiti Sains Malaysia are currently conducting a month-long study in the park with a research team led by the park’s headquarters and two local universities.
They witnessed almost 20,000 Chinese sparrowhawks soaring overhead on Wednesday, the largest daily “hawk stream “ so far this season, which has seen nearly 45,000 birds fly over southern Taiwan from the Korean Peninsula.
The best time to watch the birds’ winter migration to the Philippines is in mid to late-September, a park official said.