A picture book and book of photographs featuring a young Siberian white crane that arrived in a northern Taiwan wetland in December last year are to be launched next month to mark the first anniversary of the presence of the rare bird.
The white crane, about two years old, flew into the Cingshuei Wetlands (清水溼地) in New Taipei City’s Jinshan District (金山) on Dec. 13 last year and has survived two powerful typhoons over the past year.
The presence of the bird — a species that is in danger of extinction — immediately drew attention, as it was the first time in recent memory that a Siberian crane had landed in the nation.
In addition to surviving attacks by hawks and stray dogs, the crane has had to deal with the unintentional intrusion of a television crew that was shooting a scene for a drama, which included an ambulance with a siren that scared the bird into flight.
The bird is growing well in its habitat in Jinshan. It is not shy of strangers and is said to have interacted with local farmers and visitors.
The Taiwanese Ecological Engineering Development Foundation is to publish a children’s book of paintings of the white crane passing lotus ponds and interacting with people, with the aim of instilling the concept of nature conservation in young people.
Foundation deputy chief executive officer Chiu Ming-yuan (邱銘源) said that while Jinshan is a gateway to other nations for migratory birds, it should play a more important role than just acting as a stopover site for such birds.
The New Taipei City Government should develop the district into a suitable habitat for migratory birds during periods when farmland there is left fallow, Chiu added.
The foundation plans to publish a book of photographs depicting the journey of the Siberian white crane and to launch a Jinshan initiative aimed at calling on bird lovers to give the crane a safe haven.
The crane is a member of the Gruidae family that lives in eastern Russia and migrates to Boyang Lake in central China for the winter.
However, its usual overwintering habitat has been damaged as a result of the construction of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River.
The young bird, which apparently lost contact with its flock, has become an attraction because of its graceful dance-like movements as it sunbathes, sleeps, stretches its wings, flies and splashes in pools of water, experts said.
The social media buzz surrounding the crane has also caught the attention of Russian and Japanese birdwatchers, who come to Taiwan to see it, Chiu said.
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