More Birds in TaiwanIjima’s Leaf-Warbler
ON TAIWAN “Endemic Subspecies of Taiwan birds—first impressions”, by N. J.
Collar, from BirdingASIA
No. 2, December 2004. Presented with permission.
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The male Russet Sparrow (14 cm) is a small bird with a bright cinnamon or chestnut crown and upperparts, black streaking on the mantle, a black throat and lores, dirty whitish cheeks and creamy underparts. The female is brownish above with a blackish eye-stripe, a long creamy supercilium and whitish underparts. The iris is brown and the feet are pinkish. The bill is dark gray in the male and yellow with a dark tip in the female.
The Russet Sparrow frequents upland open forest, woodland and scrub near cultivation. It is usually seen singly or in pairs, and feeds on insects, buds, fruits, seeds and agricultural products.
In Taiwan the Russet Sparrow is an uncommon resident at forest edges from 600-2000 m. Its population has been reduced due to competition from the Eurasian Tree Sparrow and by habitat loss, and is probably less than 1,000 individuals (2005).
References: A Field Guide to the Birds of China (Mackinnon and Phillipps); Guide to Threatened Birds of Taiwan, BirdLife International Red Data Book, 2005 (Woei-horng Fang); 100 Common Birds of Taiwan (Wild Bird