Birding in Taiwan

 

 
Art Gallery

Kuo K.K.

Chairman Yuan Yu Industries Ltd

 

Mongolian Plover

John Wei

Gallery 1

Gallery 2

Gallery 3

 

Hank Tseng

 

Ten-Di Wu

The Fairy Pitta in Taiwan, a Photographic Essay

 

Huang Wen-Hsin

 

 

Ong Long-Shin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr.Rob Butler introduces Kuo K .K. (Mandarin)

Taiwan is an Asian Galapagos Islands blessed with hundreds of species of plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth. Like the Galapagos, the uniqueness of nature in Taiwan is the result of long periods of isolation. Taiwan is an island separated from the mainland by the 180 kilometre wide Taiwan Strait. The water barrier prevents many mainland animals and plants from reaching Taiwan and bars many Taiwanese species from leaving the island. Taiwan is also blessed with many different types of habitats. From seashore beaches and lowland forests, to alpine meadows and temperate forests, Taiwan boasts a rich diversity of ecosystems. Plants and animals have responded to the verdant island life by forming new species. 

 

The diverse island world of Taiwan is alive with birds. Over five hundred species been recorded in Taiwan and fifteen are found nowhere else on Earth. The uniquely Taiwanese natural treasures include a magpie, two pheasants, a bush-robin, a flamecrest, liocichla, bulbul, barwing, bush-warbler, partridge, yuhina, sibia, tit and a laughingthrush. Ornithologists refer to these birds as endemic species representing living examples of evolution in action. Their continued survival is dependent in part on whether we care enough to provide them with sufficient places to live.

 

Preserving places for nature in our crowded world is becoming increasingly difficult. Demands on scarce resources by a growing population put pressure to develop lands used by birds. However, Taiwan has responded by setting aside important places for birds and restoring damaged ecosystems where birds and other wildlife will find homes. This is a good thing because birds provide important services as indicators of contamination in our environment and consumers of pests and garbage, among other roles. The air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink all comes from nature. And natural ecosystems depend on a host of plants and animals, including birds, to continue to live, reproduce, eat and die. Without them we will be lost. So it is time to celebrate when a book comes along that aims to make us more appreciative of birds and their environment.

 

For KK Kuo, birds bring happiness and calm to his busy life as the CEO of a large successful company in Taiwan. But it hasn’t always been so. KK Kuo is a man who likes challenges. He brought the Yuan Yu Company from a small import business to the sole importer of Olympus optical equipment in Taiwan. So when he went looking for a new challenge a few years ago, it was the beauty and movement of birds that attracted him most. He challenged himself to capture this beauty and action for all to see using new digital photographic equipment.  The images in this book are the outcome of only a few years of effort.

 

Many of the images in this book are portrayed on the walls of the corporate office of Yuan Yu in Taiwan. They resonate with the clarity, richness of colour, and action of the day these wild birds were photographed. When I first saw the photographs, I knew at an instant that before me was the work of special person. Getting close to birds without disrupting their normal activity takes immense patience and capturing the intimate moments on camera requires great technical skill. Photographing the elusive fairy pitta would be his greatest challenge. In the heat of the day, Mr. Kuo sat motionless for eight hours in a bird blind, not taking a break, waiting to seize the right moment. Friends began to worry for his well being until eventually he emerged with stunning images. He has shot thousands of images of over 200 species to get the pictures for this book. His patience, endurance and perfection now speak through the portraits of birds displayed in this beautiful book.

 

KK Kuo has a large place in his heart for birds. He wonders how anyone would want to hunt birds after watching them feeding young. Outside his sixth floor office in downtown Taipei is a small garden where ten species have nested.  When I asked him what attracted him to birds, he said simply ‘birds are cuter than people”.

 

Robert Butler

Vancouver

前言:

 

台灣就像是亞洲的加拉巴哥羣島, 擁有地球上任何其它地方都找不到的數以百計的動植物, 和加拉巴哥羣島一樣, 台灣優越的天然地理環境得自於長時期的地理隔絕, 它與大陸地區以180公里寬的台灣海峽分隔, 這樣的天然屏障阻隔了許多大陸動植物種的遷入, 同時也阻止了台灣島內動植物的外移 由於台灣本島得天獨厚地棲息著各種不同種類的動植物, 從沙灘、海岸濕地、低地山林到高山草地及溫帶林地, 在在顯示台灣擁有令人引以為傲的豐富自然生態, 回應翠綠島嶼的環境, 動植物在此形成許多新的種類.

 

台灣這個生態豐富的島嶼世界活躍著各種鳥類, 歷史記錄有超過500, 而其中15種在地球是絕無僅有, 屬於台灣特有種 在這個獨特的台灣自然寶庫裏包含了有台灣藍鵲(magpie), 藍腹鷴及黑長尾雉(two pheasants), 台灣山鷓鴣(partridge), 栗背林鴝(bush-robin), 火冠戴菊鳥(flamecrest), 黃胸藪眉(liocichla), 烏頭翁(bulbul), 紋翼畫眉(barwing), 台灣噪眉(laughingthrush), 冠羽畫眉(yuhina), 白耳畫眉(sibia), 黃山雀(tit), 以及台灣叢樹鶯(bush-warbler).  鳥類學家把這些鳥類以行為進化的結果所代表的地方特有的種類作為歸類依據, 牠們的持續生存與否, 在某種程度上有賴於我們人類是否付出充份的關心並提供足夠的地方讓牠們得以生存下去.

 

對大自然的維護在現今日益擁擠的世界變得越來越困難, 日益成長的人口對珍貴資源的需求, 迫使人類去開發原本屬於鳥類棲息的大地 然而, 台灣在這個議題上已表明了要劃設重要的鳥類棲息地, 並恢復已遭破壞的生態系統, 在那裏, 鳥類及其他野生生物將可找到牠們的家. 這是一件好事, 因為鳥類是我們環境污染的指引者, 在其他的角色上還扮演著蟲害以及垃圾的消耗者 我們人類所呼吸的空氣, 所吃的食物以及所喝的水, 皆來自於大自然, 而大自然生態的持續、繁殖、吃喝以及死亡皆仰賴它的主人, 也就是包含鳥類的動物與植物, 沒有牠們, 人類終將消失 所以現在正是頌揚這本以喚起我們對鳥類及生態環境存有更多感激之心為目標的書冊誔生的時候.

 

K.K.Kuo而言, 身為台灣一家頗具規模的成功企業經營者, , 為他繁忙的生活中帶來快樂與沈靜, 然而, 事情並不僅止於此,  K.K.Kuo是一個喜於接受挑戰的人, 他帶領元佑公司從一個小小進口商到成為奧林巴斯光學儀器在台灣的總代理商, 所以當他在前幾年開始找尋新挑戰的時候, 美麗且生動的鳥類抓住了他的心, 他交付給自己的挑戰, 是以嶄新的數位攝影裝置捕捉他所看到的所有絢麗生動的鳥類世界, 這本書裏所摘錄的美麗影像只是短短幾年的努力成果.

 

許多這本書中的影像也展示在台灣元佑總公司的壁廊, 這些野生鳥類以清晰的畫質, 豐富的色彩以及當天被捕捉到的瞬間動作被生動地紀錄在這裏 在我看到這些照片的第一眼, 我的直覺告訴我, 在我面前所呈現的作品出自於一個非常獨特的人 很多人知道, 要接近鳥類而不去干擾到牠們的正常活動需要極大的耐力, 而能捕捉到牠們細微的片刻則要求諸於高超的攝影技巧. 拍攝令人難以捉摸又優雅靈巧的八色鳥是他最大的挑戰.  在炎熱的夏日裏, 郭先生一動也不動地待在悶熱的掩蔽帳裏八小時, 屏氣凝神地等待著捕捉精準的片刻, 當朋友開始擔憂他的健康, 終於他以取得令人激賞的畫面來回應 為了這本書, 他拍攝了超過千張以上的照片, 鳥的種類超過200, 他的耐心耐力與盡善盡美的個性藉由呈現在這本完美的書冊上的眾鳥照片娓娓道來.

 

鳥類在K.K.Kuo的心底佔據著很大的位子, 他不懂為什麼世上會有人在觀察過親鳥們餵食雛鳥的畫面之後還能忍心傷害牠們 在他台北商區總公司的6樓辦公室外有個小空中花園, 在這裏曾有10種鳥類築巢, 當我問他為什麼會被鳥類吸引, 他只是簡單地回答鳥比人可愛多了”.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                      羅伯特巴特勒 博士

                                                                                                    加拿大環境部高級研究員

                                                                                                    前加拿大鳥會理事長

                                                                                                    前世界水鳥學會理事長

                                                                                                    2005年世界水鳥會議主席

                                                                                                    2006年世界海鳥會議主席

                                                                                                   

 

 

 

Kuo K.K. Art Gallery