TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A missing Far Eastern curlew from Australia has been spotted in southern Taiwan following a desperate search for the endangered shorebird.
The avian, tracked by a research team from the University of Queensland using a GPS device, traveled all the way from Australia to Taiwan in an over 6,000-km journey that ended March 22. A search mission was launched at the request of Australian scientists to check on the bird, reported CNA.
GPS data suggests it arrived in Kaohsiung before flying to Tainan, as local bird enthusiasts rushed to the southern city in search of the curlew. A resident surnamed Li (李) managed to locate it at the Xuejia wetlands on Sunday (March 28), and pictures indicate it was in good condition.
Alerted, the vigilant Far Eastern curlew flew away from the wetlands minutes after the photos were taken, according to Li.
Sightings of Far Eastern curlews have been rare in Taiwan, said Chiu Jen-wu (邱仁武), honorary president of the Tainan Ecological Conservation Association. He believes the migratory shorebird could make a short stop in Taiwan before it heads for northeastern China or Siberia for breeding.
The Far Eastern curlew is the largest curlew at 60-66 cm long and has a long bill up to 20-cm in length. The avians spend winter in coastal Australia and New Zealand as well as Southeast Asian countries.
Missing Far Eastern curlew found in Tainan. (CNA photo)