Name: White-eared Thrush (白耳畫眉)
Scientific name: Heterophasia auricularis
Conservation status: Non-endangered; an endemic species of Taiwan.
Morphological features: Also known as the white-eared Wren-Babbler, the bird is omnivorous. Male and female birds are of the same shape. The bird has black metallic luster from its forehead to the back of its head but a white liner across its eyes. Its back is in gray while its abdomen is in chestnut brown. It beak is black in color while its tarsal toes are in light brown.
Ecology: The bird usually appears alone but may be seen in a group of 3 to 5, sometimes.
Distribution: It is often seen in Daxueshan areas.
Singing in a melody like "hui hui hui ... you”, the bird has a unique voice. It is thus nicknamed as "the forest singer”. When its fresh and sweet sounds linger in the mountains, residents of Taichung can always enjoy an elegant and culture-rich atmosphere. However, when the bird feels disturbed or threatened by natural enemies, it will issue different calls sounding like "de de de, de, de …” to alert its companions. This behavior and the white “goggles” on its eyes make the bird look like a masked knight, symbolic of the spirit of mutual assistance commonly found in Taichung.