【Geography】The Borders - Chapter 2: Animals’ Air Travel Ⅱ
P.S. 有一隻黑面琵鷺界的獵豹……編號是T37，牠是從台灣標記放飛 ，從南北韓飛到台南的七股只花了6 天。
P.S. Cormorants are also a kind of bird migration from the north when flying, the team sometimes appears Λ or V shape, or a straight line.
How do they fly over 2 thousand kilometers without any luggage?
The breeding places of black-faced Spoonbills are in uninhabited islands between Korean Peninsula and the Bohai Sea or northern areas. These places will be iced and snow while the cold of the north wind blows. Not any food in there so they just fly to warm southern areas for food and survival.
It's time to set off to fly to the south when the north wind is getting stronger.
The leader of black-faced Spoonbills will sound a long bird call to the flock, moreover, the little black-faced ones also fly together which is their first time to spend the winter. A journey of Migratory birds is about to start which will spend 17~20 days and over 2 thousand kilometers distance or more fly. They like to fly at stars night due to safer.
PS. A black-faced Spoonbill which is like a cheetah is number T37, and he is released into the wild from Taiwan which flew to Qigu, Tainan just for 6 days from Korean Peninsula.
Black-faced Spoonbills fly forward like a V shape.
The leader bird needs stronger which has the best of strength and perseverance also has the best memory. The bird takes the lead to fly which can let other partners reduce the air resistance and the energy cost.
The leading bird suffers the most resistance and consumes the most energy, hence when the leader has tired that will slow down the speed and back to behind the team. Another stronger bird will temporarily replace it. The leading bird has a short rest. This team of the flock has an extremely silent understanding of this journey.
It will happen in many situations along the way that sometimes there aren't suitable rest places for several days or must consecutive flying with perseverance in rainy; sometimes watched other partners fell into the bird trapping net; even more the human buildings are a potential crisis to them during the flying journey. Those situations are full of challenges and unknowns on this journey.
This over 2 thousand kilometers travel how to succeed to lead this flock to the home of the winter rely on the leader to complete this incredible survival journey.
Picture is taken from the magazine of Global Kids Junior Monthly in Jan 2011.
The flying routes of black-faced Spoonbills:
The migration route 1：Northeast of China → Bohai Sea → Yellow Sea → Taiwan (Kinmen/ Yunlin/ Chiayi/ Tainan/ Kaohsiung/ Pingtung) → Hong Kong → Macau → Vietnam → Philippines → Cambodia → Thailand
The migration route 2：North Korea → Jeju Island of South Korea → Wajiro Tidal Flats of Fukuoka Prefecture of Japan and Ryukyu Islands → Tamsui and Yilan of Taiwan
Taiwan is the largest overwinter area in the world. Among them, there are about 60% of the world's amount in Taiwan. (Until 2020.) There are 90% of Taiwan's amount based in Zengwen Estuary of Tainan areas at the beginning so that the local had made to establish the Taijiang National Park and other protected areas.
Start around mid-October.
Flocks of Black-faced Spoonbills will arrive one after another at the southwest coast of Taiwan. There is 66% of Taiwan's amount in Tainan among the most important habitats in the world.
The major cluster is in the western part of Taiwan：
Qigu, Sicao areas of Tainan. Secondly are in the Aogu wetland and Budai wetland of Chiayi; Qieding District Kaohsiung, Yongan wetland and Gaoping River Estuary. The clusters are at Ci Lake, Lingshui Lake in Kinmen. ChengLong wetlands and Yiwu wetland in Yunlin.
A few flocks are major clusters at Zhuan of the east part of Yilan.
圖 Picture / Photo
Black-faced Spoonbill profile
Full length：74 ~ 85 cm
Standing height：50 ~ 60 cm
Weight：About 1 ~ 2 kg
The degree of protection：International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources announced as endangered species.
The growth of Black-faced Spoonbills:
The beak of a newborn black-faced Spoonbill is pink. Black-faced Spoonbills will swallow the caught fishes and shrimps into their stomach for digestion which are different from others birds feed directly. Afterward, back to the nest Black-faced Spoonbills open the mouth rumination the half-digested fish and shrimps for the fledges. Fledges will grow up like their parents about 40 days, however, their viability just 30%. Besides, they must watch their backs that are ambushed by Black-tailed gulls, which are also live in the same place and nurture their next generation.
P.S. Some newborn birds have the same menu as their mothers. Their small bodies without opening the eyes can directly swallow whole insects or dragonflies or bees.
For instance, the migrant bird of Kinmen - Blue-tailed bee-eater.
The birds choose a crag where is height over 40 feet to nest site for laying their eggs by squat in a record at an uninhabited island of the offshore of Liaoning Province, Northeast China in late May 2010. This nest had 3 eggs (Generally have 4~6 eggs) and the male bird protected on the site. Through about 23 ~ 25 days of the incubation period, then the eyes will be opened after 3 more days. Throwing the eggs shell into the sea as soon by the male bird for keeping the nest clean, moreover, has helped the newborn birds to dry their bodies by his feathers and temperature.
P.S. Some female birds will chew and eat the eggs shell for supplying calcium nutrition.
For instance, the migrant bird of Kinmen - Blue-tailed bee-eater.
Here are 3 situations for the feathers condition of Black-faced Spoonbills:
There have yellow feathers in the breast and Afro-hair in the head during the reproductive period. (From January to March in every year). They will be mating after about 10 days and laying eggs.
It's time to say goodbye to Taiwan and fly to the North when black-faced Spoonbills have yellow breeding plumage.
A frightened and angry Black-faced Spoonbill will become to have an Afro-hair.
Black-faced Spoonbills's natural enemies roughly have 2 factors:
A. Nature: large Laridaes (EX, European herring gull), Clostridium botulinum, stray dogs, weather, tides.
B. Human: Picking oyster women, tourists, the sound of firecrackers and aircrafts.
The foraging behavior of Black-faced Spoonbills:
Black-faced Spoonbills are a group foraging that eat fishes and shrimps in rivers mouth shoal, wetlands and abandoned fish farms. Major foods are fishes, shrimps, mudskippers, eels, frogs, moreover, they also eat some plants which are like algae, seeds and so on, even insects. In addition, there are some snacks such as fiddler crabs, bivalves, seaweeds, and so on.
Every black-faced Spoonbill has different stripes of the beak which's like human fingerprints covered with sensory nerves. These birds use a tactile method of feeding, wading in the water and sweeping their beaks from side-to-side to detect prey.
Black-faced Spoonbills live with others birds, especially Great egrets, they will follow the Great egrets to fly away while ever anything moving. Their activities are during dusk and night, furthermore, they tuck the head and neck into their body to sleep side by side in a safe place in the day. The habitat has surrounding embankments and tidal ditches to block the nature enemies coming to.
Friendly fish-men in southern.
Fish men dry out the fish farms for exposure to the sun during this time every year after harvest until to next year being water filling again. However, these years they have intended to leave some water in fish farms, where have some little fishes and shrimps. However, these years they have intended to leave some water in fish farms, where have some little fishes and shrimps, for those migrant birds from faraway. For this reason, Black-faced Spoonbills knew it, so they fly over thousands of kilometers to come here every year. Until the next March when the south wind starts to blow, they follow the route of generations to fly back the north. This is travel for a life cycle of new Black-faced Spoonbills.
Nothing exists in itself.
According to speculation, there are original over 10 thousand birds.
It happened the incident of Black-faced Spoonbills were poisoned by Clostridium botulinum in Taiwan at the end of 2002. They maybe ate dead fishes or food, which with Clostridium botulinum (C type).
Black-faced Spoonbills only have left 2346 in the whole global according to the result of The International Black-faced Spoonbill Census in the world in 2010.
The International Black-faced Spoonbill Census in 2020 was announced the result by HKBWS. The global of spend winter of black-faced Spoonbills is 4864 that was a new high for years. More than half of the global black-faced spoonbills spend the winter in Taiwan and the number was 2785, which was also a new high.
The environment of Taiwan also hurt Black-faced Spoonbills a lot once.
Let Black-faced Spoonbills will to go back this land after hard work by kindness fish-men and the authority concerned of the government because of knowing the importance of the ecology. When you have a chance to watch these migrant birds please remember do not to touch or disturb. Observing them from a distance is friendly to them so that they are also willing to travel thousands of miles away from more than 2,000 kilometers every year to stop in this warm, kindly land.
P.S. Black-faced Spoonbill is called by Asia, however, there are Roseate spoonbills which are covered with pink in the Gulf of Mexico of the USA and Central and South America.
We discovered an interesting chain of relationships that leopard cats can save Black-faced Spoonbills.
Human - Leopard cat - Stray dog - Black-faced Spoonbill
Human protects Leopard Cats and Black-faced Spoonbills due to endangered species.
Human feeds stray dogs due to benevolence.
A part of humans protects Leopard Cats and Black-faced Spoonbills.
A part of humans continues feeding stray dogs.
The whole ecology is contradictory after human interference.
Within the food chain, Leopard cats eat Stray dogs, Stray dogs eat Black-faced spoonbills.
More humans and Stray dos the fewer Leopard cats and Black-faced spoonbills that being endangered species.
Such as the food chain is similar to Wolf - Deer - Forest.
Wolf - Deer - Forest
The fewer Wolves and Forests the more Humans and Deers.
The Reason is
Many wolves have been killed leads to plenty of deers. Saplings that do not have enough time to grow up are eaten in forests which causes forests are been much decrease. The human starts to eat venison.
Leopard cat - Stray dog - Black-faced Spoonbill
Leopard cats and Black-faced Spoonbills reduce, but Human and Stray dogs increase.
The Reason is
Leopard cats have been killed so Stray dogs become more in forests without Leopard cats. Strays dogs eat migrant birds apart from are fed by humans which one of the species is endangered Black-faced Spoonbills.
So now, do humans start eating "coconut jelly"? 
The Mandarin pronunciation of "Stray dog" is like "coconut jelly".
【待續 to be continue …】