By Yang Yi-min and Sean Lin / Staff reporter, with staff writer
A recent sighting in Yilan of the protected Maroon orioles (Oriolus traillii) has prompted birdwatchers to stake out the site against poachers.
With the news that a family of orioles was nesting in a pomelo tree in Renshan Parking Lot in Yilan County’s Dongshan Township (冬山), bird-lovers rushed to the site with cameras.
They took shifts standing guard over the rare visitors.
According to Yilan Photography Society chairperson Lee Lung-yung (李龍墉) the number of Maroon oriole families in Yilan is decreasing.
In previous sightings, after poachers were tipped off about the location of the rare birds, they stole the fledglings even before they were old enough to fly their nests, Lee said.
To prevent a recurrence this time, bird-lovers took shifts from Wednesday to Friday standing guard after dark, before they were able to hire a security firm to take over.
According to Lee, so far this year three Maroon oriole nests have been spotted.
One was vandalized by other birds, forcing the orioles to leave their home, while the other was pushed out of the tree by squirrels.
The fledglings did not survive, despite receiving treatment.