Montane birds are regularly exposed to extreme weather variations. Taiwan’s subtropical montane avifauna has many endemic species which are regularly exposed to large weather fluctuations. From 2010 to 2013, we conducted monthly censuses to study the influence of monthly weather variations on species richness and bird density of a montane bird community (> 3000 m a. s. l.) in Shei-Pa National Park. Censuses were conducted along a trail which traverses four distinct habitats with increasing altitude: bush forest ecotone, post-fire grassland, conifer forest, and rocky bushland. The highly variable weather corresponded with large fluctuations in the bird community. We found that lower temperatures had a negative effect on species richness and bird density, and this effect was strongest in the highest elevation habitat, the rocky bushland. Rainfall was positively correlated with bird density, but only explained 15% of the variation, while the effects of wind speed were inconsistent and small. This is the first study to demonstrate such weather effects in Taiwan and probably East Asia. We briefly discuss adaptations to harsh weather conditions in birds, which might be a profitable future research field for montane birds in Taiwan.
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