Borneo has a rich and varied fauna, with over 620 species of bird recorded and many of these are endemic. Borneo is one of the world's top destinations for birdwatching.
Hornbills are found throughout tropical Asia and Africa from dense primary forest to dry open savanna; their large size, extravagant bills and impressive vocalization make them instantly recognizable. The most spectacular species on Borneo is the Rhinoceros Hornbill growing up to 122 cm; for the Dayak people, this large bird represents their war god, Singalang Burong; nowadays it is the emblem of Sarawak, although is not endemic, also occurring in Sumatra, Java and Peninsula Malaysia. Similarly spectacular is the Helmeted Hornbill; it is found in the Malay peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo. Two similar species are the Wrinkled Hornbill and Wreathed Hornbill, both of which feed heavily on fruit; and often congregate in the top of very tall trees. In Borneo there are eight indigenous hornbill, the four previously mentioned, together with the Bushy Crested Hornbill Oriental Pied Hornbill, White Crowned Hornbill and Asia Black Hornbill. Places to visit: Kinabatangan River Sanctuary, Tabin Wildlife Reserve and Danum Valley.
Pittas are medium seized by passerine standard with brilliant plumage and exquisite beauty; they have become the birdwatching equivalent of precious gems. Mainly found in humid forests types of South-East Asia and Australasia, although a couple of species live in Africa. Nine species are found in Borneo and three of these are endemic. Danum Valley is one of the richest sites and is home to the endemic Blue-headed Pitta, plus others more widespread species, the Giant Pitta, Hooded Pitta and Banded Pitta. The Blue-Banded Pitta prefers higher altitude forests, especially where bamboo is common, it is known from scattered localities as Mount Kinabalu, Kelabit Highlands and Gunung Mulu National Park. Garnet Pitta is widespread, and is also found on Thailand, Peninsula Malaysia and Sumatra. Fairy Pitta and Blue Winged Pitta are migratory and only come to Borneo outside their breeding season.
The Pheasants are forest floor dwellers; the Crested Fireback is a medium-seized up to 70 cm long with a peacock-like dark crest, bluish black plumage, reddish brown rump, black outer tail feathers, red iris and bare blue facial skin. It may be encountered in lowland forests either singly or in small flocks. The Great Argus is a brown-plumaged pheasant with a small blue head and neck, rufous red upper breast, a black hair-like feather on crown and nape, and red legs. The male is among the largest of all pheasants, with up to 2m in length. It is relatively common inhabitant of lowland and lower elevation montane rainforests. Smaller, but not less impressive is the endemic Bulwer's Pheasants a shy and patchily distributed species that occurs only in sub-montane forests. Males are black-plumaged with a maroon breast, crimson legs, a pure white tail of long, curved feathers, and bright blue facial skin with two wattles that conceal the sides of its head.
The Frogmouths are a group of nocturnal birds found throughout South-East Asia; these groups of birds are rarely seen because of their perfect camouflage and unusual habits. They are named for their large flattened hooked bills and huge frog-like gape, which they use to take insects.
A good number of species can be seen during a forest walk in Borneo; forests edges in particular offer good birding. Around the park headquarters In Mount Kinabalu can be spotted mixed flocks include Chestnuts-capped Laughing Thrushes, Hair-crested Drongons, Short-tailed Green Magpies, Bornean Treepies and Mountain Barbets. Whenever there are flowers blooming, smaller species such as sunbirds, flowerpeckers and Mountain Tailorbirds often congregate, and Indigo Flycatchers sally out from branches just beneath, a male White-throated Fantail might perform a flitting dance routine. Danum Valley offers a window into the world of same of the commoner bird species of lowland forests; Black-Red Broadbill, Black-Yellow Broadbill and Grey-breasted Spiderhunter.
|ENDEMIC BIRD SPECIES||LOCATIONS|
|Black Oriole||Highlands. Kelabit Highlands|
|Black-and-Crimson Pitta||Lowlands. Sepilok, Kinabatangan River Sanctuary, Danum Valley|
|Black-sided Flowerpecker||Highlands. Mount Kinabalu, Crocker Range, Kelabit Highlands, Gunung Mulu National Park|
|Black-Throated Wrenbabbler||Lowlands. Sepilok, Kinabatangan River Sanctuary|
|Blue-banded Pitta||Highlands. Mount Kinabalu, Crocker Range, Kelabit Highlands, Gunung Mulu National Park|
|Blue-headed Pitta||Lowlands. Kinabatangan River Sanctuary , Danum Valley|
|Bornean Barbet||Highlands. Mount Kinabalu, Crocker Range, Gunung Mulu National Park|
|Bornean Blue Flycatcher||Lowland/Highlands. All over Borneo|
|Bornean Bristlehead||Lowlands. Sepilok, Danum Valley, Lambir and Kutai|
|Bornean Ground Cuckoo||Lowlands Rare|
|Bornean Peacock Pheasant||Lowlands. Sabah, but extremely rare|
|Bornean Stubtail||Highlands. Mount Kinabalu, Crocker Range, Kelabit Highlands, Gunung Mulu National Park|
|Bornean Treepie||Highlands. North and Central Mountain range|
|Bornean Whistler||Highlands. Mount Kinabalu, Crocker Range, Kelabit Highlands, Gunung Mulu National Park|
|Bornean Wren-Babler||Lowlands. Gunung Mulu National Park, Batang Ai, Sepilok, Kinabatangan River Sanctuary, Danum Valley|
|Bulwer's Pheasant||Highlands. Crocker Range, Tenom and Danum Valley|
|Chestnut-crested Yuhina||Highlands. Mount Kinabalu, Crocker Range, Kelabit Highlands, Gunung Mulu National Park|
|Crimson-Headed Partridge||Highlands. Mount Kinabalu, Tenom, Kelabit Highlands, Gunung Mulu National Park|
|Dulit Frogmouth||Highlands. Mount Kinabalu, Crocker Range, Kelabit Highlands, Gunung Mulu National Park|
|Dulit Partridge||Highlands. Mount Kinabalu, Tenom, Kelabit Highlands, Gunung Mulu National Park|
|Dusky Munia||Lowlands. Open country|
|Everett's Thrush||Highlands. Mount Kinabalu, Crocker Range, Kelabit Highlands, Gunung Mulu National Park|
|Friendly Bush Warbler||Highlands. Mount Kinabalu|
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