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Birds

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.

The Hornbills

  

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.

The Pittas

  

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

  

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

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.

Other Species

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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