Borneo Birds Identification & Where to See Them

Welcome, ornithologists and other bird enthusiasts, to our Adventures in Borneo – Borneo Birds Photo Collection & Identification Page. Through our many travels and explorations in Borneo, we present to you our images of all the interesting and remarkable birds we have encountered over the past years. From the frequently spotted to the rarely seen, discover a variety of species of birds on this page and learn more about each of them with the descriptions we have provided on each individual album page.

To know the birds on this page is to know Borneo. Borneo is the third largest island in the world. It is split between three countries – Brunei Darussalam, the states Sabah and Sarawak of Malaysia and Kalimantan of Indonesia. Within its vast area, Borneo is home to more than 600 species of birds. More than 300 species are typical of the tropical evergreen rainforest that in prehistory covered the island and today is still one of the major habitat types.

There are various locations in Borneo where bird enthusiasts can embark on their birding tours. Among the habitats worth mentioning are montane forests, peat-swamp and heath-like forests, lowland forest, rivers and lakes. Montane forests of Borneo are cooler, damper, more stunted, mossy and shrouded in mist because of the increasing altitude. The amazing species of birds you can find in this environment is abundant, such as Indigo Flycatcher, Short-tailed Magpie and the endemic Bornean Mountain Whistler which can be spotted at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Kinabalu Park. Our Kinabalu Park Day Trip and 2D/1N Hiking Kinabalu Park trip can be uniquely tailored for birding with our sharp eyed and highly experienced senior birding guide Jason.

Known to be a habitat with a rich bird community, the lowland forest of Borneo holds the most bird species. Birders can expect to see a variety of broadbills, pittas, kingfishers, birds of prey and more including the endemic White Crown Shama and our national bird the Rhinoceros Hornbill which can be spotted in Sabah’s largest wildlife reserve in Tabin. Tabin Wildlife Reserve is ideal for birding due to the abundant light of the secondary forest. The enchanting 130 million year old rainforest, Danum Valley in Sabah is where birders can spot endemic species such as the Bornean Wren-Babbler and Dusky Mania. Another excellent location for bird watching in Borneo are rivers and lakes. Where the banks of the rivers remain forested, they can be important for birds such as Oriental Darters and the rare Storm’s Stork. In Sabah, Kinabatangan River has one of the world’s richest ecosystem. The world’s smallest raptor, Bornean White Fronted Falconet which is also endemic and restricted to Sabah, can be spotted at this river. We offer specialised birding packages to all the above mentioned locations.

All our Borneo Birds were photographed in the wild by Richard Swann, our Managing Director and wildlife enthusiast. They can be seen in any one of our wildlife programs in Borneo, and we can take you there! Book our wildlife and birding tours instantly online. All you have to do is visit our Wildlife Tours page, select the program that interests you and have your place confirmed efficiently. For customised multi-location trips you can also speak to our Travel Centre team and let them plan a specialised package for you by contacting them at (+6) 012 866 1935 or info@DownbelowAdventures.com.

White Chester Babbler

Babblers & Relatives

Tropical birds that are diverse in size and coloration, characterised by soft fluffy plumage.

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Barbets & Woodpeckers

Though from different family, Barbets and Woodpeckers are members of the Piciformes order.

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Bee-eaters

Bee-eaters are vibrantly coloured insectivorous birds with a large head and a long downcurved bill, typically having long central tail feathers.

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Broadbills

A small, colourful bird of the Old World tropics, with a stocky body, a large head, and a flattened bill with a wide gape.

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Bulbul

A tropical Asian songbird, typically having a crest, drab plumage, and a melodious voice.

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Crows

The Corvidae family includes crows, jays, ravens and magpies.

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Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker

Flowerpecker

A very small songbird with a short bill and tail, feeding chiefly on insects in flowers and found in Australasia and South East Asia.

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Asian Paradise Flycatcher

Flycatchers & Whistlers

A flycatcher is a perching bird that catches flying insects, especially in short flights from a perch. A whistler is a robust songbird with a strong and typically hooked bill and a loud melodious call.

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Sunda Frogmouth

Frogmouths

A frogmouth is a nocturnal bird resembling a nightjar.

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Gamebirds

Birds of a large group that included pheasants, grouse, quails, guinea fowl, and more.

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Gulls, Terns & Waders

Charadriiformes is a diverse order of small to medium-large birds. They include the gulls, terns and waders.

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Great Egret

Herons, Storks, Darters

Long-necked birds typically found in fresh water where they hunt their food.

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Hornbill

A medium to large tropical Old World bird, having a very large curved bill that typically has a casque.

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Kingfisher

Kingfishers are small to medium-sized birds brightly coloured birds. Most species are found in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Oceania.

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Large Woodshrike

Leafbirds & Shrikes

Leafbirds occur over a wide range in south and southeastern Asia, specifically the Greater Sunda Island and India. A shrike is a songbird with a strong sharply hooked bill, often impaling its prey of small birds, lizards, and insects on thorns.

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Pittas

A small ground-dwelling bird with brightly coloured plumage and a very short tail found in the Old World tropics.

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White Breasted Waterhen

Rails & Allies

A secretive bird with drab grey and brown plumage, typically having a long bill and found in dense waterside vegetation.

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Crested Serpent Eagle

Raptors & Owls

Raptors and owls are birds of prey that feeds on animal flesh, distinguished by a hooked bill and sharp talons.

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Sparrows & Munias

Sparrows and munias are small birds each with their own interesting & distinctive features.

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Hill Myna

Starlings & Mynas

Gregarious Old World songbird with a straight bill, typically with dark lustrous or iridescent plumage but sometimes brightly coloured.

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Crimson Sunbird

Sunbirds & Spiderhunters

Sunbirds and spiderhunters are nectar-feeding birds and both have a distinct long downcurved bill.

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Swallows

A migratory swift-flying songbird with a forked tail and long pointed wings, feeding on insects in flight.

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Chestnut Capped Laughing Thrush

Thrushes & Relatives

A small or medium-sized songbird, typically having a brown back, spotted breast, and loud song.

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Spangled Drongo

Trogons & Drongos

A trogon is a bird of tropical forests, with a long tail and brilliantly coloured plumage. A drongo is a songbird with glossy black plumage and typically a long forked tail and a crest, found in Africa, southern Asia, and Australia.

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Warblers

Small birds which have brown, grey, or greenish plumage, some having brighter colours.

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