Red-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis amictus ©Laurence Poh Website
Birding Asia

The Fat Birder has seen just a little of the east. I found that Mai Po is glorious; Thailand has huge dense cities and almost pristine National Parks, Malaya still has some great birding forests but they are under great threat from loggers, Sri Lanka’s endemics are sometimes hard to find but the search is through beautiful landscapes and India is rich culturally as well as in terms of its birding spectacle. With a large proportion of the world’s bird families and some wonderfully diverse habitat there should be more to see on the world wide web – over the last few years it has certainly grown as birding, and particularly photographing birds has taken off with some of the very best bird photographers to be found there.

Not only are the birds colourful but there are many Asian photographers and artists who have captured these glories and a few images appear on these pages.

Asia has very marked differences in attitudes towards the wild world in general and birds in particular. The caged-bird trade devastates local wild populations in, in particular, Indo-China. On the other hand Hindu reverence for ALL wild animals means that birds are still densely packed and widespread in India. China’s massive population and intensive agriculture has impacted on the Avifauna and habitat destruction is rife just about everywhere. Even where there are large national parks and reverence for wildlife poachers can decimate populations and bring them to the brink of extinction as is happening with Bengal Tigers and less ‘loveable’ species like pangolins… much of it to feed ‘traditional’ medicine practiced in China. Growth of protection societies has been slow but does make a difference, especially where the green tourist dollar supports local economies. Forests making way for monoculture palm plantations, the adoption of western agricultural techniques and even the over use of antibiotics and inflammatories on animals can almost wipe out whole species before anyone even notices their impact.

This page is sponsored by Rockjumper Birding Tours

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 3753

    (According to Clements January 2019) - This is roughly 38% of the world total.

  • iGoTerra Checklist of the Indian Ocean

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Useful Reading

  • A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Southeast Asia

    | (Including the Philippines and Borneo) | By Morton Strange | Periplus Editions | 2014 | paperback | 398 pages, col photos, maps | ISBN: 9780804844512 Buy this book from
  • Birds Of South-East Asia

    | By Craig Robson | Christopher Helm | Edition 2 | 2014 | Paperback | 544 pages, 120 plates with 3600+ colour illustrations; 3 b/w illustrations, 1 colour & 1 b/w map | ISBN: 9781472916693 Buy this book from
  • Birds of Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan

    | by Raffael Ayé, Manuel Schweizer & Tobias Roth | Christopher Helm | Oct 2012 | Paperback | 336 pages, 141 plates with colour illustrations; 14 colour photos, 5 b/w illustrations, 3 colour maps, colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9780713670387 Buy this book from
  • Birds of East Asia

    | By Mark Brazil | Christopher Helm | 2009 | Paperback | 528 pages, 234 colour plates, colour distribution maps, b/w illustrations | ISBN: 9780713670400 Buy this book from
  • Birds of South Asia. The Ripley Guide

    | By Pamela C Rasmussen & John C Anderton | Lynx Edicions | Edition 2 | 2012 | Paperback | 2 Volume Set | 1067 pages, 180 colour plates, 1450 colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9788496553859 Buy this book from
  • Birds of South-East Asia: Concise Edition

    | By Craig Robson | Bloomsbury Publishing | 2015 | Paperback | 304 pages, 142 plates with colour illustrations; 3 b/w line drawings | ISBN: 9781472924230 Buy this book from
  • Birds of the Indian Ocean Islands

    | (Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, Rodrigues, Seychelles and the Comoros) | By Ian Sinclair & Olivier Langrand | New Holland Publishers | 2013 | Edition: 2 | | Paperback | 264 pages, 71 plates with 1160 colour illustrations; colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9781431700851 Buy this book from
  • Collins Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia

    | By Norman Arlott | William Collins (Harper Collins imprint) | 2017 | Hardback | 432 pages, 178 plates with colour illustrations; colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9780007429547 Buy this book from
  • Important Bird Areas in Asia

    | (Key Sites for Conservation| By S Chan, MJ Crosby, MZ Islam & AW Tordoff | BirdLife International | 2004 | Paperback | 297 pages, Col photos, tabs, maps, figs | ISBN: 9780946888542 Buy this book from
  • The 125 Best Bird Watching Sites in Southeast Asia

    | By Yong Ding Li & Low Bing Wen | John Beaufoy Publishing | 2018 | Paperback | 404 Pages | 1,000 photographs + 125 location maps | ISBN: 9781912081523 Buy this book from
  • Threatened Birds of Asia (2 Volume Set)

    | The BirdLife International Red Data Book - Edited by NJ Collar, AV Andreev, S Chan, MJ Crosby, S Subramanya and JA Tobias Series: THREATENED BIRDS OF ASIA 3038 pages, line illus, distribution maps (2 Volume Set). BirdLife International Distributed by NHBS ISBN: 0946888442 Buy this book from
Birding Aps
  • *Individual Country Bird Apps

    See Individual country pages for apps relating to that country

  • BirdLife Asia

    The BirdLife Asia Partnership currently consists of 13 national grassroots conservation NGOs, plus BirdLife in Indochina, which is active in a further three countries. In China, the BirdLife Asia Partnership promotes the formation of bird clubs in many cities and provinces, and also works with government, schools and communities.
  • Oriental Bird Club

    Over 300 Oriental bird species are considered by BirdLife International as threatened by forest destruction, wetland drainage, hunting and trade. Conservation of these species is often hampered by a lack of knowledge. Oriental Bird Club supports conservation work in the Oriental region by encouraging studies of birds and their habitats.
  • Sanctuary Asia

    Sanctuary Asia, India's leading wildlife, conservation and environment magazine, was started by editor Bittu Sahgal in 1981 to raise awareness among Indians of their disappearing natural heritage.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Bird Tour Asia

    Tour Operator
    Birdtour Asia are specialists in Asian birding tours, offering organised and tailor-made travel throughout the region. Our tours are planned to optimise the birding opportunities at each site visited concentrating on the most enigmatic, localized and hard to find species. By allowing time for comprehensive coverage we will give ourselves the best realistic chance of locating these speciality birds of the region. We aim to offer the best possible bird-tour experience through a combination of small group sizes, experienced and knowledgeable leaders, a friendly and relaxed atmosphere and of course some of the finest birding in the world…
  • Birdtours 2 Asia

    Tour Operator
    We offer quality guided birding tours but at the same time provide the independent traveller with real value information. To form this perfect venture has only been possible thanks to the knowledge of the region by our dedicated team. We hope to see you soon and in the mean time enjoy the information or dream about your upcoming birding tour!
  • KingBird Tours

    Tour Operator
    Since 1980 KingBird Tours has been the premier company specializing in Asian birding tours. Renowned ornithologist, Ben King, author of, A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia, Collins,(1975); designs all tours to offer comprehensive coverage of the areas visited. Small groups and expert leadership insure seeing as many birds as possible, especially endemics, in each Asian destination.
Trip Reports

Click on WAND to see Fatbirder’s Trip Report Repository…

  • 2013 [09 September] - Birding Ecotours

    PDF Report
    This seven-week tour took us to some of Southeast Asia’s most amazing birding spots, where we racked up some mega targets, saw some amazing scenery, ate some lovely cuisine, and generally had a great time birding. Among some of the fantastic birds we saw were 11 species of pitta, including the endemic Ivory-breasted and Blue-banded Pittas, 27 species of night birds, including the incomparable Satanic Nightjar, Blyth’s, Sunda and Large Frogmouths, and Moluccan Owlet-Nightjar, 14 species of cuckooshrikes, 15 species of kingfishers, and some magical gallinaceous birds like Mountain Peacock- Pheasant, Crested Fireback, and the booming chorus of Argus Pheasant. 13 species of Hornbills were seen, including great looks at Helmeted, White-crowned, Plain-pouched, and Sulawesi. Overall we saw 134 endemic species.
Other Links
  • Sibagu - Bird Names in Oriental Languages

    "Sibagu" is the Classical Mongolian word for "bird". The site is devoted to bird names in different languages of Asia

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

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