Sarawak & Sabah

Whitehead's Trogon Harpactes whiteheadi ©Chris Lotz Website

The island of Borneo is shared by the independent country of Brunei, four Indonesian provinces and two Malaysian states, Sarawak and Sabah. Sarawak is known as Bumi Kenyalang, meaning ‘Land of the Hornbills’. It is situated on the north-west of the island. It is the largest state in Malaysia; the second largest, Sabah, lies to the northeast. The administrative capital is Kuchin. Having land area of nearly 125,000 km² between latitude 0° 50′ and 5°N and longitude 109° 36′ and 115° 40′ E, it makes up 37.5% of the land of Malaysia. Sarawak also contains large tracts of tropical rain forest home to an abundance of plant and animal species.

Sarawak can be divided into three natural regions. The coastal region is rather low-lying flat country with large extents of swamps and other wet environments. The hill region provides most of the easily inhabited land. Most of the larger cities and towns have been built in this region. As the swamps make up much of the coast, the ports of Kuching and Sibu have been built some distance from the coast on rivers, while Bintulu and Miri are close to the coast at the only places that the hills stretch right to the China Sea. The third region is the mountain region along the border and with the Kelabit and Murut highlands in the north.

Birding Malaysian Borneo

Sarawak – The state stretches for some 750 km along the north east coastline of Borneo, interrupted in the north by about 150 km of Brunei coast. Sarawak is separated from the Indonesian part of Borneo (Kalimantan) by ranges of high hills and mountains that are part of the central mountain range of Borneo. These get higher to the north and culminate near the source of the Baram River with the steep Mount Batu Lawi, Mount Mulu in the Park of the same name and Mount Murud with the highest peak in Sarawak.

The major rivers from the south to the north include Sarawak River, the Lupar River, the Saribas River, the Rajang River (at 563 km the longest river in Malaysia) with the Baleh River branch, the Baram River, the Limbang River that drains into the Brunei Bay as it divides the two parts of Brunei and the Trusan River that also flows into the Brunei Bay.

Sarawak features vast areas of both lowland and highland rainforest. However, Sarawak has been hit hard by the logging industry and the expansion of monoculture tree plantations and oil palm plantations. Malaysia’s deforestation rate is increasing faster than anywhere else in the world. Statistics estimate Sarawak’s primary forest has been depleted by around 90%.

Sabah – Sabah, located in north Borneo, is superb for birders searching for montane Bornean endemic such as Whitehead’s Spiderhunter, Whitehead’s Trogon and Whitehead’s Broadbill in Kinabalu National Park. The view of Mount Kinabalu, highest mountain in Malaysia is amazing. Looking for endangered species at kinabatangan river, the longest river in Sabah is a must, with such species as Storm’s Stork, Lesser Adjutant and the elusive Bornean Ground-cuckoo. Other wildlife that inhabit this area includes the Bornean Pygmy Elephant, Proboscis Monkey and Orang Utan.

Dipterocarp Forest at Danum Valley (14161239626)

In the south east of Sabah lies another birding hot spot; Danum Valley Forest Reserve, which is famed for its lowland rainforest that is a must-visit place for birders. A walk around the nature trails would yield the secrets of the forest such as Blue-headed Pitta, and Black and Crimson Pitta, the legendary Bornean Bristlehead as well the shy Black-throated Wren-babbler.

Other birding areas in Sabah include:

Tambunan Rafflesia Centre – this is excellent for Bornean Bulbul, Bornean and Mountain Barbet together with Black-breasted Fruit Hunter, which is uncommon at Kinabalu National Park, but can be seen here.

Kota Belud Paddyfield – This huge area of paddy field in Sabah is an interesting place to visit where water birds and raptors from north Asia spend their winter, which here is during the migratory season from September until April such as Grey-headed lapwing. Other species found there include Buff-banded Rail.

To properly cover the special birds of Sabah 2 to 3 weeks birding is recommended, which would cover different zones of vegetation from montane to riverine and lowland rainforest. Access is easy with good places to stay, fantastic food and friendly peoples who will make your birding trip such a unique experience.

This page is sponsored by Birding Ecotours

  • Sabah: Jason Bugay Reyes

    Kota Kinabalu, Sabah |

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 690

    (As at May 2024 for the whole of Borneo)
  • Number of endemics: 60 (Borneo as a whole)

    There are 60 birds endemic to the island of Borneo. of these, almost all occur in Sarawak & Sabah

    Mountain Serpent-Eagle  Spilornis kinabaluensis
    White Fronted Falconet  Microhierax latifrons
    Dulit (Hose's) Partridge  Rhizothera dulitensis
    Red-Breasted Partridge  Arborophila hyperythra
    Crimson-Headed Partridge  Haematotyx sanguiniceps
    Bulwer’s Pheasant  Lophura bulweri
    Bornean Peacock-Pheasant  Polyplectron schleimacheri
    Bornean Ground Cuckoo  Carpococcyx radiatus
    Dulit Frogmouth  Batrachostomus harterti
    Bornean Frogmouth  Batrachostomus mixtus
    Bornean Swiftlet  Collocalia dodgei
    Whitehead’s Trogon  Harpactes whiteheadi
    Golden-Naped Barbet  Megalaima pulcherrima
    Mountain Barbet  Megalaima monticola
    Brown Barbet Caloramphus fuliginosus
    Bornean Barbet  Megalaima eximia
    Hose’s Broadbill  Calyptomena hosii
    Whitehead’s Broadbill  Calyptomena whiteheadi
    Blue-headed Pitta  Hydrornis baudii
    Blue-banded Pitta  Erythropitta arquata
    Black-headed Pitta  Erythopitta ussheri
    Bornean Banded Pitta Hydrornis schwaneri
    Fruithunter  Chlamydochaera jefferyi
    Bornean Leafbird  Chloropsis kinabaluensis
    Bornean Bulbul  Pycnonotus montis
    Pale-faced Bulbul  Pycnonotus leucops
    Cream-eyed Bulbul Pycnonotus pseudosimplex
    Charlotte's Bulbul  Iole charlottae
    Black Oriole  Oriolus hosii
    Bornean Green Magpie  Cissa jeffreyi
    Bornean Black Magpie Platysmurus atterimus
    Bornean Treepie  Dendrocitta cinerascens
    Bornean Bristlehead  Pityraisis gymnocephala
    Bornean (Ground)Wren-babbler  Ptilocichla leucogrammica
    Black-browed Babbler Malacocincla perspicillata
    Black-throated Wren-Babbler  Napothera atrigularis
    Mountain Wren-Babbler  Napothera crassa
    Chestnut-Crested Yuhina  Yuhina everetti
    Bare-headed Laughingthrush  Melanocichla calva
    Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush  Rhinocichla treacheri
    White-crowned Shama  Copsychus stricklandi
    Bornean Forktail   Enicurus  borneensis
    Bornean Whistling-thrush  Myiophoneus borneensis
    Everett’s Thrush  Zoothera everetti
    Bornean Stubtail  Urosphera whiteheadi
    Friendly Bush-warbler  Bradypterus accentor
    Eyebrowed Jungle-flycatcher  Rhinomyias gularis
    Bornean Blue-Flycatcher  Cyornis superbus
    Dayak Blue-Flycatcher Cyornis montanus
    Crocker Jungle-Flycatcher Cyornis ruficrissa
    Bornean Whistler  Pachycephala hypoxantha
    Bornean Spiderhunter  Arachnothera everetti
    Whitehead’s Spiderhunter  Arachnothera juliae
    Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker  Prionochilus xanthopygius
    Spectacled Flowerpecker  Dicaeum dayakorum
    Black-Sided Flowerpecker Dicaeum monticolum
    Pygmy (White-eye) Ibon  Heleia squamifrons
    Meratus White-eye Zosterops meratusensis
    Mountain Black-eye  Cholorocharis emiliae
    Dusky Munia  Lonchura fuscans

  • Avibase

    PDF Checklist
    This checklist includes all bird species found in Island of Borneo , based on the best information available at this time. It is based on a wide variety of sources that I collated over many years. I am pleased to offer these checklists as a service to birdwatchers. If you find any error, please do not hesitate to report them.
Useful Reading

  • A Naturalist's Guide to the Birds of Borneo

    | (Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan) | By Wong Tsu Shi | John Beaufoy Books | 2023 | Edition 4 | Paperback | 176 pages, 300 colour photos, 3 colour maps | ISBN: 9781913679446 Buy this book from
  • Birds of Borneo

    | By Susan Myers | Christopher Helm | 2016 | Edition 2 | Paperback | 336 Pages | Colour Plates & BW Illustrations & Distribution Maps | ISBN: 9781472924445 Buy this book from
  • Birds of Borneo

    | By Susan Myers | Helm | 2022 | Paperback | 224 pages, colour photos | ISBN: 9781472986900 Buy this book from
  • Birds of the Philippines, Sumatra, Java, Bali, Borneo, Sulawesi, the Lesser Sundas and the Moluccas

    | By Norman Arlott | William Collins (Harper Collins imprint) | 2018 | Hardback | 416 pages, 179 plates with colour illustrations; colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9780008102395 Buy this book from
  • Phillipps' Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo

    | (Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan) | By Quentin Phillipps & Karen Phillipps | John Beaufoy Books | 2014 | Edition 3 | 372 pages, 141 plates with colour illustrations, 600 colour distribution maps, 12 colour maps | ISBN: 9781909612150 Buy this book from
  • Pocket Photo Guide to the Birds of Borneo

    | (Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan) | By GWH Davison & Chew Yen Fook | Bloomsbury Publishing | 2016 | Paperback | 144 pages, colour photos, 1 colour map | Out of Print | ISBN: 9781472932877 Buy this book from
  • The Birds of Borneo

    | By Bertram E Smythies | Edited by Geoffrey WH Davison | Natural History Publications Borneo | 1999 | Edition 4 | Hardback | 853 pages, 57 colour plates, b/w plates, map | ISBN: 9789838120289 Buy this book from
Festivals & Bird Fairs
  • Borneo Bird Festival

    Facebook Page
    Borneo Bird Festival is a celebration of the magnificent birds of Borneo
  • Malaysian Nature Society - Kuching Branch

    Facebook Page
    Our Mission: To promote the study, appreciation, conservation and protection of Malaysia’s natural heritage.
  • Malaysian Nature Society - Miri Branch

    MNS is a membership based organisation run by the Secretariat, and governed by an elected Board of Trustees and Council. MNS is an avenue where the Malaysian public has the opportunity to be part of a national effort in adding their voice towards the conservation of Malaysia's natural heritage.
  • Malaysian Nature Society Sabah Branch

    Facebook Page
    MNS is Malaysia's largest and oldest environmental non-government organisation.

Abbreviations Key

  • BS Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre

    InformationSatellite View
    Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre is 24 hectares (59 acres) of the only remains of mangrove forest that once existed extensively along the coastal region of Kota Kinabalu. The Centre is an important refuge and feeding ground for many species of resident birds, as well as several migratory bird species from Northern Asia. In addition, it is a breeding ground for marine life protected by the Fishery Department of Sabah.
  • CA Danum Valley

    InformationSatellite View
    Danum Valley Conservation Area is a 438 square kilometres tract of relatively undisturbed lowland dipterocarp forest in Sabah, Malaysia. It has an extensive diversity of tropical flora and fauna, including such species as the rare East Sumatran rhinoceros, Bornean orangutans, gibbons, mousedeer, clouded leopards and over 270 bird species.
  • FR Sepilok

    WebpageSatellite View
    A twenty-minute drive from Sandakan, Sabah will bring you to Sepilok Forest Reserve, a enormous area of virgin equatorial rainforest. The wealth of indigenous and rare plants, animals and birds that have found sanctuary here are to be seen to be believed.
  • NP Bako

    InformationSatellite View
    The Bako National Park covers 2,742 hectares of a rugged sand stone peninsula to the east of the Bako River near Kuching, the capital of Sarawak. More than 150 bird species.
  • NP Crocker Range

    InformationSatellite View
    The park covers 1,399 km², making it the largest park in Sabah. The park consists of both hill and mountain forest, with many species of flora and fauna endemic to Borneo.
  • NP Gunung Mulu

    InformationSatellite View
    Within the boundaries of Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak is one of the most extensive and spectacular limestone cave systems on earth, as well as the second highest mountain peak in the state. Gunung also enjoys unusually high rainfall. There are 20,000 species of invertebrates, 81 species of mammals, 270 species of birds, 55 species of reptiles, 76 species of amphibians and 48 species of fish identified in the park area. Eight species of hornbill have been spotted in Mulu including the rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros), the Wrinkled hornbill (Aceros corrugatus) and the helmeted hornbill (Rhinoplax vigil).
  • NP Kinabalu

    InformationSatellite View
    New arrivals at the park headquarters might wonder where Borneo`s famed birdlife is hiding. The forest initially seems quiet and devoid of birds. Patience, however, will be rewarded when flocks of mixed species swoop down from the upper canopy to feed in the lower canopy. These are the famous bird-waves in which a diverse range of species act in unison to flush out insects and other prey. The bird photographer, having waiting patiently with his camera and tripod for hours, suddenly has roving bands of Flycatchers, Whistlers, Tailorbirds, Warblers and Fantails chaotically feeding a few yards from where he stands…
  • NP Lambir Hills

    InformationSatellite View
    It is a small park, at 6,952 hectares (17,180 acres), and is composed largely of mixed dipterocarp forest, with some small areas of 'kerangas' (heath forest). Its forest is home to gibbons, tarsiers, bearded pigs, flying squirrels, deer and 157 types of bird…
  • NP Niah

    InformationSatellite View
    The Niah National Park, Sarawak is the site of the Niah Caves, one of the largest limestone caves in the world. The caves are also well known for the birds' nest (Swiftlet) industry. The Park covers 3,102 hectares (7,756 acres) of forest and limestone.
  • NP Tunku Abdul Rahman

    InformationSatellite View
    It comprises a group of 5 islands located between 3 and 8 km off Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. The park is spread over 4,929 hectares, two-thirds of which cover the sea.
  • WR Tabin

    InformationSatellite View
    Tabin Wildlife Reserve (TWR or Tabin) comprises a rectangular area of approximately 122,539 ha. in the centre of the Dent Peninsula, north-east of Lahad Datu town, south of the lower reaches of the Segama River and north of the Silabukan Protection Forest Reserve.Of bird species, 42 families representing 220 species have been recorded.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Birding Tours in Sabah

    Tour Operator
    Birding tours at Tambunan Rafflesia Centre, Kinabalu National Park, Sepilok Forest Reserve, Kinabatangan River and Danum Valley Forest Reserve
  • Borneo Birds

    Tour Operator
    Hi, my name is Ceekay. I am a full time bird guide based in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. I have been birding since 1987, having previously shown particular disregard for birdwatching until I saw a White-Browed Shrike Babbler through the eyepiece of a visiting birder’s spotting scope. Since then I have improved just a bit more, at times graduating to the birds of Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India and Nepal.
  • Borneo Eco Tours

    Tour Operator
    Our Top Tours for wildlife are Sukau Rainforest Lodge, winner of Sabah's Best Nature Lodge, Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley, Selingan Island and Tabin Wildlife Sanctuary. Our Top selling Day tours are to Kinabalu National Park and to Sepilok's Wildlife and Sandakan. Featured in our Nature selection are overnight tours to Mount Kinabalu and diving at the world class Sipadan island. For Adventure lovers, Climb Mt Kinabalu with us or be enamored by our custom designed treks to Maliau Basin and Crocker Range. We've put the together the best of the best in our Holiday Packages. We can even book your stay at Beach Resorts and City Hotels at rock-bottom prices. Our latest product is the community based tourism The Fig Tree at Kiulu Farmstay.
Trip Reports
  • 2015 [06 June] - Erik Forsyth

    PDF Report Kota Kinabalu, we took a quick walk around the hotel grounds, picking upseveral of the commoner city birds including confiding Pink-necked Green Pigeons sunning in the earlysunlight, Peaceful Dove, Glossy Swiftlet, a calling Asian Koel, Collared Kingfisher, Asian GlossyStarling and Yellow-vented Bulbul.
  • 2015 [09 September] - Peter Ericsson

    ... On the way, we saw a pair of Black-red Broadbills. These exciting birds are quite common in Sabah and impossible to get tired of. We also saw Gold-whiskered Barbet, Sunda Bush Warbler, Mountain Tailorbird, Bornean Bulbul, Mountain Leaf Warbler, Bornean Treepies and a few more but generally it was pretty quiet. Both Bornean and Mountain Barbets kept singing.
  • 2016 [04 April] - Dave Stejskal

    ...We finished the trip up in the cool highlands of Crocker Range National Park and Kinabalu National Park. What a wonderful difference in temperatures to wind up this fabulous trip! The numbers of tourists in the park has yet to rebound to levels like those seen before last year's tragic earthquake, but we didn't mind the diminished activity on our full days of birding here. Every day we were there held numerous surprises for us, like our cooperative trio of Whitehead's Broadbills, a gorgeous adult male Whitehead's Trogon, incredible Rafflesia keithii in full bloom near Poring Hot Springs, a female Fruit-hunter sitting on a nest and being fed infrequently by her mate, a 'frozen' Crimson-headed Partridge right next to the trail, calling Bornean Collared Owlet at a curve in the road, and a rare decent look at the poorly-known Waterfall Swift at the mountain overlook. And that's just the start! It was a super conclusion to our time together...
  • 2016 [05 May] - Arjan Brenkman & Jan van der Laan - Ba’kelalan, Payeh Maga, Klias Peat Swamp and Danum Valley

    PDF Report
    In 2016 we had our five-year lustrum of the Virtual Birders® and we thought Borneo would be a good ideato celebrate. Dulit Frogmouth was high on our priority list followed by Hose’s Broadbill, all endemic pitta’s,Black Oriole plus Bornean Bristlehead and Bornean Ground Cuckoo. Arjan had visited Mount Kinabalu andthe Kinabatangan River already in 2003, but missed some species. James Eaton advised us to do theBornean Rain Forest Lodge as the best chance to see the Bristlehead and also we had a reasonable chanceto see the Ground Cuckoo. For the Payeh Maga part we decided to contact Yeo Siew Teck, a Malaysianbased birder with good organization and birding skills. James Eaton made the contact for us with Sang Sigar,owner of a homestay and the person who rediscovered the Dulit Frogmouth in 2013.
  • 2016 [06 June] - Megan Edwards Crewe

    ...the birds were amazing! Where do you start a "highlight list" for a trip with so many highlights? Perhaps with the quiet little gang of Bornean Bristleheads rummaging through the branches of trees near the canopy walkway on our very first morning together. Or maybe with the jewel-bright Black-crowned Pitta, spilling his pure whistled song into a warm afternoon along the Sukau boardwalk trail. ...
  • 2016 [06 June] - Rich Lindie

    PDF Report
    ...While there, we had great views of nesting Blue-naped Parrots, confiding Oriental Pied Hornbills, a very active Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker, Zebra Dove, White-breasted Woodswallows and our first Bornean endemic, Dusky Munia...
  • 2016 [06 June] - Rob Hutchinson

    PDF Report
    Our pioneering Sarawak trips have proved very popular, not only with first time visitors hoping to enjoy somethingdifferent to the ‘usual’ Borneo birding circuit but also return visitors hoping to catch up with several endemicswhich are difficult to find in Sabah. This trip began with a morning in peat-swamp forest where we found RedcrownedBarbet and Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker in spite of the rain, and on a return visit at the end of the weekwe also caught up with Hook-billed Bulbul. Our two higher altitude birding sites on the trip proved successful withmost of the hoped-for Sarawak species found including excellent views of both Dulit and Bornean Frogmouths, andBlack Oriole. There was of course a fine supporting cast which included Bornean and Mountain Barbets, BorneanBulbul, Pygmy White-eye, Bornean Leafbird, Fruit-hunter and Hose’s Broadbill.
  • 2016 [10 October] - Birding2Asia

    ...The Blue-crowned Hanging-Parrot isn't uncommon in well protected forest reserves. The resorts at Sepilok smartly sit at the forest edge and it was no wonder we had the usual thing going on in the grounds; fly-over at rocket speed, perched distant at best. I kind of started wondering about getting good close-up shots....
  • 2017 [02 Feb] - Matthew Kwan - Sabah, Malaysia

    Seeing that we still got two hours of sunlight we thought we should not waste it and headed up the park. We didn't drive up too far and soon encountered a flock of beautiful and endemic Bornean Green Magpie and Bornean Treepies...
  • 2017 [04 April] - Zoothera

    PDF Report
    ...The boardwalk that takes us across the canopy at Sepilok produced our first looks at Orang-utan, as well as a Black-crowned Pitta that flew up to our lofty vantage point to take a look at us. Severalboattrips along the Kinabatangan River gave us access to numerous tributaries and creeks where Storm’s Stork and Wrinkled Hornbills paraded alongside bizarre-looking Proboscis Monkeys. And then we enjoyed a pitta-fest at the incredible Danum Valley to round off another magical Sabah tour...
  • 2017 [10 October] - Yeo Siew Teck

    PDF Report
    ...After an hour search none of the broadbills and pittas were active, but just as we exited theforest a male Hose's Broadbill was seen briefly, it appeared too close to us and flew away after we made some minor movement, with only Ron getting a view....
  • 2018 [03 March] - Dave Stejskal

    ...Other memorable moments on this one include point-blank views of a perched Storm's Stork along the Kinabatangan R. near Sukau, a very confiding male Crested Fireback at BRL on our last morning there after multiple fruitless tries, tiny Mountain Scops-Owl and Collared (Bornean) Owlet at Kinabalu Park (plus four other species of owls seen this trip!), a swirling flock of 50+ Waterfall Swifts, a gorgeous calling Whitehead's Trogon and multiple Whitehead's Broadbills at Kinabalu Park, a scarce (and tailless) Cinnamon-rumped Trogon at BRL, great views of seven species of hornbills (Wreathed was a 'heard only' this year), good looks at all five of the Bornean endemic barbets (including the difficult Bornean Barbet), both Black-crowned and Blue-headed pittas within five minutes of each other at BRL...
  • 2018 [04 April] - Wilbur Goh

    PDF Report
    With our vast experience in Sabah and having pioneered birding in Sarawak, our tours offer the very best of this amazing island and this tour proved that yet again.
  • 2018 [07 July] - Megan Edwards Crewe

    Our adventure began at Sepilok's Rainforest Discovery Center, where we connected with many common lowland species -- starting right in the parking lot, where we had a great look at our first endemic Dusky Munias. From the wonderfully sturdy towers and walkways, we studied our first handsome Green Ioras, Yellow-vented and Plain flowerpeckers, Buff-rumped Woodpeckers, flyby Cinnamon-headed Pigeons and Brown-backed Needletail, and a handful of nest-prospecting Blue-crowned Hanging-Parrots.
  • 2018 [09 September] - Birding Ecotours - Chris Lotz

    PDF Report
    This 12-day birding and wildlife tour of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, was absolutely spectacular! Some of the many highlights were Bornean Bristlehead (what a dazzling, weird, and unique bird!), Bornean Ground Cuckoo, the Whitehead’s trio (Broadbill, Trogon, and Spiderhunter), all four endemic pittas (although one of them sadly only seen by one person) plus Hooded Pitta, so many trogons, broadbills, barbets, woodpeckers, partridges, etc., etc. All eight Malaysian hornbills were seen.
  • 2019 [05 May] - Matthew Kwan - Kinabalu National Park & Kota Kinabalu

    A short trip for Whitehead's Trogon and other montane endemics of Borneo.
  • 2019 [08 August] - Sam Woods

    PDF Report
    This large, Southeast Asian island has a kudos all of its own. It maintains a huge, longstanding appeal for both first time visitors to the region, and experienced birding travelers too, making it one of the most popular choices of Asian birding destinations. The lure of Borneo is easy to grasp; it is home to an ever-increasing bounty of endemic birds (as taxonomy moves forward, this list creeps up year-on- year), and among these are some of the most-prized bird groups in the region, including pittas, broadbills, hornbills, trogons, and 12 species of woodpeckers to name a few.
  • 2019 [11 November] - Mike Nelson

    PDF Report
    With a good number of recent splits, and with access to Sarawak now making for an extension that adds several species not seen in Sabah, Borneo’s long list of endemics attracts birders from around the world.
  • 2019 [11 November] - Wilbur Goh

    PDF Report
    We started off in the peat-swamp forests where Hook-billed Bulbul and Scarlet- breasted Flowerpeckers were seen before moving to the hills of Sarawak, visiting two well-known sites, Paya Maga and Bakelalan. The two main targets – Black Oriole and Dulit Frogmouth – were seen without much difficulty and other good birds that we found here were Bornean Frogmouth, Hose’s Broadbill, Mountain Serpent Eagle, Helmeted Hornbill, Mountain and Bornean Barbets, Bornean Banded and Blue-banded Pittas, Rail-babbler, Black-throated Wren Babbler, Pygmy Heleia, Bornean Leafbird and Whitehead’s Spiderhunter.
  • 2020 [02 February] - Eric Kimmel

    This 14-day tour in February 2020 focused on the birds and wildlife of Borneo.
  • 2022 [08 August] - Andrew Walker - Birding Ecotours

    PDF Report
    2 | T R I P R E P O R T ƒŽƒ›•‹ƒǣ‘”‡‘ǡƒ”ƒ™ƒǦ —‰—•–ʹͲʹʹ ™™™Ǥ„‹”†‹‰‡…‘–‘—”•Ǥ…‘ ‹ˆ‘̷„‹”†‹‰‡…‘–‘—”•Ǥ…‘ Overview This private birding tour for Chuck visited Sarawak state in Borneo, Malaysia. It started in Kuching on the 16th of August 2022 and finished back there on the 22 nd of August 2022. The main aim of the tour was to find two speciesbelonging to monotypic families, Rail-babbler and Crested Jayshrike. After Chuck joined our July 2022Sulawesi and Halmahera tour (report here) and August 2022 West Papua tour (report here) these were the last two families he required to have recorded all of the families in the world and would represent an amazing achievement
  • 2022 [10 October] - Avery Bartels

    PDF Report
    This trip was conceived and planned mere weeks ahead of time, thus preparation was rather rushed and neither of us felt anywhere near as up-to-snuff on the local birdlife as we would have liked having had little to no time to study the bird sounds, field guides etc. However, it was an incredibly enjoyable trip and as first time visitors to Sabah we were impressed and pleasantly surprised at the ease of travel and quality of tourism infrastructure available, seemingly across all price ranges.
  • 2022 [10 October] - Birding Ecotours - Chris Lotz

    PDF Report
    This was another spectacular birding tour of Borneo which, as usual, also featured other incredible animals. These included several Bornean Orangutans, Northern (North Bornean) Grey Gibbons, Proboscis Monkeys, a 10-foot (3-meter) long Reticulated Python and many others.
  • 2022 [11 November] - Avery Bartels

    PDF Report
    ...We were soon on our first Chestnut-headed Laughingthrush, Bornean Whistling Thrush and Temminck’s Babbler. Activity was decent as we made our way up the road. Around the Liwagu Restaurant we spotted a male Black-sided Flowerpecker, Bornean Treepie and our first Black-capped White-eyes. A nearby small flock had our first Yellow-breasted Warblers, Bornean Whistler and Indigo Flycatcher...
  • 2023 [01 January] - Aidan Place - Sabah & Kalimantan

    PDF Report
    In total 279 species were observed including 52 Bornean endemics.
  • 2023 [03 March] - Bill Simpson

    PDF Report
    I always wanted to do a slow, winter South East Asia trip when I retired and this was the ideal time to do one with gas and electricity prices soaring at home. Add to that a potentially once-in-a-lifetime chance of Bulwer’s Pheasant and Bornean Peacock-Pheasant and it was all too good to miss.
  • 2023 [03 March] - Bruce Wedderburn - Sabah

    This was a two-week trip to Sabah which I set up with Borneo Birding Tours, with the itinerary based on previous experience birding independently in Sabah and to target some specific birds.
  • 2023 [07 July] - Joshua Bergmark - Sarawak

    PDF Report
    ...Meeting in Kota Kinabalu for dinner (with some of the group already having enjoyed the fabulous male Bornean PeacockPheasant that day after a stressful wait!), we were ready to depart in the early morning towards Trus Madi. Some stops along the way produced the endemic White-fronted Falconet, plus Blyth’s Shrike-Babbler, Mountain Leaf Warbler, Yellowbreasted Warbler, and Black-fronted White-eye. Arriving at the now well-known Borneo Jungle Girl Entomology Camp, we set to work on the clearing where lots of birds included several of our first endemics: Bornean Bulbul, Charlotte’s Bulbul, Chestnut-crested Yuhina, Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush, and a trio of smart-looking Bornean Leafbird...
  • 2023 [08 August] - Anton Cnudde & Mehdi Sadak - Sabah

    PDF Report
    ...While waiting, we did see our first Slender-billed Crows. The road to Kinabalu was quite birdy, and we had more Long-tailed Shrikes, a few other common lowland birds like Brahminy Kite and House Swit, as well as the only Grey Heron, Wandering Whistling Ducks, Red Collared Doves and Besra of the trip...
  • 2023 [08 August] - Daan Drukker = Sabah

    PDF Report
    ...There are quite some species that are endemic or near-endemic to Sabah, often with slightly different counterparts in the rest of Borneo. Examples are Black-crowned pitta (vs Garnet pitta), Sabah partridge (vs Chestnut-necklaced partridge) and Four-striped ground squirrel (vs Three-striped ground squirrel). Some other Bornean species just do not cross that boundary, such as the Black-eared pygmy squirrel (except for a few intriguing records at Maliau and Danum). Sabah has the best nature reserves of Borneo and has relatively good intact and accessible rainforests. Poaching is less common compared to Kalimantan apparently and they are trying to reconnect some of the nature reserves. Keep in mind though that you’ll have to visit the other areas too when you want to see as many endemics as possible...
  • 2023 [08 August] - David Van den Schoor = Sarawak & Sabah

    PDF Report
    We recorded almost all of the possible endemics and near-endemics, with just a handful of misses. Some of the mouth-watering highlights amongst the 318 species recorded included: Bulwer's Pheasant, Sabah Partridge, Bornean Peacock-Pheasant, Large Frogmouth, Dulit Frogmouth, Bornean Frogmouth, Bornean Ground Cuckoo, Oriental Bay Owl, Whitehead's Trogon, White-crowned Hornbill, Rufous-collared Kingfisher, Hose's Broadbill, Whitehead's Broadbill, Bornean Banded Pitta Blue-headed Pitta, Black-crowned Pitta, Blue-banded Pitta, Bornean Bristlehead, Black Oriole, Railbabbler, Hook-billed Bulbul, all important wren-babbler, Fruithunter, Everett's Thrush, Scarletbreasted Flowerpecker and Whitehead's Spiderhunter.
  • 2023 [09 September] - Steve Shunk

    PDF Report
    ...As one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, the island of Borneo hosts more than 600 bird species, with a respectable 60 endemics, along with three endemic genera, and one endemic family. Our total of 235 bird species included 39 Bornean endemics, plus 59 endemic subspecies. We enjoyed multiple encounters with the world’s smallest diurnal raptor—the White-fronted Falconet—and our rarest bird was a vagrant Rainbow Bee-eater. We also scored on all eight of the Bornean hornbill species. And those are just the bird highlights...
Places to Stay
  • Mesilau Nature Resort

    Located in the Kinabalu area, Mesilau stands in between the Kinabalu Park and the Poring Hot Springs. Its elevation is at approximately 2,000 metres above sea level. One will feel a strong sense of nature as Mesilau is on the Pinousuk Plateau which is richly endowed with flora and fauna. The cool climatic condition in the highlands combines with the mist and evergreen environment creates an exotic and mysterious atmosphere.
  • Sukau Rainforest Lodge

    Among the 200 species found in the region are 8 species of hornbill (rhinoceros, helmeted, black, pied, wreathed, wrinkled, white crowned and bushy crested); oriental darter, several species of egret, Storm`s stork, Sunda ground cuckoo, kingfisher, brahminy kite, crested serpent eagle, greater coucal, red-crowned barbet, black and yellow broadbill, white-rumped shama, white-chested babbler, heron, hawk, osprey, falcon, pheasant, parakeet, buffy fish owl, frogmouth, nightjar, trogon, bee eater, roller, woodpecker, pitta, swallow, bulbul, forktail, warbler, flycatcher, flowerpecker, spiderhunter, drongo, oriole and crow.
  • CK Leong - Borneo Birds

    Hi, my name is Ceekay. I am a full time bird guide based in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. I have been birding since 1987, having previously shown particular disregard for birdwatching until I saw a White-Browed Shrike Babbler through the eyepiece of a visiting birder’s spotting scope. Since then I have improved just a bit more, at times graduating to the birds of Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India and Nepal.
  • Denis Degullacion

    Last updated May 2015... but some great bird photos
  • Jordan Sitorus - Amazing Borneo

    Birds and Wildlife found in Borneo
  • Thomas - Mad about birding

    Birding in Borneo (Sabah)
Photographers & Artists
  • Photographer - Paul Huang

    This gallery showcase some of the birdlife that can be found in Kinabalu National Park and the lowland forest around Poring Hot Springs, Sabah, Malaysia. The national park is now a world heritage site and is considered to be one of the best places in the region for birding…
  • Photographer - Wong Tsu Shi - Wild Birds of Borneo

    Welcome to my collection of images for Birds of Borneo. A record of my humble efforts to photodocument the avifauna of Borneo in general and Sabah in particular. My starting point is to record the varied avifauna so the images are geared towards this objective. All birds photographs are of wild birds…

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