Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace

White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster ©Manojiritty - Creative Commons
Birding Brunei

Brunei Darussalam, officially the State of Brunei, Abode of Peace, is a country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea it is completely surrounded by the state of Sarawak, Malaysia, and in fact it is separated into two parts by Limbang, which is part of Sarawak. Brunei, the remnant of a very powerful sultanate, regained its independence from the United Kingdom on 1 January 1984.

Brunei Darussalam consists of two unconnected parts with a total area of 5,766 sq. kilometers (2,226 sq. miles). 97% of the population lives in the larger western part, while only about 10,000 live in the mountainous eastern part (the district of Temburong). The total population of Brunei Darussalam is about 400,000 of which around 130,000 live in the capital Bandar Seri Begawan. Other major towns are the port town of Muara, the oil producing town of Seria and its neighboring town, Kuala Belait. In the Belait district, the Panaga area is home to large numbers of expatriates due to Royal Dutch Shell and British Army housing and recreational facilities. The well-known Panaga Club is situated here. Jerudong Park, a well known amusement park, is located on the west of Bandar Seri Begawan.Brunei Darussalam has an equatorial climate. The average annual temperature is 27.1°C (80.8°F), with the April-May average of 27.7°C (81.9°F) and the October-December average of 26.8°C (80.2°F).

The country is mostly protected with vast forest areas still unexploited and full of wildlife. The birdlife is wonderfully diverse and, although there are no birds endemic to the Sultanate there are thirty restricted to Borneo most of which are resident here.

Top Sites
  • Bornean Mountains Endemic Bird Area

    The EBA includes the mountain ranges in the interior of Borneo, the largest of the Greater Sunda Islands. These mountains extend into the territories of three different countries: the Indonesian provinces of Kalimantan Barat, Kalimantan Tengah, Kalimantan Timur and Kalimantan Selatan; the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak; and the nation of Brunei. The Bornean mountains are rich in restricted-range species, and their distinctive avifauna includes four endemic genera, Haematortyx, Chlamydochaera, Oculocincta and Chlorocharis. A further 13 species are endemic to Borneo, but all of these occur too widely in the lowlands to be treated as restricted-range species, other than Microhierax latifrons and Malacocincla perspicillata. Many of the mountains on Borneo are ornithologically unexplored or poorly known, particularly those in Kalimantan, so knowledge of the habitat requirements and distributions of the restricted-range birds within the EBA is inevitably incomplete.
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 456

    (As at January 2019)

    State Bird - White-bellied sea eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster

  • However, there are thirty species found only on the island of Borneo.

    Bulwer's pheasant Lophura bulweri, Bornean Bristlehead Pityriasis gymnocephala, Mountain serpent eagle Spilornis kinabaluensis, Hose's partridge Rhizothera dulitensis, Red-breasted partridge Arborophila hyperythra, Crimson-headed partridge Haematortyx sanguiniceps, Dulit frogmouth Batrachostomus harterti, Whitehead's trogon Harpactes whiteheadi, Mountain barbet Psilopogon monticola, Golden-naped barbet Psilopogon pulcherrimus, Bornean barbet Psilopogon eximius, Hose's broadbill Calyptomena hosii, Whitehead's broadbill Calyptomena whiteheadi, Black-breated Fruithunter Chlamydochaera jefferyi, Everett's thrush Zoothera everetti, Bare-headed laughingthrush Garrulax calvus, Mountain wren-babbler Napothera crassa, Chestnut-crested yuhina Yuhina everetti, Bornean stubtail Urosphena whiteheadi, Friendly bush warbler Locustella accentor, Eyebrowed jungle flycatcher Vauriella gularis, Bornean whistler Pachycephala hypoxantha, Black-sided flowerpecker Dicaeum monticolum, Whitehead's spiderhunter Arachnothera juliae, Pygmy white-eye Oculocincta squamifrons, Mountain blackeye Chlorocharis emiliae, Black oriole Oriolus hosii, Blue-Banded Pitta Erythropitta arquata, Black-browed babbler Malacocincla perspicillata, White-fronted Falconet Microhierax latifrons and an endemic subspecies sometimes given species status Borneo Thrush Turdus poliocephalus seebohmi

  • iGoTerra Checklist

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

  • A Naturalist's Guide to the Birds of Borneo

    | (Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan) | By Wong Tsu Shi | John Beaufoy Books | 2018 | 3rd Edition | 176 pages, 250 colour photos, 2 colour maps | ISBN: 9781912081912 Buy this book from
  • Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Brunei

    | Edited by G A Vowles & R S Vowles | 1997 | Centro de Estudos Ornitológicos no Algarve | Paperback | 84 pages | ISBN: 9780952376262 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 | 3rd Edition | Paperback | 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 | ISBN: 9781472932877 Buy this book from

Abbreviations Key

  • FR Andulau

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The Andulau region straddles Brunei's administrative districts of Belait and Tutong. The area is known for its inland Peat Swamp Forests…
  • FR Labu

    InformationSatellite View
    Labu Forest Reserve is a protected area located in the mukimie Labu district Temburong in eastern Brunei. It covers an area of ​​14348 ha; the majority of it is peat bogs occupying 8 756 ha. The remaining 5124 ha of land area is overgrown with mangrove forests belonging to 6 different subtypes.
  • FR Peradayan

    InformationSatellite View
    Perdayan Forest Recreation Park's 1,070-ha territory is home to a variety of readily seen wildlife such as Borneo's native Kijang (deer). The reserve encompasses the twin hills of Bukit Perdayan (Perdayan Hill) which rises to 410 meters (1,225 feet), and Bukit Patoi at 310 meters (950 feet)above the sea-level.
  • NP Ulu Temburong

    InformationSatellite View
    Ulu Temburong National Park or fathul park was the first national park to be established in Brunei. The park is in Temburong District in eastern Brunei, and covers about 40% of the district in the south at 550 square kilometres (210 sq mi). It is within the Batu Apoi Forest Reserve. The bushy-crested hornbill (Anorrhinus galeritus), rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros), broadbills, black-and-yellow broadbill (Eurylaimus ochromalus), and swiftlets are notable birds in the park.
  • NR Tasek Merimbun

    InformationSatellite View
    Tasek Merimbun (Malay for Merimbun Lake) is the largest natural lake in Brunei. It is located near Mukim Rambai in the Tutong District, about 70 km from the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan.[1] The S-shaped lake is located 27 km from Tutong Town and it is surrounded by the 7800-hectare Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park. The lake supports a rich variety of fauna including birds, mammals and reptiles. Visitors can hire a boat to take them around to explore the lake and its two islands.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Birding Ecotours

    Tour Operator
    The island of Borneo, once a land of the mythical and mystical, has rapidly become one of the most exciting and richest destinations for wildlife. There are still vast tracts of forest remaining, in spite of widespread logging and clearings, supporting a wonderful and truly exotic array of animals and plants. A visit to Borneo is a marvelous and unforgettable experience.
  • Brunei Birding

    Tour Operator
    Welcome to Brunei Birding. We develop information of the Bruneian bird watching. Let's go to Birding with us.
  • Brunei Birding Nature Tour

    Tour Operator
    First and foremost, on behalf of His Majesty The Sultan of Brunei, peoples of Brunei and our organization Atika Arif Inbound Tourism it is with great pleasure warmly welcoming you to our blessing country Brunei Darussalam which means “Brunei the abode of Peace”.
  • Rockjumper

    Tour Operator
    The tiny sovereign state of Brunei Darussalam is located on the north coast of Borneo. As one of the most developed and richest countries in all of Asia – hosting a large, unspoilt wilderness may come as something of a surprise. However, the ‘Green Jewel of Brunei’ is indeed just that, 500km² of untouched lowland rainforest
Trip Reports
  • 2011 [01 January] - George Watola

    Brunei is generally disregarded as a birding destination, due to neighbouring Sabah and Sarawak having most of the Bornean endemics such as Fruithunter and the Kinabulu specialities. However, Brunei has its own charm, and as a stopover is well worth considering…
  • 2011 [06 June] - Nigel Milius & Wendy Hare

    Overall, it was an interesting, safe and friendly place with a very laid back attitude (when asking about the procedure for returning the hire car we were told to leave it anywhere in the airport car park with the keys under the mat!), though the birding was often frustrating with lots of things calling but frequently only being glimpsed briefly, if at all. As we had virtually no knowledge of the calls, our lists were a bit smaller than hoped for, but we still thoroughly enjoyed our time here…
Other Links
  • Birdwatching in Brunei

    Based on my experiences in Brunei between 2010 and 2014 I've attempted to provide a description of some key Brunei birdwatching sites that I've had the good fortune to visit and enjoy. I believe that Brunei has a lot of good birding to offer for the adventurous birdwatchers - and I hope that this overview proves useful to anyone that visits the smallest country on Borneo! And who knows, it may even trigger some interest with others as well…
  • Folkert - Posting from Panaga

    Last updated 2015 - I am a Dutch expatriate, currently living in the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam. I have a keen interest in nature and bird photography - and Brunei is an excellent place to entertain these interests!
Photographers & Artists
  • Borneo Bird Images

    A database of Borneo bird images...

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