Birds of Sabah (A-B)

Rhino hornbill
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Bird-watching is one of the things I do during travel, so I have more than 150 photos of different birds in Sabah. I was not using a cannon-size 500mm lens, so my bird photos shot with cheap 250mm lens are mostly low-quality and blur. Anyway, this is still a nice guide, because 90% of the Sabah birds normal people see daily are listed here. I organize the list in alphabetic order of their common names. I’m not an expert birders. Please let me know if there is any mistake.

Ashy Bulbul
Ashy Bulbul
Spotted in hill area of Rafflesia Information Center (Tambunan).

Ashy Tailorbird
Ashy Tailorbird
Ashy Tailorbird
Ashy Tailorbird
Can be easily seen in coastal garden and mangrove area. Very noisy and active, and fly low in flock. As they are restless and like to hop from branch to branch, this makes them very hard to photograph. Their babies look so much bigger than the parents. As the nest of Ashy Tailorbird is sometimes hosted by cuckoo, these may not be their real babies..

Asian Black Hornbill
Asian Black Hornbill
Asian Black Hornbill (top: male, below: female)
Spotted in Maliau Basin. You can see it in Lok Kawi Wildlife Park too.

Asian Fairy Bluebird
Asian Fairy Bluebird
Spotted in hill forest of Tawau Hills Park and Poring. Very shy and hard to get close.

Asian Glossy Starling
Asian Glossy Starling eating fruit
Asian Glossy Starling
This bird is everywhere. Black shiny body with red eyes. The juvenile has heavy stripes. Your fruits are finished if they come, and they always know to pick the best ones.

Banded Woodpecker
Banded Woodpecker
The commonest mid-sized woodpecker of Borneo. This one is spotted in Rainforest Discovery Center (Sandakan City).

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow
A winter migratory birs spotted in Tawau Hills Park.

Black-backed Swamphen
Black-backed Swamphen
A common bird in Likas Lagoon and swampy area.

Black-Naped Monarch
Black-Naped Monarch
Spotted in forest of Tawau Hills Park and Gaya Island. Very curious bird. Its “beard” looks funny.

Black-Winged Flycatcher
Black-Winged Flycatcher
Spotted in Tun Fuad Stephens Park, Kota Kinabalu.

Black-Winged Stilt
Black-Winged Stilt
Black-Winged Stilt (top: male, below: female)
A migratory bird spotted in Penampang paddy field and Likas Lagoon.

Blue-banded Pitta
Blue-banded Pitta
Pitta is the Jewel of Borneo due to its rareness and colourful feathers. Blue-banded Pitta is endemic to Borneo and always on the must-see list of birders. Too bad this bird is very elusive and sensitive, so you only can find it in undisturbed rainforest such as Danum Valley.

Photos taken in Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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  • Emily

    I like to call the Asian Glossy Starling as “zombie birds” because their black feathers and red eyes look like the zombified crows in the Resident Evil movies heheh.

  • MySabah.com

    yes, indeed, they really look like evil birds, hehe..