Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Birds of Borneo Book (Third Edition) 2014

Bookmark and Share
Phillipps' Field Guide to the Birds of Borneo: Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei, and Kalimantan (third edition) 2014.

PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: This is the fully revised and updated third edition of an acclaimed field guide to the birds of Borneo, covering Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei, and Kalimantan. The result is the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and user-friendly guide to the island's remarkably diverse birdlife. The book covers all 673 species living or reported on Borneo, including all 59 endemic species. Each species is superbly illustrated in 141 color plates containing more than 2,000 full-color bird images, which provide multiple large views of each species, including most of the sexual variants and immature forms of polymorphic species. Each plate is accompanied by facing-page species descriptions covering taxonomy, size, call, range, distribution, habits, and status. Distribution is also shown with 567 detailed color thumbnail maps on facing pages. Other features include seven habitat plates, twelve regional maps showing Borneo's top 90 birding sites, fast-find identification plates to the birds of Kinabalu and other habitats, and a full overview of Borneo's vegetation, climate, and ecology. This is a guide that any outdoor visitor to the island will treasure.

This book features:
•The most up-to-date, comprehensive, and user-friendly guide to the birds of Borneo
•Features handy, facing-page format 
•Illustrates and describes all 673 species, including 59 endemics 
•Contains more than 2,000 superb full-color images, providing multiple large views of each species, and 567 color maps
•Describes and maps Borneo's top 90 birding sites 
•Includes fast-find identification plates to the birds of Kinabalu and other habitats
•Provides a full overview of Borneo's vegetation, climate, and ecology · 

Extracts and Compilation by: Cede Prudente

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rare and notable bird sightings in Sabah - 1st Quarter 2014

Bookmark and Share
The list shows the notable bird sightings in Sabah in the first quarter of 2014, feel free to email me if I miss out anything.

A Word file with links to the relevant images is at Borneo Bird Images Document list.

Happy birding.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sandakan Borneo Bird Club - NEWS Update April 2014


President : Cede Prudente               Committee Members : 1 Dr. Robert Ong   
Vice-President : Gary Albert                                               2 Mark Louis Benedict
Secretary : Carol @ Kathy                                                  3 John Bakar
Treasurer : Irene Chong                                                      4 Adeline Choy
                                                                                         Auditor: Ms Tang Yuk Leng

Courtesy call to Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun for the Borneo Bird Race 2014
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah

Courtesy call to Datuk Joniston Bangkuai for the Borneo Bird Race 2014
Chairman, Sabah Tourism Board 

Borneo Bird Race 2014 Location

Sandakan Borneo Bird Club AGM 19th April 2014

Lucky Draw Winners

Sandakan Borneo Bird Club Activities

SMK Elopura
Introduction to Birds and Birdwatching
6 July 2013

SK Pui Gin
Introduction to Birds and Birdwatching
31 July 2013

Sandakan Rainforest Park (Kebun Cina)
Birding Walk
3rd Aug 2013

British Birdfair,  Rutland Water 16-18th Aug 2013

British Birdfair,  Rutland Water 16-18th Aug 2013
British Birdfair,  Rutland Water 16-18th Aug 2013
British Birdfair,  Rutland Water 16-18th Aug 2013
British Birdfair,  Rutland Water 16-18th Aug 2013

Asian Bird Fair Thailand 9-10th Nov 2013
Gary Albert, John Bakar and Sabah Tourism Board

Philippines Bird Fair 28th Feb - 1st Mac 2014
With John Bakar

Sandakan Borneo Bird Club Presenting to the Sabah State level Heart of Borneo (HoB)Program Meeting April 2014

Birds, Insects and Mammals
Expedition IJM Meliau
3days 2 night in June 2014

Bookmark and Share

The 1st Borneo Bird Race - Birding fun in Borneo

The 1st Borneo Bird Race - Birding fun in Borneo
An account of Team Singapore’s exploits by Lim Kim Seng

Borneo. The name invites images of head hunters, orang utans, proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, pristine rainforests and Southeast Asia’s highest peak in Mount Kinabalu. It is also home to 54 endemic birds and therefore a must-go destination for serious birders.
I was looking at the invitation from Sandakan Borneo Bird Club and decided to pay the island a visit. It proved irresistible as it advertised a first ever ten-day bird race in Borneo to be held from 31st  May to 9th June 2013, taking in the Malaysian state of Sabah and the sultanate of Brunei.  I have participated in numerous bird races around Southeast Asia but this was the first time I was taking part in something that arduous and I was hooked. Another attraction for me was the opportunity to catch up with some of the endemic birds that I missed on my first visit to Borneo in 1993. In my team representing Nature Society (Singapore) were my very experienced birding mates, Alfred Chia and Lim Kim Keang.

We flew into Bandar Seri Begawan and were met by stewards from Sandakan Borneo Bird Club and Brunei Tourism Board. We felt like VIPs and were quickly transferred to our hotel in downtown Bandar Seri Begawan, next to the floating market. In the evening, we met the organisers of the event, fronted by Cede Prudente, a well known wildlife photographer and chairman of the Sandakan Borneo Bird Club, the helpers, otherwise known as stewards, the adjudicators and the other participating teams. Besides us, there were seven other teams from six countries and seven different non-government organisations, viz. India, Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan (two teams) and Thailand. 
Opening Ceremony & Launching of
1st Brunei Darussalam Nature Festival, Bird Watching in Brunei and
1st Borneo Bird Race

The next day (Day 2), we attended the opening ceremony of the Brunei Nature Festival which was graced by the Minister for Tourism, and then, we were transferred by bus to an interesting forested lake and ASEAN heritage site called Tasek Merimbun. The race started at the visitor centre just after 4 pm and, accompanied by our steward, we explored the forest, lake and the surrounding kampong area. It finished at 6.30 pm, after which we were transferred back to our hotel in Bandar Seri Begawan.
We finished the day with 27 species including a pair of Wrinkled Hornbills, Green Imperial Pigeon and our first Bornean endemic of the trip, Yellow-vented Flowerpecker.
Day 2 of the Borneo Bird Race continued at 7.30 am at the jetty of the Water Village. We tried to pick out as many of the coastal birds as we could before our fast boat left Bandar Seri Begawan for Ulu Ulu Resort in Ulu Temburong National Park, in Brunei’s deepest rainforests. It was an adventure in itself getting there. Our boat dropped us off at Ulu Temburong where we were bused to another jetty where we took a longboat up the rapids into the rainforest resort.
We added another 19 species along the way to make 46 species before a short one hour lunch stop. At 1.00 pm, the race resumed and we birded at one spot downstream before returning to the resort for some more birding. There were no trails and it was difficult to bird along the river. We only managed to add 12 species to make 58 species on Race Day 2. The race ended at 6.30 pm. 

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


BRUNEI AND SABAH 31st May - 9th  June 2013 

With an area of 743,330 (km2) (287,000 sq. miles) is the third-largest island in the world after Greenland 2,130,800 (km2), New Guinea 785,753 (km2With a population of 19.8million (2012) - the island is divided among three countries: Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. Approximately 73% of the island is Indonesian territory. The Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak in the north occupy about 26% of the island. The sovereign state of Brunei, located on the north coast, comprises about 1% of Borneo's land area and the wealthiest of all.

Surrounded with four seas - The South China Sea, Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea and Java Sea. Borneo are multi-cultural and have several large ethnic group, the diverse communities practice different religions, cultures and traditions, and speak their own languages and local dialects. Though the island modernizes, certain rituals and special ceremonial occasions are performed, one can still observe the rich custom and tradition and experience their special local festivals.
Bahasa Malaysia is the national language in both Sarawak and Sabah, but English is widely spoken. 

Boasts of a long tradition with the world's longest serving family monarchy, the indigenous communities are the Malay, Kedayan, Tutong, Belait, Bisaya, Dusun and Murut, which collectively make up 67.6% of the population. The Chinese constitute a significant percentage of the population (14.9%). Other main indigenous groups include the Iban, Dayak and Kelabit (5.9%). The population is predominantly Muslim, and Malay is the official language.

With 30 ethnic races and more than 80 local dialect, the Kadazan-Dusun tribes make up a third of the population and pre-dominantly Christians, occupying most of the west coast and interior regions of the State.  On the east coast with a majority Muslim, includes Bajau, Orang Sungai, Brunei, Bugis  and Suluk. Other tribes include, the Murut, Rungus, Lotud, Kadayan, Cocos and Bisaya.
The Bajaus are the second largest indigenous group who came to Sabah around the 18th century from the Southern Philippines.
The Muruts are the third largest indigenous group, live mostly in the South West region of Sabah and remote parts of the interior in Keningau, Tenom and Pensiangan.
The Chinese form the largest non-indigenous group, the Hakka, Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochew, Hainanese, Henghua and the Indians constitute a minority.

With 25 ethnic group, the Ibans (Dayaks) -- the legendary headhunters of Borneo -- constitute the biggest ethnic group (29.6 %) in Sarawak. The Ibans are originally from Kalimantan, and so their culture and traditions as observed in Sarawak are very similar to the Dayaks in Kalimantan. The second biggest group is the Chinese (29.1%), followed by the Malays (20.7%). Other main ethnic groups are the Bidayuh, Melanau, Penan, Orang Ulu (with several sub-groups e.g. the Kayan, Kenyah, and Kelabit) and Indians.

 Diivided into Central, South, East, and West Kalimantan, Kalimantan is
a multicultural state with over 20 different ethnic groups. The largest ethnic group are the Dayaks, followed by the Malays and the Chinese, Madurese and other Indonesian ethnic groups.

The rainforest is 130 million years old, making it the oldest rainforest in the world. It shelters 13 primate species, 15,000 species of flowering plants with 3,000 species of trees, 221 species of terrestrial mammals and more than 680 species of resident and migratory birds.... 
Scientists have discovered more than 123 new species in the Heart of Borneo area during the past 3 years – an average of more than 3 new species per month
In 2010, new to science was the ‘Spectacled Flowerpecker’ discovered in the Danum Valley Conservation Area, Sabah
A total of 644 resident and migratory species of birds have been recorded for Borneo, with 60 endemic species. Of major interest is the fact that many of these endemic species are found on either hill slopes or in its montane forest.    

For the first time, we  launched the international Borneo Bird Race 2013, where 7 countries and 8 Bird Clubs in Asia, travelled more than 1000 kilometres in search of more than 400 species of birds in a wide range of habitats from the coastal regions, freshwater swamps, lowland forests, to the hills and mountain ranges of Sabah and Brunei. The team enjoyed the beauty of this land as they counted the numbers of recorded species, and the longest list earned the prestigious “Bornean Bristlehead Trophy”. The event was jointly organised by Sandakan Borneo Bird Club, Brunei Tourism and Sabah Tourism Board.

About Brunei Darussalam
Brunei is located on the northern shore of the Island of Borneo, between longitudes 11404 and 11423 East and latitudes 400 and 505 North. Brunei, although occupying less than 1% of Borneos land area, is the only sovereign country on the island, which it shares with the Indonesian provinces of West, East, South and Central Kalimantan and the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. During the 15th and 17th centuries, the Sultanate of Brunei extended over coastal areas of northwest Borneo and the Philippines. Due to colonial expansion of European powers and piracy, Brunei suffered a short period of decline but in 1888, Brunei became a British protectorate and was granted full independence in 1984. With the discovery of petroleum and natural gas fields Brunei have benefited greatly and these natural resources made Brunei one of the highest per capita GDP in the less developed countries. The Royal Family has now ruled in Brunei for over six centuries. The capital Bandar Seri Begawan is the centre of Brunei’s commerce, finance and government. In many ways, it is also the heart of Brunei’s cultural landscape, housing some of the nation’s most revered landmarks. The city’s breathtaking Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is a stunning tribute to the nation’s deep-rooted faith, while the truly Bruneian Kampong Ayer water village offers a glimpse of the nation’s quaint Asian charm. Beneath Bandar Seri Begawan’s lavish adornments, gold towers, sparkling fountains and colourful mosaic tiles, lies a city steeped in quiet respect, grounded in Islamic tradition, and exuding a sense of peace that makes it one of Asia’s most distinctive capital cities.

Birding in Brunei
Birding in Brunei can range from a couple of hours to several days and could involve staying in luxurious 5-star accommodation to camping in the rainforest. In the Brunei highlands, bordering the Malaysian state of Sarawak, birds are quite common, though the logistics of getting to some of the areas can be  challenging during the monsoon season. It is blessed for having the most pristine rainforest in Borneo, making the Brunei lowland rainforest as one of the richest habitat and diverse species in the world. Here, 15,000 species of plants and 2,000 species of trees. More than 300 resident species of birds including hornbills, barbets, babblers, sunbirds, spiderhunters, leafbirds, trogons and floor dwellers like pheasants, pittas and wren babblers. Along the coastal coastal and riverine, that include fresh water swamps and mangrove forests. These places are crucial for the survival of species such as the threatened Storm’s Stork, Lesser Adjutant, Cinnamon Headed Pigeon, Bornean Bristlehead, Bornean Ground Cuckoo and Straw Headed Bulbul. Other birds such as the Ruddy Kingfisher and the Hook Billed Bulbul depend on the health of the mangrove forest, including the Brunei River, Seria River Estuary, Belait River, Tasek Merimbun, Luagan Lalak and Temburong River.

Organizing Committee

Field Committee, Steward and Adjudicator 2013

Brunei Leg
Delegates and Organisers of Borneo Bird Race 2013 at Empire hotel and Country Club Brunei
Arrival and briefing
Opening Ceremony & Launching of
1st Brunei Darussalam Nature Festival, Bird Watching in Brunei and
1st Borneo Bird Race
Jetty, Brunei
Riverboat journey to Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei
Ulu-ulu resort, Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei
Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei
'Stairway to heaven' at Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei
View at the Canopy walkway, Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei
Canopy walkway at Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei
View at the Canopy walkway, Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei
Ulu Ulu Resort, Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei

About Sabah
Sabah is one of the thirteen states in Malaysia, the largest state and shares the island of Borneo with Sarawak, Brunei, and Indonesian Kalimantan. Sabah is richly blessed with unique cultures, beautiful beaches, fantastic cuisines and rich nature diversity from the world’s largest flower - the Rafflesia, one of the highest mountains is South East Asia - Mount Kinabalu, to one of the world’s top dive sites - Sipadan Island. Malaysia’s region of Borneo is called East Malaysia or Malaysian Borneo. Once known as North Borneo, Sabah was under the British colony during the late 19th century till the early 20th century. Sabah gained its independence through Malaysia on September 16, 1963. At 76,115 square kilometers large, Sabah is the second biggest state in Malaysia after Sarawak.

Birding in Sabah
Sabah has a remarkable range of habitats from montane forest to peat swamp, lowland rainforest to interior plains, and from the largest floodplain in Malaysia to coastal regions. The best way to start a birding holiday in Sabah is to travel east from the capital Kota Kinabalu to Kinabalu Park and across the central mountain range to Sandakan and the massive Kinabatangan Floodplain. From there, travel south-east to the wildlife and nature reserves of Danum Valley and Tabin Wildlife Reserve and Tawau Hills Park. A total of 688 resident and migratory species of birds have been recorded for Borneo, with 54 endemic species. Of major interest is the fact that 24 of these endemic species are found on either Sabah’s hill slopes or in its montane forest. The number of montane species is so significant that Mt Kinabalu, at 4,095m and one of the highest mountains in South East Asia is regarded as a distribution centre for all but one of Borneo’s montane birds

Sabah Leg
Launching of the 5th Borneo Bird Festival 2013 with Datuk Masidi Manjun - Minister of Tourism Culture and Environment Sabah

Kinabalu Park, Sabah
Kinabalu Park, Sabah
Kinabalu  Park, Sabah

Kinabalu Park, Sabah
Kinabalu Park, Sabah
Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC), Sabah

Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC), Sabah
Canopy walkway at Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC), Sabah
Canopy walkway at Rainforest Discover Centre (RDC), Sabah
View at the Canopy walkway at Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC), Sabah

Participant’s visit to Sunbear Centre Sepilok, Sandakan
Participant’s visit to Orangutan Centre, Sandakan

Champion & Sabah Leg Winner
1st Place
Wild Bird Club of the Philippines with 148 species
2nd Place
Nature Society Singapore with 144 Species
3rd Place
Bird Conservation Society of Thailand with 136 species
Brunei Leg
1st Place - The Wild Birds Taiwan - 81 Species


For more information, please email us at:
Copyright Borneo Bird Race 2013 © Compilation by Cede Prudente

Please visit us here:

Bookmark and Share