Malaysia Birding Tips

Malaysia Birding Tips


When going for bird watching trips in Malaysia, it is always useful to be equipped with suitable essentials and equipment. These tips will help bird watchers to prepare and organise safe and enjoyable trips.



Malaysia’s tropical climate allows bird watching to be year-round activity. Take note of the rainy season when planning excursions and bring along rain gear or a poncho. Although these days somewhat unpredictable, in the West Coast of the Peninsula, rain usually falls heaviest from September to December. There is a distinct monsoon in the East Coast from December to February, while the rainy season occurs a bit earlier in the year in Borneo. Migratory birds use Malaysia’s west coast flyway to travel to Sumatra and beyond with peak movements in April and October. As with all wildlife, all possible care and respect is to be given to the birds and their habitats. It is illegal not only to shoot or capture any bird in a gazetted bird sanctuary, but even to harass or disturb them. Trafficking in protected species is also prohibited under the Protection of Wild Life Act 1972 in Peninsula Malaysia, with separate acts enforced in Sabah and Sarawak. Entry permits from the Forestry Department of various states may be needed at some bird sanctuaries. Bird watchers are advised to check with their guides or tour agent.



Mountain Forest

  • Orange-bellied Leafbird.
  • Grey-Chinned Minivet.
  • Silver-breasted Broadbill.
  • Long-tailed Broadbill.
  • White-browed Shrike-babbler.
  • Silver-eared Mesia.
  • Mountain Tailor Bird.
  • Black-browed Barbet.
  • Scarlet Sunburn.
  • Black-and-Crimson Oriole.
  • Green Magpie.
  • Niltava.


Lowland Rainforest

  • Black and yellow Broadbill.
  • Common Goldenbacked Woodpecker.
  • Banded Woodpecker.
  • Blue-winged Pitta.
  • Banded Pitta.
  • Green Broadbill.
  • Yellow-bellied Prinia.
  • Long-tailed Tailorbird.
  • Blue-throated Flycatcher.
  • Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot.
  • Jambu Fruit Dove.
  • Scarlet-rumped Trogon.
  • Sunbird.


Coastal Habitats

  • Grey Heron.
  • Purple Heron.
  • Little Heron.
  • Black-crowned Night Heron.
  • Yellow Bittern.
  • Great Egret.
  • Little Egret.
  • Water Cock.
  • Common Kingfisher.
  • Black-capped Kingfisher.
  • Brahminy Kite.
  • White-Bellied Sea Eagle.



Birding Practical Tips

  • Read or find out as much as you can about both the site and the bird species likely to be found in it before hand.
  • A pair of binoculars help to locate and identify distant and high flying birds.
  • Most birds are active in the morning and late afternoon when the temperature is cooler. Consult your guide book as to the best times to spot a particular species.
  • Many birds have regular feeding habits and patterns. A good place to watch for shorebirds is at mudflats during low tide.
  • When photographing birds, use long range lenses and flash equipments as they may not be sufficient natural light.
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