Followers Do tag here to follow my latest posting

MikeBirder - Malaysian Birds


Welcome to my Malaysian Birding Blog. I migrated to as my blog at closed shop in 2012. I wish to showcase all Malaysian birds that I have photographed whether here or overseas. My countdown of lifers started in 2005. Coming to May 2020 my countdown of lifers photograph has reached
539/688 species of birds of Malaysia in photos.

My shooting gear was a EF400mm f4 DO lens and Canon 7D body which to me is the ideal setup for mobility and bird chasing at that time. Eventhen the weight over my shoulder is more that 5.5 kg. As of June 2016 I have also acquired a Fuji XF 100-400mm OIS lens to complement my travelling cum birding trip overseas. The Fuji X-T2 is now in hand ; the weight over my shoulder is much lighter now by 30%. In December 2018 I acquired the Nikon Coolpix P1000 as supplementary camera for distance shooting of 3000mm.
Meantime I am hoping Sigma or Fuji will come out with with a 200-600mm lens for my Fuji body. As for a new body I will only consider an upgrade when the megapixel hit 30..........

I am a weekend birder. Do feel free to drop me a line at and I see whether you can tag along in my outings. My usual day trip is just an hour ride away to Hulu Langat, Lancang, Kemensah, Krau, Awana, Hulu Kali, Gombak Ole Road, Fraser's Hill , Bukit Tinggi and KSNP & Coastal Sg Janggut Jeram side of the coast . Overnite trip to Merapoh & Cameron, Air Hitam and further north to Kuala Sidim is a seldom affair but for lifer we travel. Panti in Johor is another good birding site that I yet to go. Then there are the Borneo birds of Sabah and Sarawak of Malaysia which I seriously much go to chalk up more lifers. This I did in 2018 to Sepilok Sandakan and Kinabalu Park. Next Danum and LahatDatu.......

WARNING Birding is an addiction once you started its hard to stop. The wifey and children are now birding widow and orphan.



Search for Malaysian Bird Photos

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

KOEL 1/1 - Common Koel

Common Koel

They are majestic bird with their unique echoing wooo..rrh call repeatative like gibbon. They are parasitic like their cousin cuckoos meaning they lay their eggs on other bird nest and the adopted parent feed them till they can fly away. They feed on wild fruits like the ficus and grub they can find. Yet to witness Koels eating road kills though like crows

In the 80s, some work was done by the faculty of biology, USM, on
parasitic cuckoos and their host preferences. The main hosts for koels were
crows and common mynas. Conclusions were that the koels do not show
preference for which crow or which myna species. However, one
under-graduate thesis showed a distinct preference for large-billed crow
nests, at least in the Minden / Gelugor area. At that time, large-billed
were much more common than present. As for common myna, its probably coz of their nesting habits - Chinese crested and Jungle tend to nest in banks rather than trees and roof eaves.

In Sarawak,Tony Sebastian tracked the spread of common & white-vented for some years now, and its only with the advent of mynas have the Koel's population proliferated in urban areas - there are no crows in east Malaysia. Prior to the mid-80s, koels were rare jungle birds and winter visitors to the coast and islands - now they are everywhere in towns.

MUNIA 4/5 - White-rumped Munia

White-rumped Munia

This Munia can be said a hybrid of the scaly & black-headed cousin. It is found commonly in jungle fringes with grassland and cultivation feeding on lallang seeds.

Now to look for the introduced Javan Munia 5/5 in  Muar Johor. It will be long wait for tehm to move to central peninsula...........

MUNIA 3/5 - White Headed Munia

White headed Munia
Well it is just the opposite of the Black headed. They are found foraging togehter with the other Munia in open grassland and marshland of the coastal areas of peninsula Malaysia.

MUNIA 2/5 - Scaly-breasted Munia

Scaly-breasted Munia
The Scaly-breasted Munia is 11–12cm in length. The adult has a stubby dark bill, brown upperparts and darker brown head. The underparts are white with black scale markings. The sexes are similar, but immature birds have pale brown upperparts, lack the darker head and have uniform buff underparts of different plummage.

The Scaly-breasted Munia is a small gregarious bird which feeds mainly on seeds. It frequents open woodland and cultivation. The nest is a large domed grass structure in a tree or under the eaves of a house into which 4–10 white eggs are laid. Nesting isvery common on palm tre

Anything about Birds 2/100 - Injured Birds & Bird Rescue UPM

For those who encounter injured birds in the wild; please contact Dr Jalila Abu of UPM, Veterinary Faculty UPM for rehab.

Dr Jalila's contact: 03 8946 8340/ 8946 8317 Email: Her contacts are found in the Suara Enggang bulletin.

Apart from Dr Jalila,I am not sure if there are any other persons/org who are experts in avian medicine. The drive to UPM will be worth it if the bird can be rehabilitated and released back to the wild :-). I have once retrieved an injured Rusty winged Cuckoo in Ulu Kali that was migrating back north which I sent it to Zoo Negara Veterinary Dept.

MUNIA 1/5 - Black Headed Munia

Black Headed Munia
Finally the last of the Munia species of Malaysia. In Malay it is called Pipit Rawa whilst the White -headed is Pipit Uban. We don't have the Javan Munias do we. In Singapore maybe.

I have yet to see Black-headed Munias in big flock on their own. My sighting here in Kuala Kedah was just a pair picking on cow dung for nesting material. Though they sometimes join other flocks when not breeding season.

The Black-headed Munia is 11-12 cm in length. The adult has a stubby pale bluish grey bill, black head and neck and entire brown body. Some races also have a black belly. The sexes are similar, but immature birds have uniform pale brown upperparts, lack the dark head and have white to pale buff underparts. The Black-headed Munia is a small gregarious bird which feeds mainly on grain and other seeds. It frequents open grassland and cultivation. The nest is a large domed grass structure in a bush or tall grass into which 4-7 white eggs are laid.

Monday, 14 January 2013

RAPTOR & ACCIPITER 10/34 - Pied Harrier

Pied Harrier      

The Pied Harrier (Circus melanoleucos) is an Asian species of bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. It is migratory, breeding from Amur valley in eastern Russia and north-eastern China to North Korea.

Wintering individuals can be found in a wide area from Pakistan to Philippines. The population consists of approximately 10,000 individuals and the number is thought to be in moderate decline.

This medium-sized harrier (length 45 cm/18in, wing span 115 cm/46in)  nests in steppes and associated wetlands. Wintering individuals are often seen hunting above rice paddies and marshes in South East Asia countries like Malaysia        

  These are some shots of a female Pied taken in Batang Tiga Melaka 

Sunday, 13 January 2013

RAPTOR & ACCIPITER 9/34 - Greater Spotted Eagle

Greater Spotted Eagle

The Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga), occasionally just called the spotted eagle, is a bird of prey. Like all typical eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. They are migratory visitors to peninsualr marshlands and padi fields in SEA countries and peninsular Malaysia in the months of November until February.

Coming in length of 23–28 in and  distinct short  wingspan of 5-6 ft only. Whilst its  body mass of upto  2.5kg (5.5 lb)  it is considered a medium-sized eagle and is very similar in general appearance to its closest relative the Lesser Spotted Eagle (A. pomarina), which shares part of its range. Head and wing coverts are very dark brown and contrast with the generally medium brown plumage; the Lesser Spotted Eagle has a paler head and wing coverts. The head is small for an eagle. The similarities of the Greater Spotted to the Lesser Spotted often results in misidentification as being that species.

It is usually seen gliding with wings pointing angular downward.

This is further complicated by occasional hybrids between the two species.  medium-sized eagle is very similar in general appearance to its closest relative the Lesser Spotted Eagle(A. pomarina), which shares part of its range. Head and wing coverts are very dark brown and contrast with the generally medium brown plumage; the Lesser Spotted Eagle has a paler head and wing coverts. The head is small for an eagle. The similarities of the Greater Spotted to the Lesser Spotted often results in misidentification as being that species. This is further complicated by occasional hybrids between the two species.

Finally got some perched shot of the GSE in Batang Tiga Melaka 25.12.18. The bird is a regular winter visitor to the place. This one with plenty of white frecles to its winhs and back is a Juvenile.

The raptor was harrassed by some crows

Annoying crows I am really pisssss

RAPTER & ACCIPITER 8/34 - Eastern Imperial Eagle

Eastern Imperial Eagle
The Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) is a large species of bird of prey that breeds from southeastern Europe to western and central Asia. Most populations are migratory and winter in northeastern Africa, and southern and eastern Asia. The Spanish Imperial Eagle, found in Spain and Portugal, was formerly lumped with this species, the name Imperial Eagle being used in both circumstances. However, the two are now regarded as separate species due to significant differences in morphology,ecology and molecular characteristics.
Comparitive to Steppe Eagle it is almost the same size and weight coming in 2.3 - 3ft in lengh and upto 4.5kg/ 10lbs. Both aquilars live side by side at time when in migratory to tropical SEA countries and peninsular Malaysia as suitable sites are getting scathe.

RAPTOR & ACCIPITER 7/34 - Steppe Eagle


Steppe Eagle
Thanks to Terence Ang & JT

The Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) is a bird of prey. It is about 2-3 ft from head to tail. It has a wingspan of at least 5 ft - 7ft. Females, weighing upto 5 kg are slightly larger than males.   It was once considered to be closely related to the non-migratory Tawny Eagle(Aquila rapax) and the two forms have previously been treated as conspecific. They were split based on pronounced differences in morphology and anatomy.

The Steppe Eagle breeds from Romania east through the south Russian and Central Asian steppes to Mongolia. The latter are the one that visit Malaysia and SEA countries.

This is a large eagle with brown upperparts and blackish flight feathers and tail. This species is larger and darker than the Tawny Eagle, and it has a pale throat which is lacking in that species.
Immature birds are less contrasted than adults, but both show a range of variation in plumage colour. The eastern race A. n. nipalensis is larger and darker than the European and Central Asian A. n. orientalis.
Large numbers are seen at certain places such as Khare in Nepal during migration of Nov & December.
The Steppe Eagle's diet is largely fresh carrion of all kinds, but it will kill rodents and other small mammals up to the size of a hare, and birds up to the size of partridges. It will also steal food from other raptors. Like other species the Steppe Eagle has a crop in its throat allowing it to store food for several hours before being moved to the stomach.

The call of the Steppe Eagle sounds like a crow barking, but it is rather a silent bird. The Steppe Eagle is the national animalof Egypt.

RAPTOR & ACCIPITER 6/35 - Eastern Marsh Harrier

         Eastern Marsh Harrier

The Eastern Marsh Harrier is a bird of prey belonging to the marsh harrier group of harriers. It was previously considered to be conspecific with the Western Marsh Harrier but is now usually classified as a separate species. i managed to shoot one with a juicy field rat in Batang Tiga with JT.

Eastern Marsh Harriers are migrants to Malaysia  mashland, and padi fields The breeding range covers north-east China, Mongolia and south-east Siberia   with small numbers in northern Japan.There is some overlap with Western Marsh Harrier around Lake Baikal and interbreeding has taken place.

The wintering range includes southern China, Taiwan Korea, southern Japan, north-east India, Bangladesh and South-east Asia as far south as the Philippines, Borneo and Sumatra.Large numbers of birds migrate along the Chinese coast with thousands passing through sites like Beida during the autum.