According to the Lonely Planet alone, there are over 750 bird species in Malaysia, and some of which are amongst the “coolest” of species.
If you love nature, and are fond of travelling to the many nature parks and reserves of Malaysia, chances are, you would have come across at least one of these precious feathered creatures.
The popular birding sites in Peninsula Malaysia such as Taman Negara Pahang, Fraser’s Hill, Royal Belum Forest in Perak, Kinabatangan River and Kinabatangan Park, both located in Sabah, and Bako National Park in Sarawak are also home to some unique and endemic birds, specific to Malaysia.
Read on, and perhaps on your next trip, you can keep your eyes peeled for any one of the species listed here.
The Rhinocerous Hornbill
While any hornbill is worth watching out for, the rhinoceros hornbill is probably the most majestic-looking of them all, with its horn-like crown and mighty stature. Because hornbills generally require larger trees for building nests in, they are most commonly found in the forests of Temenggor Lake, Perak and Kenyir Lake, Terengganu.
Mountain Peacock Pheasant
This medium-sized, elusive, endemic bird to the Peninsula Malaysia can be found in the mountainous region of Pahang namely Fraser’s Hill and Cameron Highlands. The male and female have the same colour, and as the name would suggest, they do have a rather impressive tail plumage as well!
Another bird endemic to Malaysia is the ground-dwelling Malaysian Hill Partridge, which can be spotted in the rain forest of Fraser’s Hill, Pahang as well as other highlands forests in Peninsula Malaysia.
Black Crimson Pitta
This brightly-coloured, ground-dweller is endemic to Borneo, and can be found in the Danum Valley in Sabah. The black crimson pitta prefers dark and damp places, which is prime condition to feast on its diet which includes spiders, ants, cockroaches, beetles and snails.
And finally, the Malayan Laughingthrush which can be sighted in Taman Negara National Park and the forest of Fraser’s Hill, and is recognisable from its maroon-chestnut head. It prefers shrubs, and its diet of choice is mainly insectivorous.