Birding Sepilok, Borneo (Half 3)


The Bornean Bristlehead is type of the star chicken of Sepilok. eBird calls it “a ‘grail chicken’ of many birders visiting Borneo.

Mockingly, whereas I used to be very eager on seeing it throughout my week at Sepilok, I assumed I failed to take action solely to understand later – going by way of my photographs – that I had certainly seen it. If that sounds implausible to you, I absolutely agree. Significantly provided that eBird calls the species “distinctive and unmistakable”. Nicely, I suppose the standard eBirder is a greater birder than me.

It’s listed as Susceptible or Close to Threatened (the HBW charmingly offers each classes in its species portrait, thus assuring that one of many two nearly definitely is appropriate).

Its scientific species identify gymnocephala means naked-headed moderately than bristle-headed, which is a bit disappointing as I hoped to be taught the Latin or Greek phrase for bristle. Perhaps bristles weren’t invented but in these vintage occasions.

The Blue-eared Kingfisher appears like a premium model of the Frequent Kingfisher present in Europe – it’s  smaller and has deeper blue upperparts with out turquoise blue tinge and blue ear-coverts (supply).

In response to the HBW, the species “dives vertically into water and returns to perch with the catch, which is struck on perch earlier than being swallowed head first”. So, presumably the fish on the picture continues to be alive.

Surprisingly, the illustration proven within the HBW entry for the Rufous-backed Kingfisher does probably not match the picture beneath very properly. Luckily for me (however considerably sadly for the HBW), this isn’t my ID mistake, because the photographs within the HBW entry present. Thus far, I assumed that the B within the HBW stands for chicken, however I suppose I used to be mistaken.

The considerably extra open areas close to the Sepilok Rainforest reserve are a very good location to see the wrecks of rusty automobiles in addition to two munia species: Chestnut Munia

… and Scaly-breasted Munia

As I already talked about the Sabah Partridge in a latest publish, I do not need a lot so as to add right here – although the photographs I took at Sepilok are higher and don’t solely present a sleeping chicken. That’s what progress is all about.

Scientifically talking, the Darkish-throated Oriole is the Yellow-backed Oriole (xanthonotus).

It’s listed as Close to Threatened. These two photographs present a male – the feminine is generally olive-colored moderately than yellow. The truth is, provided that these photographs have been taken in Sabah, they presumably present the Ventriloquial Oriole (consobrinus), if this paper is appropriate. The 2 species differ in genetics and in track, apparently.

The Lesser Inexperienced Leafbird can be categorized as Close to Threatened. I discover it fairly fascinating how properly it blends into the leaves.

Its scientific species identify cyanopogon doesn’t discuss with a dance type most well-liked by punks however moderately to its darkish blue beard (which solely the male has, in fact).

In case you wish to examine avian illnesses, a paper on iron storage illness in a Lesser Inexperienced Leafbird may very well be a good selection for you.

If like me you get pleasure from cute birds, you’ll just like the Malaysian Pied Fantail.

In response to Wikipedia, it’s domestically known as murai gila, actually “loopy thrush” within the Malay language.

There are additionally a number of bulbul species at Sepilok. The identify Furry-backed Bulbul makes the species sound moderately unappealing (in some way I affiliate bushy backs with ugly males in low-budget softporn motion pictures), however it’s really a moderately nice-looking chicken …

… with what eBird calls “surprised-looking massive darkish eyes”.

The English identify might not instantly make sense judging from the photographs however the HBW mentions “hair-like filoplumes (as much as 50 mm lengthy) lengthen[ing] from nape and mantle over again (hardly ever seen in subject)”.

The identify of the Asian Purple-eyed Bulbul is way more apparent.

Although surprisingly, for the scientific species identify brunneus (brown), a a lot much less apparent function was chosen.

The knowledge on the conservation standing of the Gray-cheeked Bulbul within the HBW is especially muddled, even by the HBWs low requirements. Throughout the similar paragraph, the species is described as Susceptible, Close to Threatened and Least Concern – presumably because the entry is outwardly the results of lumping a number of bulbul species.

Like a number of of the bulbul species talked about above, the HBW calls the Olive-winged Bubul “unassuming”.

The scientific identify plumosus (“feathered”) clearly separates this bulbul species from all of the unfeathered birds.

Verditer Flycatchers apparently wish to nest in human homes as they supply good nesting websites – in distinction, Daurian Redstarts decide human homes as a result of the presence of people lowers the predation threat (supply).

And in what appears to me to be a moderately far-out paper, some Chinese language researchers have developed a camouflaged short-range communication technique primarily based on the imitation of Verditer Flycatcher songs. I’m not making this up.

Wallace’s Hawk-eagle conveniently nests in a tree near one of many statement towers at Sepilok, permitting for good photographs of the one chick.

The species is assessed as Susceptible, with an estimated inhabitants of 2500–9999 mature people.

Apparently, the commerce in birds has partly shifted on-line from brick-and-mortar marketplaces – a paper lists one Wallace’s Hawk-eagle obtainable on-line. Progress this isn’t.

Within the time-honored and resource-saving custom of doing chicken surveys at the most common of habitats – college campuses – there’s a paper on the species in a forest round Kota Kinabalu College. It contains observations of Wallace’s Hawk-eagle.

There’s a lengthy Wikipedia article on Alfred Russell Wallace, the namesake of this species – evidently aside from developing with the idea of evolution impartial of Charles Darwin, he additionally had fascinating ideas on a variety of different matters. For instance, he wrote a paper advocating a pure paper cash system, not backed by silver or gold, which inspired the economist Irving Fisher a lot that he devoted his 1920 ebook “Stabilizing the Greenback” to Wallace.

Nonetheless, this didn’t maintain him from shedding severe cash in a collection of dangerous investments in railways and mines.

Apparently, some younger birders at Sepilok name the Chestnut-breasted Malkoha the superhero chicken. The face masks, I suppose. I typically really feel that the creativity of youngsters is vastly overrated.

A neighborhood Sandakan birder and skilled chicken photographer, YC Lee, has taken a improbable video of the chicken.

The scientific species identify curvirostris (“curved-billed”) is a bit unusual given the putting colours of the chicken, which appear way more value highlighting.

Whereas the HBW typically doesn’t appear to be too concerned with birds, they appear to have taken a shine to the Chestnut-breasted Malkoha, talking of the “moderately clown-like look that’s wholly distinctive” and including that “the species is pleasingly fairly frequent”.

It primarily feeds on bugs, as there aren’t any comfort shops in its forest habitat.

Like the opposite malkohas, it isn’t a brood parasite regardless of being a cuckoo.

Given the exaggerated function of Sir Stamford Raffles within the institution and success of Singapore – and the parallel underestimated function of William Farquhar – Raffles’s Malkoha would possibly higher be known as Farquhar’s Malkoha – although this assumes that deserves for good deeds are attributed to those that do them, not their superiors. Everybody who has ever labored in an organization is aware of that this isn’t the case.

It’s the solely malkoha species with marked sexual dimorphism (i.e., if the birds have been to make use of bogs assigned to totally different sexes, the 2 indicators on the 2 doorways would look totally different).

Which means it’s obligatory to point out not less than two photographs – the feminine …

… and the male.

Within the “Different” part ending this publish, now we have some animals which have the benefit of not being mammals. All the time a bonus given how simply mammals are related to Donald Trump.

It’s fascinating to note that some animals – akin to this earthworm being eaten by a snake not a lot greater than itself – battle far much less when dealing with dying than Mr. Trump struggles with admitting he has misplaced an election.


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