Malaysia has a well-deserved reputation as one of the world's major birding destinations. Over 720 species of birds have been recorded in Peninsular and Bornean Malaysia. This richness of birds combined with the wonderful scenery and friendly people makes any visit an unforgettable experience for the birder, be he a first timer or veteran. For the intrepid, there are 39 endemic species to go after (37 in Borneo and 2 in the Peninsular). This entails a visit combining sites in Peninsular Malaysia and the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak.
A typical itinerary covers two-three weeks and usually takes in the montane forest species of Fraser's Hill and the lowland forest species of Taman Negara National Park and Gombak before jetting across to Borneo for the mossy forest species in Kinabalu National park and the lowland forest species of Danum Valley or Kinabatangan River. Over 300 species can be seen if taking this option and commonly encountered birds include such gems as Rhinoceros Hornbill, Red-naped Trogon, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Gold-whiskered Barbet, Garnet and Banded Pittas and several babbler, bulbul and sunbird species. In Borneo, savour the endemics like Crimson-headed Partridge, Bornean Barbet, White-fronted Falconet, Whitehead's Broadbill, Bornean Bristlehead, Blue-headed Pitta and Whitehead's Spiderhunter.
For those with only a couple of days to spare, there are accesible sights near Kuala Lumpur (Gombak); Malaysia's Capital City, and Singapore (Panti Forest Reserve). And don't forget the cultural and food attractions!
I have found it hard to get a definitive list of Malaysian endemics - numbers ranging from 4 to 55! The confusion arises from Borneo. The Malaysian mainland does have as few as 4 endemics… although there is no agreement on this and Borneo as a whole as many as 55 but the Malaysian parts of Borneo (Sarawak and Sabah) have far fewer - my best guess is elaborated below.
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