Birds observed at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (August - December 2005)

Published by Andy Russel Mojiol (rmojiol AT

Participants: Andy Russel Mojiol, Hii Siew Mee and Rennie Linjabat



Malaysia is one of the countries in South East Asia which still has abundant wildlife both in number and in diversity of species. The country’s wildlife is protected under legislation for some of the species according to their importance and status.

In the past, due to low population, effective measures could be taken and legal measures could take a good hold on development, encroachment and illegal activities in the green areas. But with increase of population in Kota Kinabalu at presence, the bird species and habitat become really specialised as each of them can utilize only a small segment of the total resources available, and the land pressure increased and effective legal holds could not be instituted. As a result, the wildlife population has dwindled and some animals have become extinct. Moreover the development conventional land-use pattern such as shifting cultivation and land clearing for agriculture did not take the habitats into account but rather laid stress to the animals.

The study was done during the month of August till December 2005. Urban and sub-urban area of Kota Kinabalu was observed

The aim of the study is to provide a list of birds which can be found in the urban area especially Kota Kinabalu Sabah, in order to supplement recent sightings of birds. This study is also one part of my PhD project with the theme: Urban Forest Management: case of Kota Kinabalu using bird species as one of the green indicators.

The list of birds observed is given in the table.

Species Lists

Vernacular name Scientific name

White-vented Myna Acridotheres javanicus
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
White-breasted Water-hen Amaurornis phoenicurus
Brown-throated Sunbird Anthreptes malacensis
Phillippine Glossy Starling Aplonis panayensis
Yellow-eared Spiderhunter Arachnothera chrysogenys
Spectacled Spiderhunter Arachnothera flavigaster
Little Spiderhunter Arachnothera longirostra
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea
Little Heron Butorides striatus
Lesser Coucal Centropus bengalensis
Greater Coucal Centropus sinensis
Sunda Bush Warbler Cettia vulcania
Green-winged Pigeon Chalcophaps indica
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
Marsh harrier Circus aeroginosus
White-bellied Swiftlet Collocalia esculenta
Magpie Robin Copsychus saularis
Yellow-bellied Bulbul Criniger phaeocephalus
Flower pecker Dicaeum celebicum
Orange-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum trigonostigma
Green Imperial Pigeon Ducula aenea
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Plumed Egret Egretta intermedia
Great Egret Egretta alba
Little Pied Flycatcher Ficedula wetermanni
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Peacful Dove Geopelia striata
Flyeater Gerygone sulphurea
White-collared Kingfisher Halcyon chloris
Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata
White-bellied Sea-eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus
Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica
Pacific Swallow Hirundo tahitica
Purple-naped Sunbird Hypogramma hypogrammicum
Hairy-backed Bulbul Hypsipetes criniger
Ashy Bulbul Hypsipetes flavalus
Cinnamon Bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus
Schrenck’s Bittern Ixobrychus eurhythmus
Yellow Bittern Ixobrychus sinensis
Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus
Dusky munia Lonchura fuscans
Chestnut Munia Lonchura malacca
Javanese munia Lonchura leucogastroides
Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot Loriculus galgulus
Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus
Sunda Whistling Thrush Myiophoneus glaucinus
Olive-backed Sunbird Nectarinia jugularis
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax
Dark-necked Tailor Bird Orthotomus atrogularis
Ashy Tailor Bird Orthotomus ruficeps
Collared Scops-owl Otus bakkamoena
Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
Stork-billed Kingfisher Pelargopsis capensis
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha Phaenicophaeus curvirostris
Yellow-breasted flowerpecked Prionochilus percussus
Red-eyed Brown Bulbul Pycnonotus brunneus
Spectacled Bulbul Pycnonotus erythrophthalmos
Puff-backed Bulbul Pycnonotus eutilotus
Flavescent Bulbul Pycnonotus flavescens
Yellow-vented Bulbul Pycnonotus goiavier
Olive-winged Bulbul Pycnonotus plumosus
Straw-crowned Bulbul Pycnonotus zeylanicus
Pied Fantail Rhipidura javanica
Crested Serpent eagle Spilornis cheela
Changeable Hawk Eagle Spizaetus cirrhatus
Spotted dove Streptopelia chinensis
Spotted-necked Dove Streptopelia chinensis
Thick-billed Green Pigeon Treron curvirostra
Pink-necked Green Pigeon Treron vermans
Common Redshank Tringa tetanus