A Bird’s Eye View of Borneo’s Avian Wonders
by Cassey Sua (Sticky Rice Travel)
From ground-dwelling critters to flying marvels, Borneo’s jungles and rainforests are teeming with life and is undoubtedly one of the richest and most biodiverse destinations, namely Danum Valley, Kinabatangan Floodplains, and Tabin Wildlife Reserve, home to a slew of wildlife.
Though lacking in numbers, Borneo makes up in a higher count of endemic species. A wildly wondrous list of endemic birds such as the Chestnut-Crested Yuhina can be spotted by novice birders, however, rare species like the Helmeted Hornbill and Whitehead’s Broadbill may require a sharp pair of eyes and ace hearing.
As the world’s third-largest island, it’s no wonder birds flock to Borneo, granting us the luxury of phenomenal birding opportunities in this wild corner of the world. From misty rainforests to the chilly montane regions of Kinabalu National Park, you’re guaranteed to bump shoulders with some of Southeast Asia’s esteemed feathered friends.
Allow Sticky Rice Travel’s team of experts to be your avian guides as you navigate your way through dense foliage with binoculars at the ready. Your explorations with us will take you on a whirlwind of birdy knowledge as you observe their day-to-day antics in their preferred habitats, their unique quirks, feeding habits or front row seats to dazzling courtship displays.
The going gets tough for when birding hotspots are out of reach. A new environment is best explored with a local to get the most out of a destination and this applies similarly when birding in unfamiliar territories. Our team covers birding areas that are less visited but brimming with a high concentration of bird species and equipped with the right vehicle to access these off-the-beaten-path locations – a feat otherwise impossible should birders opt to undertake a solo trip instead.
While not impossible to view birds without one, binoculars are indeed a birder’s best friend. Be enthralled by the little details ‘up close’ without encroaching into their personal space or as they take off and soar high in azurean skies. Our guides are not only equipped with binoculars, spotting scopes, and bird books, but they have the added advantage of being equally skilled in photography to add stunning shots to our ever-growing archive of bird encounters.
Similarly to humans, birds are known to be individuals in their own right, with disparities in personality present, even among the same species – some a tad bit more tame or sociable than others. Well-trained in bird identification from bird calls to behavior and down to the tiniest speck of color on plumages, our guides also strictly adhere to birding ethics as not to cause unwanted attention or disturbances in Mother Nature’s abode, falling in line with our ethos of low-impact travels.
Leading all tours on the philosophy of responsible tourism, Sticky Rice Travel provides an avenue for socially conscious travelers and birders to learn more about the ecology and conservation of the many wonderful avian species through meaningful adventures in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.