Articles from August 2010

Hornbill & Hornbill

On a recent morning trip to the Sepilok Rainforest Discovery Centre’s canopy walkway with my friends Nikki and Hayley, showy and loud hornbills came close and produced a wonderful display for all the visitors.

The Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostis is the smallest of the Bornean hornbills.  It is also the most common, most probably due to its ability to adapt to changing habitat.  I have seen it feeding on oil palm fruit and on one occasion took a young of a White-breasted Wood-swallow.  It is probably most at home in primary forest but also does well in swamp forest.

The Asian Black Hornbill Anthracoceros malayanus sticks to primary forest and its fig trees and because of the continued reduction of such forest, this bird is considered as near threatened.  I still rate it as more common than the hornbills with the exception of the Pied and Wrinkled.

Oriental Pied Hornbill by Ck Leong

Asian Black Hornbill by Ck Leong


The genus Spilornis is represented by 2 species in Borneo, the widespread and Borneo’s most common raptor S. cheela (Crested Serpent-eagle) and the rare endemic S. kinabaluensis (Mountain Serpent-eagle) occupying the montane habitats not frequented by the former.

The Mountain Serpent-eagle is distinguished from the Crested Serpent-eagle by having longer wings, a darker plumage with black throat and broader white band on the tail.  When seen flying  from a long distance, it is probably easier to id from the voice, with the final note of the Mountain being more sustained.

Mountain Serpent-eagle, Mt Kinabalu

Crested Serpent-eagle, Tabin Wildlife Resort