Best Places For Bird-Watching In Sarawak

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Photo: Chien C. Lee

With the highest number of national parks and nature reserves in Malaysia, Sarawak offers superb birdwatching opportunities. These range from balmy lowlands and shorelines to cold mossy forests at the summits of the higher mountains. It’s not surprising then, that Sarawak has the most number of “Important Bird Areas” in Malaysia.

Birding fans can enjoy bird-watching at these sites all year round.

• Bako Buntal Bay (30-minute drive from Kuching)

Photo: Anthony Wong

The estuary and mangrove forest has over 40 species of shorebirds including the Chinese egret, Chinese crested tern and Christmas Island frigatebird.

• Bako National Park (one-hour drive from Kuching)

Photo: Sarawak Tourism Board

The Park’s seven distinct rainforest ecosystems in one small area are home to more than 150 forest species including the pink-necked pigeon, grey-rumped treeswift, common flameback, Asian fairy-bluebird, black-winged flycatcher-shrike and mangrove blue-flycatcher.

• Borneo Highlands (1.5-hour drive from Kuching)

Pygmy white-eye
Photo: Chien C. Lee

The highland forest houses over 200 species including the pygmy white-eye, chestnut-crested yuhina, blyth’s hawk-eagle and various hornbills.

• Kubah National Park (45-minute drive from Kuching)

Rufous-collared kingfisher
Photo: Borneo Holiday Architects

The Park’s lowland forest has around 100 species including the Bornean blue-flycatcher, rufous-collared kingfisher, rusty-breasted cuckoo, chestnut-naped forktail and blue-banded pitta.

• Lambir Hills National Park (40-minute drive from Miri)

Photo: Tourism Malaysia

The Park’s lowland forest houses around 240 species include the olive-backed woodpecker, orange-bellied flowerpecker, red-eyed bulbul, great argus pheasant and fluffy-backed tit-babbler.

• Mount Mulu National Park (45-minute flight from Miri)

Photo: Tourism Malaysia

The lowland and highland forests in the National Park are home to over 250 species of birds including the red-bearded bee-eater, garnet pitta, rufous-bellied eagle, all eight hornbills found in Borneo and many other endemic birds.

Similajau National Park (40-minute drive from Bintulu)

Bornean wren babbler
Photo: Chien C. Lee

The Park’s lowland forest, cliffs and beach have around 180 bird species including the Bornean wren babbler, yellow-rumped flowerpecker, Wallace’s hawk-eagle, short-toed coucal, buffy fish-owl, blue-throated bee-eater, Diard’s trogon and scarlet-rumped trogon.

Info source: Sarawak Tourism Board