Birding Sepilok, Borneo (Half 2)

It feels good to start out a submit with some really engaging birds – similar to two species of broadbills.

For those who like cute birds, you’ll most likely just like the Black-and-yellow Broadbill.

The male has a steady black breastband …

… whereas that of the feminine is damaged within the middle. Homework project: Is the chicken in this video a male or a feminine?

Unusually, there don’t appear to be many papers on this species. If I used to be an ornithologist, I believe I might give attention to them, if solely as a result of they’re such engaging birds. (Kai, are you getting a bit sentimental?)

Although the Black-and-yellow Broadbill is classed as Close to Threatened, it’s comparatively simple to see at Sepilok, significantly from the cover walkway.

Whereas the variety of Black-and-red Broadbills has additionally declined, it’s nonetheless listed as Least Concern.

The decline might be partly attributable to deforestation – a examine discovered that  Black-and-red Broadbills nests had been extra usually situated in areas with a excessive proportion of forest habitat in comparison with disturbed habitat. 

Although by way of aesthetics, their nests are usually not a lot to take a look at – a paper (in Thai, however with an English abstract) describes the nest as “a cumbersome, untidy ball hanging from the tip of a department of keep on with a mean peak of 1.39 m above the water floor”.

Some weirdoes among the many biologists additionally appear to be within the Black-and-red Broadbill – not for the birds themselves however for his or her parasites, specifically, lice and mites. In one paper, you could find fascinating sentences similar to “The brand new species is most much like D. comoroensis in having the elongate notogastral porose areas Aa, nonetheless, it differs from the latter by the presence of 4 pairs of notogastral porose areas and the absence of anterior notogastral margin and ridges on anal plates.” I’m positive if I understood all of the phrases on this sentence, I might most likely need to throw up.

Apparently, among the lice and mites have additionally switched from their earlier bulbul hosts to the poor Black-and-red Broadbills, as described right here. Perhaps they just like the crimson shade of the broadbill higher than that of the customarily pretty dull-colored bulbuls.

One other paper seems to be on the nest-building strategies of two broadbills together with the Black-and-red Broadbill and predictably ends with the considerably pompous declare that the “examine of nests within the described species gives a key to understanding the development of nests in different species of broadbills and in chicken species constructing related domed pendent nests.” They forgot to say that it’s going to most likely additionally promote world peace.

I agree with eBird that the Asian Shiny Starling is “fierce-looking”.

Appropriately, it’s an invasive species in locations similar to Taiwan, the place some papers suggest decreasing the inhabitants.

The invasive nature of the species in Taiwan is hinted at by its scientific identify of panayensis, or “of the Philippines”.

For those who favor blood parasites to birds, possibly this paper (“Prevalence of haemosporidia in Asian Shiny Starling with discovery of misbinding of Haemoproteus-specific primer to Plasmodium genera in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo”) is extra attention-grabbing for you.

They largely eat fruit (76%) – one Malaysian scholar bought his bachelor’s diploma by learning their fecal matter.

Within the non-breeding season, male Baya Weavers generally enter the basket-making commerce, usually with appreciable success. You may see why right here.

For some motive, the distribution map of the Baya Weaver within the HBW doesn’t embody Sabah. Perhaps the birds I noticed weren’t actual.

Given the hassle and talent it should take to assemble these nests, the discovering that feminine alternative of a mate is extra correlated to nest location than to nest constructing high quality is shocking. Even to the creator of the paper, who cautiously provides that “nest structure is unlikely to be irrelevant to females, and its function deserves additional investigation” (if swear phrases had been allowed on 10,000 Birds, I might say that he’s making an attempt to cowl his ass).

In the meantime, the females appear to have a way more stress-free life, at the least on this early stage of the breeding season.

“I need to see some progress after I return to the nest after I’m dry once more”.

There’s a separate submit on the hornbills of Sabah – right here at Sepilok, two species appear pretty simple to see: the Black Hornbill

… and the Oriental Pied Hornbill.

My cats declare that Inexperienced Ioras don’t style in addition to …


Frequent Ioras (extra acidic) however I believe that could be extra of a notion subject – one simply connects the colour inexperienced with a bitter style, most likely primarily based on our expertise with fruit (although I generally must remind a few of my cats – after they need to steal my bread – that they’re compulsory carnivores).

My cats refuse to even strive Fiery Minivets. I agree that they appear poisonous, significantly the females.

Among the many about 15 species of minivets, I believe it’s the one with probably the most thrilling identify. Even the scientific species identify is igneus, similar to the English identify.

It’s categorised as Close to Threatened because the destruction of its forest habitat continues.

Whereas my cats just like the style of the Better Racket-tailed Drongo, they have a tendency to look pretty ridiculous consuming them, because the racket tail stands out of their mouth. Makes them look a bit like Olympic flag-bearers. It appears they don’t thoughts although.

Better Racket-tailed Drongos continuously take part in mixed-species chicken flocks, and a really current (September 2023) paper examined why that’s the case.

Initially, the paper discovered that the drongos certainly profit from becoming a member of blended flocks. The 2 hypotheses had been that the drongos both take part to steal meals from different species or that they profit from bugs disturbed by the opposite birds.

Luckily for the glory of the species, the researchers discovered that kleptoparasitism was practiced at a low charge (4% of observations) whereas rather more usually, drongos captured bugs disturbed by different species (41% of observations). 

One other weblog has some very attention-grabbing remarks concerning the species, which I’ll simply recite straight as they’re well-phrased:

“The Better Racket-Tailed Drongo, a conspicuous black chicken with a deeply forked tail, usually forages in flocks comprised of as much as a dozen totally different species of birds.  The drongo perches above the flock, snatching bugs that they disturb, and protecting an eye fixed out for predators which may go unnoticed by its looking flock-mates.  The related chicken species search out drongos, apparently relying upon them closely for defense.  Drongos feed extra successfully when in such flocks, so the advantages go each methods.

Current research in Sri Lanka have revealed that, upon sighting a predator, a drongo will imitate the alarm calls of at the least 4 different chicken species (babblers, laughing thrushes, bulbuls, and others), in addition to the decision given by the particular predator, i.e. an enormous squirrel or eagle.

When unthreatened however hungry, the drongo will entice different birds to itself by imitating their calls – however this time it makes use of contact calls or mating calls.  It very successfully varieties a small foraging group on this method.  So, the drongo isn’t solely selecting the calls of different species, however it’s utilizing them within the appropriate context – hawk versus snake, feeding versus mobbing.  In essence, the chicken is a real linguist.”

I couldn’t have stated it higher myself, I’m afraid.

The male Orange-bellied Flowerpecker has a triangular orange patch on its again, giving it its (barely Christ-like sounding) scientific species identify of trigonostigma (trigonos means triangular, stigmatos means mark).  

The HBW entry has 18 subspecies – absolutely there’s a good paper in inspecting the mitochondrial genome of all of them? Perhaps that can lead to some huge consolidation …

This basic shade scheme appears to be trendy with flowerpeckers – the male Yellow-rumped Flowerpecker does not likely look all that totally different, although it doesn’t faux to be Christ.

As an alternative, it has a cute little crimson patch on its head – and eBird calls it a “brightly-colored pinball of a chicken”.

Hopefully, the pictures under illustrate why the Oriental Darter can also be referred to as the snakebird.

The species is classed as Close to Threatened for all the standard miserable causes – air pollution, drainage, looking, and the gathering of eggs and nestlings (supply).

The Indian Categorical – a newspaper with the considerably offputting declare “Journalism of Braveness” has an article titled “Oriental Darter: As soon as simple to sight however is never noticed now”.

In distinction to people, the Oriental Darter doesn’t appear to look at particular mealtimes – it was discovered to have a roughly regular feeding charge all through the day, although there’s a slight decline round midday (when people are likely to stuff themselves).

They’re additionally fairly catholic (sorry, I actually like this phrase) of their prey choice, feeding on 17 totally different species of fish and prawn within the examine cited above.

And there’s a video right here.

As there are numerous attention-grabbing species at Sepilok, I can afford roughly skipping a couple of of them regardless of writing three posts on the situation. These species embody the Pacific Swallow

… in addition to a number of pigeons: the Inexperienced Imperial Pigeon

… the Pink-necked Inexperienced Pigeon

… and the Zebra Dove (though that one seems to be remarkably cute for a pigeon).

After the 2 broadbill species initially of this submit, the opposite fundamental attraction is a pair of two trogons. One is Diard’s Trogon.

It’s categorised as Close to Threatened.

The Wikipedia entry for Pierre Médard Diard ( 1794 – 1863), a French naturalist and explorer, feels like he was cheated by Sir Raffles. He and a colleague had an settlement with Raffles to accompany him and share the collected species equally, however later “Raffles requisitioned most of their assortment and left them copies”.

Unsurprisingly (although not very associated to trogons), there’s a webpage titled “Sir Stamford Raffles Was a Monster”. Which incorporates sentences similar to “Though Raffles is widely known for ‘founding’ trendy Singapore, historic information present that he was additionally an asshole, a hypocrite, a pathological liar, a pimp, and a moron …”.

You may inform from my elaborating on this that there’s not an excessive amount of info on this trogon. Anyway, under is the feminine, and listed here are two movies.

Sadly, pictures of the feminine are the one ones I bought for the Purple-naped Trogon. Belief me, the species identify is sensible for the male, although not for the feminine.

It is usually categorised as Close to Threatened. And whereas the scientific species identify kasumba feels like some scary new health development or a dancing sport carried out on cruise ships, it’s apparently simply the Malay time period for crimson.

After these trogons, the eBird description of the Yellow-bellied Prinia as “brightly-colored for a prinia” sounds a bit just like the dialogue from Succession:
“Tom: ‘The poorest wealthy particular person in America. The world’s tallest dwarf.’
Connor: ‘The weakest robust man on the circus.’”

The White-crowned Shama is (roughly) a Sabah endemic. It seems to be a bit prefer it has been created by taking the person modules of the White-rumped Shama and simply utilizing them in several places of the avian physique. Additionally obtainable as a video and one other video.

The scientific species identify stricklandii commemorates Hugh Edwin Strickland (1811-1853), a British geologist, zoologist, and the coordinator of the Strickland Code, a code of nomenclature for taxonomic classification ready by a committee of the British Affiliation for the Development of Science, first printed in 1842 (supply).

There’s a prolonged description of how these guidelines – after a lot deliberation – got here to be accepted. I’m positive one might make a really boring film primarily based on the occasions described on this paper.

If you wish to search for Strickland on Wikipedia, ensure to not simply sort in “Strickland”, as it will solely lead you to the entry for the (in my view slightly ugly) blended martial artist Sean Strickland.

In contrast to Sean the martial artist, who remains to be alive, our Strickland is already useless – when he went to look at the geological strata seen on a railway close to Retford within the UK, he stepped out of the best way of a items prepare on a double observe and was hit and killed by an specific coming in the wrong way. The hazards of being a geologist.

If you wish to understand how to not construct engaging nests, it’s possible you’ll need to search for a paper on the nest of a Yellow-eared Spiderhunter.

This chicken can also be accountable for perpetuating evil by pollinating and taking nectar from durian timber.

Within the unloved “Different” part of right this moment’s submit, now we have a couple of extra mammals. As it’s possible you’ll know, I’m not significantly keen on mammals, though most of them shouldn’t have to pay hefty bribes to pornstars to keep away from having a few of their soiled secrets and techniques revealed.



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