Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pheasant-tailed Jacana

Pheasant-tailed Jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus is another rare bird of Borneo. I photographed this bird in winter plumage in Tawau on 8th November 2007 with Mr Kong Ket Leong. We flashed it out from the wetland and when in flight we immediately noticed its white underwing, and it looked  different from other water birds that we have seen. It than stayed hidden among the water plants.
Pheasant-tailed Jacana

Its status in Borneo per available fieldguides are as follows;

- Widespread but discontinuous in Southeast Asia, from India to Philippines. There was no recent records from Kalimantan and the only recent record from anywhere in Borneo is one winter-plumaged bird seen at Kota Belud, Sabah, in Feb 1986. (Smythies and Davison 1999)

-A rare vagrant. The only record is a winter-plumaged bird seen near Kota Belud in Feb 1986. (Sheldon et al 2001)

- Present status unknown, and has been seen only once since 19th century; probably no longer occurs in Borneo. (Mann 2008)

- Probably resident in the Barito drainage of Southeast Borneo, but there are no breeding records. (Mackinnon and Phillipps 1993)

Robson put a question mark on this species when describing  its range and status in Borneo (Robson 2008).

MacKinnon, J. and Phillipps, K. (1993) A field Guide to the birds of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mann, C.F. (2008) The birds of Borneo, an annotated Checklist. Peterbourough, UK: British Ornithologists' Union.

Sheldon, F.H., Moyle, R.G. and Kennard, J. (2001) Ornithology of Sabah: History, Gazetteer, Annotated Checklist, and Bibliography. Washington D.C.:The American Ornithologists' Union.

Robson, C. (2008) A field guide to the birds of South-East Asia. London: New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd.

Smythies, B.E. and Davison, G.W.H. (1999) The birds of Borneo. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia: Natural History Publications (Borneo) Sdn. Bhd. and the Sabah Society.

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