Monday, February 28, 2011

Pale-bellied Myna

Further to my earlier posts on the new bird of Sabah, Borneo; here and here.

The birds had been identified as Pale-bellied Myna Acridotheres cinereus, an endemic species of Southern Sulawesi. They could have been introduced here as caged birds.

They have been here for a number of years now. A visit recently showed that they are doing very well, I saw about 40 to 50 birds on a bare tree, flocking with some Asian Glossy Starling Aplonis panayensis and a darker individual suspected to be a Javan Myna Acridotheres javanicus.

Here are the pictures.

The darker bird in the middle is suspected to be a Javan Myna.

Happy birding.

Photodocument of Wild Birds of Borneo

Standard References for my blog

Friday, February 11, 2011

Three Lonchuras at my neighbour's backyard

My next door neighbor moved to KL  a number of years ago and he stopped renting out his house recently in preparation for sale. Long grass unattended attracted three members of the seed-eating Lonchuras. I just need to stand at my kitchen door to photograph them.

First is the extremely common Chestnut Munia Lonchura atricapilla. This bird is all over the place, nesting in housing estates' gardens, traffic islands and even in your potted plant.

Than, the attractive feral Java Sparrow Lonchura oryzivora. Originally introduced as pet birds, the escapees are evidently well established as large party numbering more than 50 birds can be seen congregating to feed on suitable locations here.

Later the rarer White-bellied Munia Lonchura leucogastra palawana, this bird is, unlike its Chestnut Munia cousin, very shy and difficult to approach, it will flee at the slightest sign of you approaching.

Interestingly, Borneo has four races of this. Both Phillipps' and Susan Myer's Fieldguides illustrate the L. l. smythiesi found in western Borneo (Sarawak). The race in Sabah is L. l. palawana, similar to L. l. smythiesi but with less chestnut on the flanks. Also note that only the belly is white, not the vent.

And this is a shot of three of them together, Java Sparrow on top, White-bellied Munia at the bottom.

Happy birding.