List of birds of Brunei
This is a list of the bird species recorded in Brunei. The avifauna of Brunei include a total of 456 species, of which four are endemic, one has been introduced by humans, and one is rare or accidental. Twenty-five species are globally threatened.
This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of the Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for Brunei.
The following tags have been used to highlight several categories, but not all species fall into one of these categories. Those that do not are commonly occurring native species.
- (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Brunei
- (E) Endemic - a species endemic to Brunei
- (I) Introduced - a species introduced to Brunei as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions
Boobies and gannets
Phalacrocoracidae is a family of medium to large coastal, fish-eating seabirds that includes cormorants and shags. Plumage coloration varies, with the majority having mainly dark plumage, some species being black-and-white and a few being colorful.
- Great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo
Darters are often called "snake-birds" because of their long thin neck, which gives a snake-like appearance when they swim with their bodies submerged. The males have black and dark-brown plumage, an erectile crest on the nape and a larger bill than the female. The females have much paler plumage especially on the neck and underparts. The darters have completely webbed feet and their legs are short and set far back on the body. Their plumage is somewhat permeable, like that of cormorants, and they spread their wings to dry after diving.
- Oriental darter, Anhinga melanogaster
Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black-and-white or completely black, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have colored inflatable throat pouches. They do not swim or walk and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan-to-body-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week.
- Christmas frigatebird, Fregata andrewsi
- Great frigatebird, Fregata minor
- Lesser frigatebird, Fregata ariel
Bitterns, herons and egrets
The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills.
- Gray heron, Ardea cinerea
- Great-billed heron, Ardea sumatrana
- Purple heron, Ardea purpurea
- Eastern great egret, Ardea modesta
- Intermediate egret, Ardea intermedia
- Little egret, Egretta garzetta
- Chinese egret, Egretta eulophotes
- Pacific reef heron, Egretta sacra
- Chinese pond heron, Ardeola bacchus
- Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis
- Striated heron, Butorides striata
- Black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
- Japanese night heron, Gorsachius goisagi
- Malayan night heron, Gorsachius melanolophus
- Schrenck's bittern, Ixobrychus eurhythmus
- Cinnamon bittern, Ixobrychus cinnamomeus
- Black bittern, Ixobrychus flavicollis
- Great bittern, Botaurus stellaris
Ibises and spoonbills
Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers.
- Black-faced spoonbill, Platalea minor
Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute, but bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory. There are 19 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Brunei.
Ducks, geese and swans
Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating.
- Lesser whistling duck, Dendrocygna javanica
- Eurasian teal, Anas crecca
- Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos
- Northern pintail, Anas acuta
- Garganey, Spatula querquedula
- Northern shoveler, Spatula clypeata
- Tufted duck, Aythya fuligula
The family Pandionidae contains only one species, the osprey. The osprey is a medium-large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.
- Osprey, Pandion haliaetus
Hawks, kites and eagles
Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey, which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons and keen eyesight.
- Jerdon's baza, Aviceda jerdoni
- Oriental honey buzzard, Pernis ptilorhynchus
- Bat hawk, Macheiramphus alcinus
- Black-shouldered kite, Elanus axillaris
- Black kite, Milvus migrans
- Brahminy kite, Haliastur indus
- White-bellied sea eagle, Haliaeetus leucogaster
- Lesser fish eagle, Ichthyophaga humilis
- Gray-headed fish eagle, Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus
- White-rumped vulture, Gyps bengalensis
- Mountain serpent eagle, Spilornis kinabaluensis
- Crested serpent eagle, Spilornis cheela
- Eastern marsh harrier, Circus spilonotus
- Hen harrier, Circus cyaneus
- Pied harrier, Circus melanoleucos
- Crested goshawk, Accipiter trivirgatus
- Chinese goshawk, Accipiter soloensis
- Japanese sparrowhawk, Accipiter gularis
- Besra, Accipiter virgatus
- Eurasian sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus
- Gray-faced buzzard, Butastur indicus
- Black eagle, Ictinaetus malaiensis
- Rufous-bellied eagle, Lophotriorchis kienerii
- Changeable hawk-eagle, Nisaetus cirrhatus
- Blyth's hawk-eagle, Nisaetus alboniger
- Wallace's hawk-eagle, Nisaetus nanus
Caracaras and falcons
Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons. There are 62 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Brunei.
- Black-thighed falconet, Microhierax fringillarius
- Eurasian kestrel, Falco tinnunculus
- Oriental hobby, Falco severus
- Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus
The Megapodiidae are stocky, medium-large chicken-like birds with small heads and large feet. All but the malleefowl occupy jungle habitats and most have brown or black coloring. There are 21 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Brunei.
- Tabon scrubfowl, Megapodius cumingii
Pheasants and partridges
The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings. There are 156 species worldwide and 7 species which occur in Brunei.
- Black partridge, Melanoperdix nigra
- Blue-breasted quail, Coturnix chinensis
- Crested partridge, Rollulus rouloul
- Crestless fireback, Lophura erythrophthalma
- Crested fireback, Lophura ignita
- Bulwer's pheasant, Lophura bulweri
- Great argus, Argusianus argus
Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances". There are 15 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Brunei.
- Sarus crane, Grus antigone
Rails, crakes, gallinules and coots
Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers. There are 143 species worldwide and 9 species which occur in Brunei.
- Red-legged crake, Rallina fasciata
- Slaty-breasted rail, Gallirallus striatus
- Water rail, Rallus aquaticus
- White-breasted waterhen, Amaurornis phoenicurus
- Baillon's crake, Porzana pusilla
- White-browed crake, Porzana cinerea
- Watercock, Gallicrex cinerea
- Common moorhen, Gallinula chloropus
- Eurasian coot, Fulica atra
Painted-snipes are short-legged, long-billed birds similar in shape to the true snipes, but more brightly colored.
- Greater painted-snipe, Rostratula benghalensis
Avocets and stilts
Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There are 9 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Brunei.
- White-headed stilt, Himantopus leucocephalus
The thick-knees are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in the temperate zones Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow-black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats.
- Beach thick-knee, Esacus magnirostris
Pratincoles and coursers
Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings and long, pointed bills which curve downwards. There are 17 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Brunei.
- Oriental pratincole, Glareola maldivarum
Plovers and lapwings
The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water. There are 66 species worldwide and 12 species which occur in Brunei.
- Northern lapwing, Vanellus vanellus
- Gray-headed lapwing, Vanellus cinereus
- Pacific golden-plover, Pluvialis fulva
- Black-bellied plover, Pluvialis squatarola
- Common ringed plover, Charadrius hiaticula
- Long-billed plover, Charadrius placidus
- Little ringed plover, Charadrius dubius
- Snowy plover, Charadrius alexandrinus
- Malaysian plover, Charadrius peronii
- Lesser sandplover, Charadrius mongolus
- Greater sandplover, Charadrius leschenaultii
- Oriental plover, Charadrius veredus
Sandpipers and allies
Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.
- Eurasian woodcock, Scolopax rusticola
- Pintail snipe, Gallinago stenura
- Swinhoe's snipe, Gallinago megala
- Common snipe, Gallinago gallinago
- Long-billed dowitcher, Limnodromus scolopaceus (A)
- Asian dowitcher, Limnodromus semipalmatus
- Black-tailed godwit, Limosa limosa
- Bar-tailed godwit, Limosa lapponica
- Little curlew, Numenius minutus
- Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus
- Eurasian curlew, Numenius arquata
- Far Eastern curlew, Numenius madagascariensis
- Spotted redshank, Tringa erythropus
- Common redshank, Tringa totanus
- Marsh sandpiper, Tringa stagnatilis
- Common greenshank, Tringa nebularia
- Green sandpiper, Tringa ochropus
- Wood sandpiper, Tringa glareola
- Gray-tailed tattler, Tringa brevipes
- Terek sandpiper, Xenus cinereus
- Common sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos
- Ruddy turnstone, Arenaria interpres
- Great knot, Calidris tenuirostris
- Red knot, Calidris canutus
- Sanderling, Calidris alba
- Red-necked stint, Calidris ruficollis
- Little stint, Calidris minuta
- Temminck's stint, Calidris temminckii
- Long-toed stint, Calidris subminuta
- Sharp-tailed sandpiper, Calidris acuminata
- Curlew sandpiper, Calidris ferruginea
- Dunlin, Calidris alpina
- Broad-billed sandpiper, Calidris falcinellus
- Ruff, Calidris pugnax
- Red-necked phalarope, Phalaropus lobatus
Skuas and jaegers
The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with gray or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants. There are 7 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Brunei.
- Pomarine jaeger, Stercorarius pomarinus
Gulls, terns, and skimmers
Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds, the gulls, terns and skimmers. Gulls are typically gray or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with gray or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years.
- Black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus
- Gull-billed tern, Gelochelidon nilotica
- Caspian tern, Hydroprogne caspia
- Lesser crested tern, Thalasseus bengalensis
- Great crested tern, Thalasseus bergii
- Roseate tern, Sterna dougallii
- Black-naped tern, Sterna sumatrana
- Common tern, Sterna hirundo
- Little tern, Sternula albifrons
- Bridled tern, Onychoprion anaethetus
- Whiskered tern, Chlidonias hybrida
- White-winged tern, Chlidonias leucopterus
- Brown noddy, Anous stolidus
Pigeons and doves
- Rock pigeon, Columba livia (I)
- Metallic pigeon, Columba vitiensis
- Island collared dove, Streptopelia bitorquata
- Spotted dove, Spilopelia chinensis
- Ruddy cuckoo-dove, Macropygia emiliana
- Little cuckoo-dove, Macropygia ruficeps
- Emerald dove, Chalcophaps indica
- Nicobar pigeon, Caloenas nicobarica
- Little green pigeon, Treron olax
- Pink-necked pigeon, Treron vernans
- Cinnamon-headed pigeon, Treron fulvicollis
- Thick-billed pigeon, Treron curvirostra
- Large green pigeon, Treron capellei
- Jambu fruit dove, Ptilinopus jambu
- Green imperial pigeon, Ducula aenea
- Grey imperial pigeon, Ducula pickeringii
- Mountain imperial pigeon, Ducula badia
- Pied imperial pigeon, Ducula bicolor
Old world parrots
- Blue-rumped parrot, Psittinus cyanurus
- Long-tailed parakeet, Psittacula longicauda
- Blue-crowned hanging parrot, Loriculus galgulus
Cuckoos and anis
- Large hawk-cuckoo, Hierococcyx sparverioides
- Dark hawk-cuckoo, Hierococcyx bocki
- Moustached hawk-cuckoo, Hierococcyx vagans
- Indian cuckoo, Cuculus micropterus
- Himalayan cuckoo, Cuculus saturatus
- Oriental cuckoo, Cuculus optatus
- Fork-tailed drongo-cuckoo, Surniculus dicruroides
- Banded bay cuckoo, Cacomantis sonneratii
- Plaintive cuckoo, Cacomantis merulinus
- Brush cuckoo, Cacomantis variolosus
- Horsfield's bronze cuckoo, Chrysococcyx basalis
- Little bronze cuckoo, Chrysococcyx minutillus
- Violet cuckoo, Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus
- Asian koel, Eudynamys scolopacea
- Black-bellied malkoha, Phaenicophaeus diardi
- Chestnut-bellied malkoha, Phaenicophaeus sumatranus
- Raffles's malkoha, Phaenicophaeus chlorophaeus
- Red-billed malkoha, Phaenicophaeus javanicus
- Chestnut-breasted malkoha, Phaenicophaeus curvirostris
- Bornean ground-cuckoo, Carpococcyx radiatus
- Short-toed coucal, Centropus rectunguis
- Greater coucal, Centropus sinensis
- Lesser coucal, Centropus bengalensis
Barn owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There are 16 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Brunei.
- Oriental bay owl, Phodilus badius
The typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk.
- Reddish scops owl, Otus rufescens
- Mountain scops owl, Otus spilocephalus
- Sunda scops owl, Otus lempiji
- Barred eagle-owl, Bubo sumatranus
- Buffy fish owl, Ketupa ketupu
- Brown wood owl, Strix leptogrammica
- Collared owlet, Glaucidium brodiei
- Brown hawk-owl, Ninox scutulata
- Northern boobook, Ninox japonica
- Short-eared owl, Asio flammeus
The frogmouths are a group of nocturnal birds related to the nightjars. They are named for their large flattened hooked bill and huge frog-like gape, which they use to take insects. There are 5 species which have been recorded in Brunei.
- Large frogmouth, Batrachostomus auritus
- Gould's frogmouth, Batrachostomus stellatus
- Short-tailed frogmouth, Batrachostomus poliolophus
- Blyth's frogmouth, Batrachostomus affinis
- Sunda frogmouth, Batrachostomus cornutus
Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds which usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves.
- Malaysian nightjar, Eurostopodus temminckii
- Grey nightjar, Caprimulgus jotaka
- Large-tailed nightjar, Caprimulgus macrurus
- Savanna nightjar, Caprimulgus affinis
- Bonaparte's nightjar, Caprimulgus concretus
Swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang. There are 10 species which have been recorded in Brunei.
- Plume-toed swiftlet, Collocalia affinis
- Mossy-nest swiftlet, Aerodramus salangana
- Black-nest swiftlet, Aerodramus maximus
- Edible-nest swiftlet, Aerodramus fuciphagus
- Silver-rumped needletail, Rhaphidura leucopygialis
- White-throated needletail, Hirundapus caudacutus
- Brown-backed needletail, Hirundapus giganteus
- Asian palm swift, Cypsiurus balasiensis
- Pacific swift, Apus pacificus
- House swift, Apus nipalensis
The treeswifts, also called crested swifts, are closely related to the true swifts. They differ from the other swifts in that they have crests, long forked tails and softer plumage. There are 4 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Brunei.
Trogons and quetzals
The family Trogonidae includes trogons and quetzals. Found in tropical woodlands worldwide, they feed on insects and fruit, and their broad bills and weak legs reflect their diet and arboreal habits. Although their flight is fast, they are reluctant to fly any distance. Trogons have soft, often colorful, feathers with distinctive male and female plumage. There are 33 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Brunei.
- Red-naped trogon, Harpactes kasumba
- Diard's trogon, Harpactes diardii
- Cinnamon-rumped trogon, Harpactes orrhophaeus
- Scarlet-rumped trogon, Harpactes duvaucelii
- Orange-breasted trogon, Harpactes oreskios
Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long, pointed bills, short legs and stubby tails. There are 93 species worldwide and 11 species which occur in Brunei.
- Common kingfisher, Alcedo atthis
- Blue-eared kingfisher, Alcedo meninting
- Blue-banded kingfisher, Alcedo euryzona
- Black-backed kingfisher, Ceyx erithacus
- Rufous-backed kingfisher, Ceyx rufidorsa
- Banded kingfisher, Lacedo pulchella
- Stork-billed kingfisher, Pelargopsis capensis
- Ruddy kingfisher, Halcyon coromanda
- Black-capped kingfisher, Halcyon pileata
- Collared kingfisher, Todirhamphus chloris
- Rufous-collared kingfisher, Actenoides concretus
The bee-eaters are a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. Most species are found in Africa but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia and New Guinea. They are characterized by richly colored plumage, slender bodies, and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colorful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar. There are 26 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Brunei.
Rollers resemble crows in size and build, but are more closely related to the kingfishers and bee-eaters. They share the colorful appearance of those groups with blues and browns predominating. The two inner front toes are connected, but the outer toe is not. There are 12 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Brunei.
- Dollarbird, Eurystomus orientalis
Hoopoes have black, white and orangey-pink coloring with a large erectile crest on their head. There are 2 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Brunei.
- Hoopoe, Upupa epops
Hornbills are a group of birds whose bill is shaped like a cow's horn, but without a twist, sometimes with a casque on the upper mandible. Frequently, the bill is brightly colored. There are 8 species which occur in Brunei.
- Oriental pied-hornbill, Anthracoceros albirostris
- Black hornbill, Anthracoceros malayanus
- Rhinoceros hornbill, Buceros rhinoceros
- Helmeted hornbill, Buceros vigil
- Bushy-crested hornbill, Anorrhinus galeritus
- White-crowned hornbill, Berenicornis comatus
- Wrinkled hornbill, Rhabdotorrhinus corrugatus
- Wreathed hornbill, Rhyticeros undulatus
The barbets are plump birds, with short necks and large heads. They get their name from the bristles which fringe their heavy bills. Most species are brightly coloured.
- Golden-whiskered barbet, Psilopogon chrysopogon
- Red-crowned barbet, Psilopogon rafflesii
- Red-throated barbet, Psilopogon mystacophanos
- Yellow-crowned barbet, Psilopogon henricii
- Blue-eared barbet, Psilopogon duvaucelii
- Brown barbet, Caloramphus fuliginosus
Honeyguides are among the few birds that feed on wax. They are named for the greater honeyguide which leads traditional honey-hunters to bees' nests and, after the hunters have harvested the honey, feeds on the remaining contents of the hive. There are 17 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Brunei.
- Malaysian honeyguide, Indicator archipelagicus
Woodpeckers and allies
Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Some species have feet with two toes pointing forward and two backward, while several species have only three toes. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks.
- Rufous piculet, Sasia abnormis
- Sunda pygmy woodpecker, Yungipicus moluccensis
- Rufous woodpecker, Micropternus brachyurus
- White-bellied woodpecker, Dryocopus javensis
- Banded woodpecker, Chrysophlegma mineaceum
- Checker-throated woodpecker, Chrysophlegma mentale
- Crimson-winged woodpecker, Picus puniceus
- Olive-backed woodpecker, Dinopium rafflesii
- Common flameback, Dinopium javanense
- Maroon woodpecker, Blythipicus rubiginosus
- Orange-backed woodpecker, Chrysocolaptes validus
- Buff-rumped woodpecker, Meiglyptes tristis
- Buff-necked woodpecker, Meiglyptes tukki
- Gray-and-buff woodpecker, Hemicircus concretus
- Great slaty woodpecker, Mulleripicus pulverulentus
The broadbills are small, brightly colored birds, which feed on fruit and also take insects in flycatcher fashion, snapping their broad bills. Their habitat is in the canopy of wet forests. There are 15 species worldwide and 6 species which occur in Brunei.
- Dusky broadbill, Corydon sumatranus
- Black-and-red broadbill, Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos
- Banded broadbill, Eurylaimus javanicus
- Black-and-yellow broadbill, Eurylaimus ochromalus
- Long-tailed broadbill, Psarisomus dalhousiae
- Green broadbill, Calyptomena viridis
Pittas are medium-sized by passerine standards and are stocky, with fairly long, strong legs, short tails and stout bills. Many, but not all, are brightly colored. They spend the majority of their time on wet forest floors, eating snails, insects and similar invertebrates.
- Giant pitta, Hydrornis caerulea
- Bornean banded pitta, Hydrornis schwaneri
- Blue-headed pitta, Hydrornis baudii
- Blue-banded pitta, Erythropitta arquata (E)
- Garnet pitta, Erythropitta granatina
- Hooded pitta, Pitta sordida
- Fairy pitta, Pitta nympha
- Blue-winged pitta, Pitta moluccensis
Swallows and martins
The family Hirundinidae is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base. There are 75 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Brunei.
- Sand martin, Riparia riparia
- Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica
- Pacific swallow, Hirundo tahitica
- Red-rumped swallow, Cecropis daurica
Wagtails and pipits
Motacillidae is a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the wagtails, longclaws and pipits. They are slender, ground feeding insectivores of open country. There are 54 species worldwide and 7 species which occur in Brunei.
- White wagtail, Motacilla alba
- Yellow wagtail, Motacilla flava
- Gray wagtail, Motacilla cinerea
- Oriental pipit, Anthus rufulus
- Olive-backed pipit, Anthus hodgsoni
- Pechora pipit, Anthus gustavi
- Red-throated pipit, Anthus cervinus
The cuckooshrikes are small to medium-sized passerine birds. They are predominantly grayish with white and black, although some species are brightly colored.
- Bar-bellied cuckooshrike, Coracina striata
- Lesser cuckooshrike, Coracina fimbriata
- Pied triller, Lalage nigra
- Fiery minivet, Pericrocotus igneus
- Scarlet minivet, Pericrocotus flammeus
- Gray-chinned minivet, Pericrocotus solaris
Eupetidae is a monotypic family; its sole species occurs in Thailand.
- Malaysian rail-babbler, Eupetes macrocerus
Bulbuls are medium-sized songbirds. Some are colorful with yellow, red or orange vents, cheeks, throats or supercilia, but most are drab, with uniform olive-brown to black plumage. Some species have distinct crests.
- Straw-headed bulbul, Pycnonotus zeylanicus
- Black-and-white bulbul, Pycnonotus melanoleucus
- Black-headed bulbul, Pycnonotus atriceps
- Bornean bulbul, Pycnonotus montis
- Scaly-breasted bulbul, Pycnonotus squamatus
- Gray-bellied bulbul, Pycnonotus cyaniventris
- Yellow-vented bulbul, Pycnonotus goiavier
- Olive-winged bulbul, Pycnonotus plumosus
- Cream-vented bulbul, Pycnonotus simplex
- Red-eyed bulbul, Pycnonotus brunneus
- Spectacled bulbul, Pycnonotus erythropthalmos
- Gray-cheeked bulbul, Alophoixus bres
- Yellow-bellied bulbul, Alophoixus phaeocephalus
- Hook-billed bulbul, Setornis criniger
- Hairy-backed bulbul, Tricholestes criniger
- Buff-vented bulbul, Iole olivacea
- Streaked bulbul, Ixos malaccensis
The leafbirds are small, bulbul-like birds. The males are brightly plumaged, usually in greens and yellows. There are 8 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Brunei.
- Greater green leafbird, Chloropsis sonnerati
- Lesser green leafbird, Chloropsis cyanopogon
- Blue-winged leafbird, Chloropsis cochinchinensis
The ioras are bulbul-like birds of open forest or thorn scrub, but whereas that group tends to be drab in coloration, ioras are sexually dimorphic, with the males being brightly plumaged in yellows and greens. There are 4 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Brunei.
Thrushes and allies
The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs.
- Orange-headed thrush, Geokichla citrina
- Island thrush, Turdus poliocephalus
- Eyebrowed thrush, Turdus obscurus
- Pale thrush, Turdus pallidus
- Fruithunter, Chlamydochaera jefferyi (E)
Cisticolas and allies
The Cisticolidae are warblers found mainly in warmer southern regions of the Old World. They are generally very small birds of drab brown or gray appearance found in open country such as grassland or scrub. T
- Yellow-bellied prinia, Prinia flaviventris
- Dark-necked tailorbird, Orthotomus atrogularis
- Rufous-tailed tailorbird, Orthotomus sericeus
- Ashy tailorbird, Orthotomus ruficeps
- Pallas's grasshopper warbler, Locustella certhiola
- Middendorff's grasshopper warbler, Locustella ochotensis
- Oriental reed warbler, Acrocephalus orientalis
- Arctic warbler, Phylloscopus borealis
- Mountain warbler, Phylloscopus trivirgatus
- Yellow-breasted warbler, Seicercus montis
Old World flycatchers
Old World flycatchers are a large group of small passerine birds native to the Old World. They are mainly small arboreal insectivores. The appearance of these birds is highly varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls.
- Blue rock thrush, Monticola solitarius
- Bornean whistling thrush, Myophonus borneensis
- White-browed shortwing, Brachypteryx montana
- Brown-chested jungle flycatcher, Rhinomyias brunneata
- Grey-chested jungle flycatcher, Rhinomyias umbratilis
- Fulvous-chested jungle flycatcher, Rhinomyias olivacea
- Chestnut-tailed jungle flycatcher, Rhinomyias ruficauda
- Eyebrowed jungle flycatcher, Rhinomyias gularis (E)
- Siberian flycatcher, Muscicapa sibirica
- Asian brown flycatcher, Muscicapa dauurica
- Mugimaki flycatcher, Ficedula mugimaki
- Red-breasted flycatcher, Ficedula parva
- Snowy-browed flycatcher, Ficedula hyperythra
- Rufous-chested flycatcher, Ficedula dumetoria
- Blue-and-white flycatcher, Cyanoptila cyanomelana
- Verditer flycatcher, Eumyias thalassina
- Pale blue flycatcher, Cyornis unicolor
- Hill blue flycatcher, Cyornis banyumas
- Long-billed blue flycatcher, Cyornis caerulatus
- Malaysian blue flycatcher, Cyornis turcosus
- Bornean blue flycatcher, Cyornis superbus
- Mangrove blue flycatcher, Cyornis rufigastra
- Gray-headed canary-flycatcher, Culicicapa ceylonensis
- Siberian rubythroat, Calliope calliope
- Oriental magpie-robin, Copsychus saularis
- White-rumped shama, Copsychus malabaricus
- Siberian stonechat, Saxicola maurus
- White-crowned forktail, Enicurus leschenaulti
The fantails are small insectivorous birds which are specialist aerial feeders. There are 44 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Brunei.
- White-throated fantail, Rhipidura albicollis
- Pied fantail, Rhipidura javanica
- Spotted fantail, Rhipidura perlata
Whistlers and allies
The family Pachycephalidae includes the whistlers, shrike-thrushes, shrike-tits, pitohuis and crested bellbird. There are 57 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Brunei.
- White-chested babbler, Trichastoma rostratum
- Ferruginous babbler, Trichastoma bicolor
- Abbott's babbler, Malacocincla abbotti
- Horsfield's babbler, Malacocincla sepiarium
- Short-tailed babbler, Malacocincla malaccensis
- Temminck's babbler, Pellorneum pyrrogenys
- Black-capped babbler, Pellorneum capistratum
- Moustached babbler, Malacopteron magnirostre
- Sooty-capped babbler, Malacopteron affine
- Scaly-crowned babbler, Malacopteron cinereum
- Rufous-crowned babbler, Malacopteron magnum
- Gray-breasted babbler, Malacopteron albogulare
- Bornean wren-babbler, Ptilocichla leucogrammica
- Brown fulvetta, Alcippe brunneicauda
The babblers, or timaliids, are somewhat diverse in size and coloration, but are characterized by soft fluffy plumage.
- Chestnut-backed scimitar babbler, Pomatorhinus montanus
- Gray-throated babbler, Stachyris nigriceps
- Gray-headed babbler, Stachyris poliocephala
- Black-throated babbler, Stachyris nigricollis
- Chestnut-rumped babbler, Stachyris maculata
- Chestnut-winged babbler, Stachyris erythroptera
- Bold-striped tit-babbler, Macronus bornensis
- Fluffy-backed tit-babbler, Macronus ptilosus
- Chestnut-hooded laughingthrush, Garrulax treacheri
Chickadees and titmice
The Paridae are mainly small stocky woodland species with short stout bills. Some have crests. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects.
- Cinereous tit, Parus cinereus
Nuthatches are small woodland birds. They have the unusual ability to climb down trees head first, unlike other birds which can only go upwards. Nuthatches have big heads, short tails and powerful bills and feet. There are 24 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Brunei.
- Velvet-fronted nuthatch, Sitta frontalis
Sunbirds and spiderhunters
The sunbirds and spiderhunters are very small passerine birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Flight is fast and direct on their short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed. There are 15 species which have been recorded in Brunei.
- Ruby-cheeked sunbird, Chalcoparia singalensis
- Plain sunbird, Anthreptes simplex
- Brown-throated sunbird, Anthreptes malacensis
- Red-throated sunbird, Anthreptes rhodolaema
- Purple-naped sunbird, Hypogramma hypogrammicum
- Copper-throated sunbird, Leptocoma calcostetha
- Purple-throated sunbird, Leptocoma sperata
- Van Hasselt's sunbird, Leptocoma brasiliana
- Olive-backed sunbird, Cinnyris jugularis
- Crimson sunbird, Aethopyga siparaja
- Thick-billed spiderhunter, Arachnothera crassirostris
- Spectacled spiderhunter, Arachnothera flavigaster
- Long-billed spiderhunter, Arachnothera robusta
- Little spiderhunter, Arachnothera longirostra
- Bornean spiderhunter, Arachnothera everetti
- Yellow-eared spiderhunter, Arachnothera chrysogenys
The flowerpeckers are very small, stout, often brightly colored birds, with short tails, short thick curved bills and tubular tongues.
- Yellow-breasted flowerpecker, Prionochilus maculatus
- Crimson-breasted flowerpecker, Prionochilus percussus
- Yellow-rumped flowerpecker, Prionochilus xanthopygius
- Scarlet-breasted flowerpecker, Prionochilus thoracicus
- Brown-backed flowerpecker, Dicaeum everetti
- Yellow-vented flowerpecker, Dicaeum chrysorrheum
- Orange-bellied flowerpecker, Dicaeum trigonostigma
- Plain flowerpecker, Dicaeum minullum
- Scarlet-backed flowerpecker, Dicaeum cruentatum
The white-eyes are small and mostly undistinguished, their plumage above being generally some dull color like greenish-olive, but some species have a white or bright yellow throat, breast or lower parts, and several have buff flanks. As their name suggests, many species have a white ring around each eye. There are 96 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Brunei.
- Everett's white-eye, Zosterops everetti
Old World orioles
The Old World orioles are colorful passerine birds. They are not related to the New World orioles. There are 29 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Brunei.
- Dark-throated oriole, Oriolus xanthonotus
- Black-naped oriole, Oriolus chinensis
- Black-and-crimson oriole, Oriolus cruentus
The fairy-bluebirds are bulbul-like birds of open forest or thorn scrub. The males are dark-blue and the females a duller green. There are 2 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Brunei.
- Asian fairy-bluebird, Irena puella
Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey. There is 1 species which occurs in Brunei.
- Brown shrike, Lanius cristatus
- Large woodshrike, Tephrodornis virgatus
- Rufous-winged philentoma, Philentoma pyrhopterum
- Maroon-breasted philentoma, Philentoma velatum
- Bar-winged flycatcher-shrike, Hemipus picatus
- Black-winged flycatcher-shrike, Hemipus hirundinaceus
The drongos are mostly black or dark gray in color, sometimes with metallic tints. They have long forked tails, and some Asian species have elaborate tail decorations. They have short legs and sit very upright while perched, like a shrike. They flycatch or take prey from the ground. There are 24 species worldwide and 3 species which occur in Brunei.
- Ashy drongo, Dicrurus leucophaeus
- Hair-crested drongo, Dicrurus hottentottus
- Greater racket-tailed drongo, Dicrurus paradiseus
The woodswallows are soft-plumaged, somber-colored passerine birds. They are smooth, agile flyers with moderately large, semi-triangular wings. There are 11 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Brunei.
- White-breasted woodswallow, Artamus leucorynchus
The Bornean bristlehead is large black bird with a red and yellow head. Females also have some red in the wings. It has a massive heavy black hooked bill and a short tail. The crown of the head has short, colored projections like bare feather shaft, hence the name "bristlehead".
- Bornean bristlehead, Pityriasis gymnocephala
Crows, jays, ravens and magpies
The family Corvidae includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size among the Passeriformes, and some of the larger species show high levels of intelligence. There are 120 species worldwide and 5 species which occur in Brunei.
- Crested jay, Platylophus galericulatus
- Black magpie, Platysmurus leucopterus
- Common green magpie, Cissa chinensis
- Bornean green magpie, Cissa jefferyi
- Slender-billed crow, Corvus enca
Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen.
- Asian glossy starling, Aplonis panayensis
- Common hill myna, Gracula religiosa
- Crested myna, Acridotheres cristatellus
- Black-collared starling, Gracupica nigricollis
- Chestnut-cheeked starling, Agropsar philippensis
Waxbills and allies
The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are gregarious and often colonial seed eaters with short thick but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but have a wide variation in plumage colors and patterns. There are 141 species worldwide and 4 species which occur in Brunei.
- Tawny-breasted parrotfinch, Erythrura hyperythra
- Pin-tailed parrotfinch, Erythrura prasina
- Dusky munia, Lonchura fuscans
- White-bellied munia, Lonchura leucogastra
Buntings, sparrows, seedeaters and allies
The emberizids are a large family of passerine birds. They are seed-eating birds with distinctively shaped bills. In Europe, most species are called buntings. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns. There are 275 species worldwide and 2 species which occur in Brunei.
Sparrows are small passerine birds. In general, sparrows tend to be small, plump, brown or gray birds with short tails and short powerful beaks. Sparrows are seed eaters, but they also consume small insects. There are 35 species worldwide and 1 species which occurs in Brunei.
- Eurasian tree sparrow, Passer montanus