a field guide to the planet - by Damon Ramsey
Lophophorus impejanus, 'Himalayan Monal' female (Bhutan). Found in high altitude temperate and alpine forests and open areas above the treeline, around the Himalayan region.
Lophura leucomelanos, 'Kalij Pheasant' (Bhutan). Found in various high altitude forest types around the Himalayan region, and south into parts of the south-east Asia mainland.
Ithaginis cruentus, 'Blood Pheasant' (Bhutan). Found in high altitude temperate and alpine forests, around the Himalayan region and into central China.
Columba hodgsonii, 'Speckled Wood Pigeon' (Chelela Pass, Bhutan). Found in montane forests around the Himalayan region, across the northern part of the south-east Asian mainland, and into China.
Psilopogon franklinii, 'Golden-throated Barbet' (Bhutan). Found in tropical and temperate rainforest on the south-east Asian mainland, from Himalayas to tip of Malaysian peninsula.
Dendrocopos hyperythrus, 'Rufous-bellied Woodpecker' (Bhutan). Found in forest across mainland south-east Asia, from Himalayas, north to China.
Corvus macrorhynchos, 'Large-billed Crow', (Bhutan). Lives in a wide range of habitats across Asia, including high altitude temperate forests.
Urocissa flavirostris, ' Yellow-billed/Golden-billed Blue Magpie', (Lampelri Gardens, Bhutan). Found in the mountain forests of Himalayas and small pockets of the south-east Asian mainland.
Nucifraga caryocatactes, 'Spotted Nutcracker' (Bhutan).
Chelidorhynx hypoxanthus, 'Yellow-bellied (Fairy-) Fantail', (Bhutan). Looks and acts just like a fantail, and thus the common name, but is in a different family, thus the addition of 'Fairy'. Found in montane forest around Himalayan region and northern part of south-east Asian mainland.
Parus monticolus, 'Green-backed Tit', (Lampelri Gardens, Bhutan). Found in a variety of forests, but most associated with mountain forests. Distributed from Himalayas, through northern mainland south-east Asia, to southern China.
Pycnonotus striatus, 'Striated Bulbul', (Lampelri Gardens, Bhutan). Found in mountain rainforest from Himalayas and throughout mainland south-east Asia.
Cettia brunnifrons, 'Grey-sided Bush warbler' (Bhutan). Found in the temperate forest of mountains in Asia, from the Himalayas to China.
The parrotbills are odd looking birds that have caused continuing taxonomic confusion. Their small size and remote distribution meant their recognition as a distinct family took a long time.
Cholornis unicolor, 'Brown Parrotbills', (Lampelri Gardens, Bhutan). Usually associated with bamboo growth, and thus mostly found around mountain forests in the Himalayas to southern China.
There are currently 11 species of Yuhina. Yuhinas are small birds that usually have a cute crest.
They tend to be found in higher altitude forest across tropical Asia, from the Himalayas across to China.
Yuhina gularis , 'Stripe-throated Yuhina' (Bhutan). Found in the mountain forest around the Himalayas and across the northern part of south-east Asia into China.
Yuhina occipitalis, 'Rufous-vented Yuhina' (Bhutan). Found in the mountain forest around the Himalayas and across the northern part of south-east Asia.
Yuhina flavicollis, 'Whiskered Yuhina' (Lampelri Gardens, Bhutan). Found in mountain forests from Himalayas and into mainland south-east Asa.
Pomatorhinus ruficollis, 'Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler' (Bhutan). Found in mountain rainforest across the northern part of the south-east Asian mainland.
Cyanoderma ruficeps, 'Rufous-capped Babbler', (Bhutan). Distributed in mountain forest in south east Asia, from Himalayas to China.
A family with a changing taxonomic history. The group is most diverse in tropical Asia. It includes several groups of birds that seem quite distinct from each other.
(I have put the following in the order of Cibois, A.; Gelang, M.; Alström, P.; Pasquet, E.; Fjeldså, J.; Ericson, P.G.P.; Olsson, U. (2018). "Comprehensive phylogeny of the laughingthrushes and allies (Aves, Leiothrichidae) and a proposal for a revised taxonomy". Zoologica Scripta. 47 (4): 428–440.))
Trochalopteron erythrocephalum, 'Chestnut-crowned Laughing Thrush', (Lampelri Gardens, Bhutan). Found in mountain rainforest around the Himalayas.
Actinodura strigula, 'Bar-thoated/Chest-nut Tailed Minia/Siva', (Bhutan). Found in montane forest from India through south-east Asia.
Leiothrix lutea, 'Red-billed leiothrix' (Bhutan). Distributed from Himalayas across northern south-east Asian mainland to southern Japan.
Heterophasia capistrata, 'Rufous Sibia'. Attractive bird. Found in mountain forest around the Himalayas.
Pterorhinus albogularis, 'White-throated Laughing Thrush', (Lampelri Gardens, Bhutan). Found in mountain forest from Himalayas and into China.
Monticola rufiventris, 'Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush' (Bhutan). Found across northern south-east mainland from Himalayas to China.
Sunbirds are one of the most beautiful groups of birds in the world, and there are some stunning species to be found in the higher altitude forests of Asia's mountains.
Aethopyga nipalensis, 'Green-tailed Sunbird' (Lampelri Gardens, Bhutan). A stunning sunbird. Found in montane forest from Himalayas to south-east Asia.
Aethopyga ignicauda, 'Fire-tailed Sunbird' (Bhutan). Found in mountain rainforests of northern India, and across the northern part of the south-east Asian mainland.
Mycerobas carnipes, 'White-winged Gosbeak' (Bhutan). Found in temperate forests around the Himalayan region, and into China to the east and Iran to the west.
Thinking of travelling again after everything settles down? One of the first expeditions I am booked to work on is the NZ sub-Antarctics with Silversea Expeditions and Australia with Coral Expeditions. And here is a shortened version of one of my lectures in a warmer part of the world.