a field guide to the planet - by Damon Ramsey
The songbirds of the rainforest in tropical Asia can sometimes be difficult to find, but include some of the most beautiful species in the world...
Oriolus chinensis, 'Black-naped Oriole' (Captive, Singapore Zoo).
Oriolus traillii, 'Maroon Oriole' (Jigme Dorji National Park, Bhutan).
Pericrocotus flammeus, 'Orange/Flame Minivet', (Kithugala, Sri Lanka). Found in rainforest in India and Sri Lanka.
Pericrocotus speciosus, 'Scarlet Minivet' (Nature Lodge, Cambodia). Found throughout much of south-east Asia.
Scarlet Minivet young male (Bhutan).
Aegithina tiphia, 'Common Iora', (Nature Lodge, Cambodia).
Rhipidura javanica, 'Pied Fantail' (Samarn Bird Camp, Thailand). White belly (hard to see in photo).
Rhipidura albicollis, 'White-throated Fantail', (Lampelri Gardens, Bhutan). Usually all dark except for white throat stripe, although I have seen some with lighter belies. Found in closed and open habitats. Widespread throughout tropical Asia, from the Himalayas to Indonesia.
Dicrurus caerulescens, 'White-bellied Drongo' (Kithugala, Sri Lanka). Found across India and into Sri Lanka.
Dicrurus leucophaeus, 'Ashy Drongo', (Kinabalu National Park, Malaysia). A widespread species that varies in colour and markings.
Hypothymis azurea, 'Black-naped Blue Flycatcher/Monarch' (Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia). Found in forest, and distributed from India, throughout south-east Asia, north to China, south east to the Lesser Sundas.
Terpsiphone paradisi ceylonensis, Ceylon Paradise Flycatcher (Kelanni, Sri Lanka).
Dendrocitta formosae, 'Grey Treepie', (Jigme Dorji National Park, Bhutan). Found in the lower mountain forests of tropical Asia.
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.
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 hill forest around Himalayan region and northern part of south-east Asian mainland.
Orthotomus sutorius, 'Common Tailorbird' (Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand). One of the most commonly noticed smaller birds in various habitats across south-east Asia.
Orthotomus atrogularis, 'Dark-necked Tailorbird' (Singapore). Found across south-east Asia, from extreme north-east India to northern Borneo.
Phylloscopus sp. 'Leaf Warbler' (Doi Inthanon Natrional Park, Thailand).
Phylloscopus montis 'Yellow-breasted Warbler', (Kinabalu National Park, Malaysia).
Ampeliceps coronatus, 'Golden-Crested Myna'.
Niltava macgrigoriae, 'Small Nitava' (Jigme Dorji National Park, Bhutan).
Muscicapa muttui, 'Brown-breasted Flycatcher' (Kithugala, Sri Lanka). They have HUGE eyes compared to the size of their head. They often perch still on exposed branches in gaps in the forest.
Copsychus saularis, 'Oriental Magpie Robin'. One of the commonly seen birds in tropical Asia. Found in a variety of habitats including forest edge.
Oriental Magpie Robin juvenile (Samarn Bird Camp, Thailand).
Myophonus caeruleus, 'Blue Whistling Thrush' (Khao Yai National Park, Thailand). Usually feeds around streams, so often seen near waterfalls. Found in high altitude temperate forest, down to lowland rainforest, from Afghanistan across the south-east Asian mainland to Indonesia.
Myophonus borneensis, 'Bornean Whistling Thrush' (Mesilau, Malaysia).
Irena puella, 'Asian Fairy Bluebird' (Cambodia).
Chloropsis cochinchinensus, 'Blue-winged Leafbird' (Jahoo Gibbon Camp, Cambodia).
Chloropsis hardwickii, 'Orange-bellied Leafbird' (Bhutan). Found in forests across mainland south east Asia, from Himalayas to China.
Thinking of travelling again after everything settles down? The first expedition I am booked to work on after the virus is Micronesia, New Guinea & Indonesia in 2021 with Silversea.