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Borneo Bird Festival 2010 Review

Sabah Borneo Bird Festival
The Borneo Bird Festival 2010 will be the second time around and held at the Rainforest Discovery Center or RDC in Sepilok, Sandakan Sabah from the 15th to 17th October 2010.

This also marks the 2nd year for birders or bird watchers to gather at this amazing festival organized by Sabah Tourism Board in conjunction with promoting Bird Watching and Eco-Tourism in Sabah Borneo.

Borneo Bird Festival Review 2010

Bird Watchers or Birders should be excited as this time around, the Borneo Bird Festival 2010 will feature two new birding books launched personally by Ms. Susan Myers and Mr. Quentin Phillipps who are well-known birders.

This would definitely be a book to get and have it autographed by the authors while attending this Bird Festival here in Borneo.

Ruddy Kingfisher - Picture by Jason Azahari Reyes

The Borneo Bird Festival 2010 will also have a number of fantastic booths showcasing bird tours from local travel agents, birding equipment by Nikon and others, exhibits by NGOs and talks by professionals in the field.

The highlight of the event will be the Lectures and Workshops for the Borneo Bird Fest. Notable speakers from important organizations such as;

There are minimal fees to attend Lectures, Workshops, and Guided Tours. You are advised to register early to avoid disappointment as there is limited space for these events.

Sabah BBF PhotoTwo birders or bird watchers walking along a wooden walkway

Sabah Whitehead's TrogonWhitehead's Trogon - Picture by Jason Azahari Reyes

For the birding enthusiasts, there will also the following activities;

  • Photography competition
  • Borneo Bird Race
  • Nature Art Sketching
  • Daily guided birding tour
  • Children's’ activities

Bird Watching in SepilokBird Watchers in action at Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary

Sabah Scarlet-rumped TrogonScarlet-rumped Trogon - Picture by Jason Azahari Reyes

In Borneo, a total of 622 resident and migratory species of bird, with 32 endemic species have been recorded.

Four of these endemics are found on either Sabah’s hill slopes or in its montane forest. Mount Kinabalu is regarded as a distribution center for all except for one of Borneo’s montane birds.

Group of bird watchers in the rainforest of Sepilok, Sabah

Sabah White-crowned HornbillWhite-crowned Hornbill - Picture by Jason Azahari Reyes

In Sabah, the most sought after endemic species are the Whitehead’s Trogon and Whitehead’s Broadbill, the Blue-headed Pitta and the vividly colored Blue-banded Pitta.

There is also the large and distinctly colored Bornean Ground Cuckoo, the rare and ungainly Bornean Bristlehead, as well as the Golden-naped Barbet with its signature trilling call.

Yellow-vented Bulbul - Picture by Jason Azahari Reyes

Buffy Fish Owl - Picture by Jason Azahari Reyes

With this, I will let the pictures speak for themselves as the Borneo Bird Festival 2010 will be even more exciting than the previous year.

Sabah Susan MyersSusan Myers and Sabah Tourism Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun

Sabah Geoff DavidsonGeoff Davidson giving a talk at Borneo Bird Fest 2009

Borneo Bird Festival Nikon boothNikon booth at Borneo Bird Festival 2009

RDC Bird FestivalTrying out one of the amazing zoom lenses from Nikon

Sabah Andrew SianiAndrew Siani explains Bird Calling Techniques and Practices

Banded Kingfisher - Picture by Jason Azahari Reyes

*Please take note that all photo credits in this article go to Jason Azahari Reyes and you can visit his amazing website dedicated to Birds of Sabah Borneo.

Borneo Bird Festival 2010 Organiser: Sabah Tourism Board
Contact Person: Noredah Othman (Sabah Tourism Board)
Telephone : +6088 212121
Fax : +6088 212075
Email Contact: noredah@sabahtourism.com
For more information, visit the official Borneo Bird Festival website.

Getting to RDC Sepilok:
  • Located just out of Sandakan town, RDC Sepilok is about 23 kilometers from town. Getting to RDC Sepilok is fairly simple as it takes about 30-40 minutes by car or van. (Self-drive or tour company)
  • There is a public bus service from the Labuk Bus Company that departs from the Sandakan Town Council at RM2.10 (US$0.60) one way but the bus stops at the junction of the main road. You then need to walk in about 1.5km.
  • Taxi service from Sandakan is available with a return trip costing about RM100.00 (US$29). Do negotiate with your taxi about the prices.
  • Getting to Sepilok from Kota Kinabalu (KK) is also possible. A bus ride would take about 7-8 hours from KK to Sandakan and would cost around RM30-50 (US$9-$15) one way. Visit this site for Kota Kinabalu-Sandakan bus fares and tickets.
  • A better option is to fly to Sandakan as there are direct flights from Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, and Kuching. AirAsia offers some cheap tickets if you book early. Malaysia Airlines also has some decent ticket prices if you want to compare it.
Getting to the RDC via car or bus:
  1. Drive along Jalan Labuk from Sandakan Town
  2. Turn left at the Mile 14 roundabout (with a large Orangutan statue)
  3. Drive along until you see the large, pictorial RDC sign and turn right
  4. Drive for about 500m to the RDC car park
  5. There is a public bus service from the Labuk Bus Company that departs from the Sandakan Town Council at RM2.10 (US$0.60) one way but the bus stops at the junction of the main road. You then need to walk in about 2km or thumb a ride.
Map to Rainforest Discovery Center, courtesy of RDC

Tickets/Entrance Fees for the RDC on normal days:
  • Adults: RM10 (US$3)
  • Children (5-17 yrs) RM5 (US$1.50)
  • Children (Under 5 yrs) Free
Opening Hours for the RDC:
  • Daily 9.00 am - 6.00 pm
  • Birders start as early as 7.00 am
What to bring on normal days;
  • Bring mosquito or insect repellent, a poncho or umbrella in case it rains as the walkways are not covered. 
  • Bring some snacks and bottled water as well. 
  • A pair of binoculars are worth bringing if you want to see birds. 
  • Wear proper shoes here as some of the walkways can be slippery. 
  • You may want to bring some snacks if you have kids as there is no food available there except for a kiosk that sells drinks and some local snacks.

* Remember to practice Responsible Tourism wherever you are.

Rainforest Discovery Centre Address and Contact;
PO Box 1407
90715 Sandakan
Sabah, Malaysia.
Telephone: + 60 089 533780 / 781
Website for the Rainforest Discovery Center in Sabah

Map to Rainforest Discovery Center RDC

View RDC Rainforest Discovery Center Sepilok in a larger map

Brochure for Borneo Bird Festival  Birds Watching in Sabah Booklet

Final Thoughts on the Borneo Bird Festival Review

You can also follow Malaysia Asia on Facebook for more information, pictures, and links about Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

If you are interested in learning about Bird watching or attending this event, you can get in touch with the relevant people mentioned above.

This is one of the excellent family activities that you can do in Sabah and a great way to expose your children to nature.

The next three-day event will take place from the 14th till the 16th of October 2011 and is the 3rd Borneo Bird Festival in Sabah.

    Post a Comment


    Henry Lee said…
    bro, are u staying in sabah permanently? haha... just curious :P
    Malaysia Asia said…
    Thank you That's Ron, most of the credits go to Jason for his amazing pics.

    Henry, No I'm staying in Kuala Lumpur but I do visit Sabah often. When are you going over there?

    Nicholas Leong said…
    Look at those big lenses! :) And that white crown hornbill looks evil! :P
    Malaysia Asia said…
    Hi Nicholas, yeah, I would love to own one of those lenses. Amazing zoom! Honestly, I am yet to spot the white crowned hornbill too.

    KwOnG FeI said…
    i was attracted to here by the superb pictures...
    initially, i thought u took these pictures..haha
    Malaysia Asia said…
    KwongFei, thanks and I would love to have taken these pictures. But I have another posting about the Kinabatangan River in the night with pictures I took of Sabah Birds if you're interested.

    eunice said…
    wow so u still often go Sabah... u surely love that area alot! How about Brunei?
    Thanks for sharing this info. Borneo is one of my favorite places in the world their natural beauty really remarkable. This year I'm planning for attend the Borneo Bird Festival. This is my first time that I will attend the festival.

    Best Regards,
    Malaysia Asia said…
    Eunice, whenever I can, I'm there. Brunei not really at the moment but I hear there are some awesome nature places too.

    VBB, awesome! I hope to see you there this year as it will be very interesting.

    shloke said…
    This sounds like a wonderful event! But I'm not a birder. I seem to lack the patience to really get excited.

    Anyway, this is a comprehensive guide to Borneo Bird Festival 2010 Sabah. Well done!

    WOW! You are giving out a 40 page booklet??? AWESOME freebies!

    Anonymous said…
    I was at the hot air balloon festival last night with a friend and we met someone who just returned from a bird watching festival in Sabah. Must be a great event for avid bird watcher and photographers.
    Malaysia Asia said…
    Mylo, The Borneo Bird Fest 2010 is something Nature Lovers would absolutely enjoy but you're right about patience. Some love it while others cannot hack it.

    Yes, a free Birds of Sabah Booklet to those interested :)

    Mei, I was there too but it was really conjested so we could have passed each other without knowing.

    superwilson said…
    The birds look nice and the book looks interesting
    C. Makulim said…
    Great post...very informative.
    Malaysia Asia said…
    Wilson, they are really nice and even better with a 300mm lens :)

    C.Makulim, thank you for the kind words.

    Ciki said…
    birds are amazing! so vivid like as though they were just within arms reach. great job on the pix !
    Malaysia Asia said…
    Ciki, Actually during the night river cruise in Kinabatangan River, you can touch them and I did! Was an amazing experience. But at tis Bird Festival, I am looking forward to seeing the rare species which is a prized watch from what I hear.

    Administrator said…
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    areleaf said…
    i love bird!and i love borneo!

    this festival is like a dream comes true..yeaahh!!
    HyperPlasma said…
    This festival just for sabah? How about others?

    Anyway..nice photo shot..
    Halizayana said…
    good job, page informasi beginalah yang bagus untuk dijadikan contoh dan boleh dijadikan sumber rujukan tempat menarik mahupun di dalam atau di luar negara...
    GSP said…
    i want to fly free, like a bird. i want to go a somewhere else beside the city. i love borneo, i love the food, i love the people and most of all, i love the nature. cool picture by the way, i enjoy it. and thanks for the info.
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Munix™ said…
    ONE OF THE RICHEST AND MOST DIVERSE COLLECTION OF ANIMAL LIFE on this planet lives in Sabah. Yet, because most of it dwells in the dense rainforest, it is difficult to see – unlike the great herds of the African savannah – wildlife viewing is considered more like a gift than a given for travellers entering the state’s wild places... nice shoot too!
    piwit said…
    aha!! kampung aku..
    Kujie said…
    Birds are among the easiest to be spotted in the wild, even in the busy urban city. Basically how to identify the birds?
    rM said…
    Wonderful and amazing..interesting facts and definitely worth to participate.
    RozaniGhani said…
    Fascinating! I think Sabah Tourism Board should hold a photography competition for local visitor to attract visitor. The camera needed for the competition does not mean the visitor need an expensive camera to participate but cheap camera can also join. I have been to Singapore Botanical Garden but I wish that Sabah will be my next destination for birds sightseing. Good job Sabah Tourism Board.
    Deen said…
    wow! so amazing when we can capture the shot at the rainforest. Great experience. I like to be there.
    Unknown said…
    great capture...interested to join..hehe
    shuko said…
    waa..indahnya hutan sabah..inilah salah salah satu keunikan negeri sabah..tak tahu pula sabah ni ada burung kingfisher..cute giler burung tu.. (^_^)

    tQ David Jr for sharing this info..nice!
    MrRollies said…
    I love birds..
    They're beauiful creatures in this planet!!
    So Colorful and lovely..
    This is really great festival for birds lover !!!
    Btw the place is great..
    Its in sabah where the beautiful tropical jungle located !! =)
    Unknown said…
    QZ92 said…
    a beautiful state in Malaysia...

    you have a very good picture..keep it up your good work...

    Hey..you can be online promoter you know!
    andy sahlam said…
    wah..sabah bah tu..
    bangga jd orang dibawah bayu..hehe
    emanz said…
    so great festival!!
    I fun with all pictures that u have shown...
    Good Sabah !!
    Malaysia Truly Asia...
    joegrimjow said…
    gadis sabah must proud with this
    :) :) :)
    nice pic and coverage..
    Unknown said…
    nice pic n sabah is wndful :)
    Adry said…
    wow!! amazing... got to be there... bukannya jauh mana pun... hehehe

    Adry @ http://www.adrysabry.com
    hazel darwisya said…
    i feel sad that most unique species of birds are in extinction.

    my step father, an army, said..during the survival in the jungle, they even ate the hornbills..

    i feel sorry..that kind of birds is precious n only very few left in the world..
    azizuan said…
    those birds are beautiful but i'm too far away from there..sob!sob!
    khairil said…
    what a valuable experience if i can go there and capture some picture of exotic animal like that..love to visit sabah but don't no when got chances

    Mustaffa Yasin said…
    Come take care of natural beauty. The beauty of nature should be passed on to future generations.
    Salina said…
    Wow!I'm amazed!The pictures seem so alive and the information provided is fascinating too.It felt like I was there too; gaining the same experience.

    p/s : If canopy-walk is included,it would be a perfect journey!Trust me,I've been there! :)
    ubipanas said…
    I'm a pure sabahan and proud to live here. There's a lot of beautiful things in sabah :D
    I really love all of it. Thanks god for the very beautiful ceation
    Hafiz Mohd said…
    Sabah..trully "The Wings of Borneo"
    Unknown said…
    Memang cantik pemandang di sini..saya tak pernah lagi menjelajah ke negeri di bawah bayu.

    suka tenguk Scarlet-rumped Trogon - mempunyai bulu yang berwarna warni.

    burung Whitehead's Trogon dan burung Yellow-vented Bulbul ni pun saya suka..

    Walaupun burung Banded Kingfisher dan burung Buffy Fish Owl ..tidaklah secantik burung-burung diatas tetapi menarik jugak untuk di pandang.

    Semuga kehidupan burung-burung ini akan terpelihara dan dibiarkan berterbangan di habitat mereka....dan semuga 29-30 tahun lagi burung-burung ini masih ada lagi di masa akan datang buat tatapan generasi masa depan.

    ...memang menarik gambar-gambar di web ini..mungkin di sebabkan di ambil oleh jurugambar pro...
    AbgFeroZ said…
    what a waste...
    kecantikan dan keindahan itu tidak
    di amati oleh seluruh rakyat malaysia...

    thanks for show it to us...
    etaknak said…
    adakah blog ini msauk pertandingan..huhu..

    kery tgk memang cantik arr gambar alam tersebut...best...
    Pakcu Sofi said…
    soooooo nice..wish to go there~!!

    papabear said…
    nice birdies... we must do simething to keep them here...
    nurizan said…
    nice place of bird watching, last week i go to sabah but not enough time to go to this place, at least by seeing your picture and information can let us know what is the great thing at this place.. thanks
    hanis aleeya said…
    I miss my Borneo
    Been there for 15 years
    Make me feel like looking home
    When I read about the festival
    Dreaming of my hometown
    A place my home would never be
    Flying birds surrounding it
    Joining the beauty of them
    Sweet life in Borneo
    Of the birds' lives
    Unknown said…
    i'm totally amazed with those photo..its totally awesome..u made me reallytempting to go there to experience it myself..nice blog here..i like..
    nice shot and an eye-catch for lovely birds...always hoping for honemoon in Sabah though =)
    alissa said…
    wow...cantiknya gambar...maklumat padat..teringin lah nak g sana
    Unknown said…
    Nature can be too beautiful to enjoy with. Big Wowwss, great shot u have here.

    Sabah, the paradise called home! I Love my Sabah.
    Paanblogger said…
    gile gempak...ramai gak rupanya peminat pelihat burung nie...haha..baru tau yang banyak jugak NGO2 yang berkaitan dengan burung dan alam..

    xbape minat dalam melihat burung..tapi suka amik gambar yg lawa...

    event nie , boleh jadi salah satu tempat untuk dapatkan shoot yg lawa..

    lum berkesempatan lagi nak jejak kaki kat sabah..kalo kat semanjung kawasan mana yng jadi pemilihan birders nie ??
    Eyqa Zaque said…
    Sabah is very unique in nature.
    Proud to be sabahan.
    Anonymous said…
    SyuQ said…
    fantastic, beautiful

    bird with natures...
    some gift from the god
    ery said…
    nice shot...
    beautiful angle and colour~
    Melissa Mjb said…
    Wow, great shot!

    I've been flown to Sabah for a trip last year. It was really fun.

    I just love the nature. I really hope that I can go there again!
    JAIRO said…
    not away from my place... lama sudah tak pigi ... waaaahh ada booklet pasal burung aku nak satu....
    Unknown said…
    I love to watch birds this year the Rainforest Discovery Centre will be host tothe Borneo Bird Festival in Sepilok, Sandakan, Sabah on October 15-17,2010.This year two new birding books being launched by two Authors, Ms Susan Myers and Mr Quentin Philips.
    cheap tenerife holidays
    Misz said…
    Menakjubkan dan sesungguhnya sayangilah Malaysia kita.
    Akmad Toshiro said…
    nothing can beat the nature in borneo, its the best and refreshing..proud to be the one
    Pena Crystal said…
    its so beautiful..the place,the scenery and also all the birds as well..

    i wish to be there one day..:)
    Alon said…
    Saya punya kakak duduk di borneo , dia kata dekat sana memang best , permandangan yang indah dan nyaman .. Kan best kalau saya dapat ke sana ?
    Mrs. Q! said…
    cute little birdy~
    ouh. if i can fly now, i'll be there =)
    HumanityLife said…
    kalu laa saya dapat jenjalan di sana.. alangkah bestnye...

    teringin sangat-sangat nak teroka disana... mana laa tau ade lagi benda-benda menarik... :D
    Unknown said…
    it is hard to find the birds like that.with a beatiful scene and nature.
    this is truly amazing,

    Malaysia is wonderful
    I <3 MALAYSIA..:D
    Thanks David maybe will see you this year at the Borneo Bird Festival heeee
    Malaysia Asia said…
    Thank you all for the wonderful comments. (Terima Kasih kepada anda semua untuk komen di sini)

    Azahari, for sure! Just get the Tapai ready :)

    Amirul Arif said…
    such a kewl pics.
    hope our future ancestor can see all this...
    Traveling Ted said…
    Love that picture of the hornbill. I saw many of those in Thailand, but not anything like the one in the picture. Incredible.
    Malaysia Asia said…
    Thank you Ted, now that you mentioned it. I did not bring my 18-200mm lens for this trip. I should have taken more! :)

    bird watching and photography = perfect
    Sophie said…
    Gorgeous wildlife shots, David!