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Borneo Bird Festival 2015 Roundup

After a successful 7th Borneo Bird Festival 2015 event held from the 23-25 October at the Kinabalu National Park in Kundasang, Sabah, the next event will take place back in its home at the Rainforest Discovery Center in Sandakan, Sabah. The event also saw about 2000 participants and visitors attend the two day event held here at Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site by UNESCO. 

Many asked why it was held here instead of the original place but the answer was straight forward as for the last six years, it has been held in Sandakan and this time around, the organisers wanted to give participants something different by introducing the montane birds of Sabah Borneo. Overall, there are 17 endemic montane birds recorded at the Kinabalu National Park too, and for birders, bird watchers and bird photographers, this bird race and festival was something new as exploring the highlands in the cool weather was a good change of scene.

Daruk Masidi in Blue and Cede Prudente next to him in Black T-shirt during the launching
This niche ecotourism event was also officiated by the Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister of Sabah, Datuk Masidi Manjun where he spoke about the positive impact of bird and eco tourism in Sabah and how the specialty tour guides play a very important role in contributing to the tourism economy here.

He also officiated the launching of a book titled Endemic Birds of Borneo found in Kinabalu Park by Alim Biun, one of the veteran birders and guides here.

Daruk Masidi Manjun presenting his speech during the opening
This was then followed by the launching of the Birds of Borneo App which is available on IOS and Android from the Google Play Store and also App Store. Mementos we then presented to him by the President of the Borneo Bird Club, Mr Cede Prudente where a beautiful photograph of Mount Kinabalu was unveiled and handed over to the minister who then flagged of the 7th bird race from the main event hall before going on a tour around the festival grounds. The minister also supported some of the vendors by purchasing some merchandise as souvenirs.

Speeches during the opening of the bird festival

Launching the Birds of Borneo App
Datuk Masidi flagging off the Borneo Bird Race 2015
A special visit by H.E. Mr. Lubomír Zaorálek, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and his massive entourage also was a surprise to everyone as they were in Sabah on a special tourism and trade mission and while visiting the Kinabalu Park, they stopped by to visit the Borneo Bird Festival. 

In total, over RM20,000 in cash and prizes was given out to the winners from the various contests held throughout the event. Highlights were of course the Bird Race followed by the Bird Photography Contest and the Bird Photo Race. Other fun filled events included the Bird Mimic Sound contest and a kids bird coloring contest was held on the second day of the event. 

There was also the Junior Bird Club and the Borneo 100 to Borneo 500 pin giving ceremony where birders who have seen from 100 to 500 species of birds were rewarded by special pins made by the Borneo Bird Club. A series of talks was also conducted by various industries relating to the birding hobby at the main hall on the second day too.
All the teams for the Borneo Bird Race 2015 being briefed. Click to see full panoramic photo
The birders at the festival
Borneo Bird Photo Contest 2015
Category: Artistic Bird Shot
Category : 18 years & above (Open)

• 1st Prize: Cash RM 500 + 1 unit Nikon 1 J4 kit with 10-30mm sponsored by Nikon
Mr. Notalip Bin Hassanuddin
Photo title: Pied Thriller in Flight
• 2nd Prize: Cash RM 300 + 1 pc x Original Swarovski caps from Austria sponsored by Lee Photo
Kong Ket Leong
Photo title: Dancing Argus
• 3rd Prize: Cash RM 200 + 1 pc x Original Swarovski caps from Austria sponsored by Lee Photo
Chee Su Ken
Photo title: Siberian Blue Robin

Endemic Birds Photography
Category :  Endemic birds of Borneo (60 sp)

• 1st Prize: Cash RM 500 + Nikon 1 J4 kit with 10-30mm  sponsored by Nikon
Mr Ambo Sakka Mappeasse
Photo Title: Blue Banded Pitta
• 2nd Prize: Cash RM 300 + 1 pc x Original Swarovski caps from Austria sponsored by Lee Photo
Lai Jium Sen Sum
Photo Title: Banded Pitta
• 3rd Prize: Cash RM 200 + 1 pc x Original Swarovski caps from Austria sponsored by Lee Photo
Mr. Alvin Chang
Photo Title: Bornean Necklaced Partridge

Digiscoping Category
Category: Open
• Grand Prize: Cash RM 300 + Binoculars Monarch 5 Binoculars 8x42  sponsored by Nikon
Mr. CK Leong
Photo Title: Whiskered Treeswift
The bird race medals
Bird Photography Race 
Category: Open

1st Prize: Cash RM 500 + CANON BINOCULARS 8X25 Sponsored by Canon
Mr Ramlan Bin Miadin
2nd Prize: Cash RM 300 + Legria Mini camcorder sponsored by Canon
Mr Adrian Migiu
3rd Prize: Cash RM 200 + Digital Ixus 135 compact camera sponsored by Canon
Mr Justin Duaneh

Sabah Bird Race ‘Mokitombolog’ 
Category : Open

1st Prize: Cash RM1,500 + Medal + 3 units Kowa 10x25 SV DCF binoculars sponsored by Trifid Optical Supplies
Team: Limbukon
1. Bonidatreno @ Bonny Jurunin
2. Lerry Dominic
3. Yabainus Guhalin

2nd Prize: Cash RM 900 + Medal + 3 units Nikon Coolpix camera sponsored by Futuromic Photo AV S/B
Team: Kinabalu Serpent Eagle
1. Jason Bugay Reyes
2. John Bakar
3. Adrian Migiu

3rd Prize: Cash RM 600 + Medal + 3 units Op/Tech USA Bino Harness sponsored by Lee Photo
Team: Tombolog Hunters
1. Kam Pui Kuan
2. Belle Betsy Chong
3. Eddy Clarence Laban

Junior Bird Race 2015

1st Prize: Medal + 3 units Kodak camera sponsored by Investline Sdn Bhd
1. Nadhira
2. Joelsiey
3. Adrianizam

• 2nd Prize: Medal + 3 units Olympus Watch sponsored by Investline Sdn Bhd
1. Joeland
2. Ullrich
3. Arif

• 3rd Prize: Medal + 3 units Buffalo Backpack sponsored by Investline Sdn Bhd
1. Nurul Asyikin
2. Ammanda Paul
3. Emanuel Tataba Wollis

Bird Sound Mimic Contest 

3 Main prizes: Sponsored Prize by Canon
1 unit PowerShot A2500 compact camera.
2 units Canon Selphy Portable printer CP-910

Borneo Bird Festival Exhibitors
Some of the exhibitors at the Borneo Bird Festival 2015
Exhibitors at the Borneo Bird Festival included Minnox, Canon, Nikon, Swarovski, Borneo Bird Club, Ulu Ulu Resort from Brunei, WWF, Sabah Tourism Board's Kedai Ku, Pahang Tourism, Kuala Kubu Baru Council, Borneo E-Books and Tabin Wildlife Reserve. Observers from Tourism Malaysia were also present to learn about the birds of Sabah during this event where the officials were seen following guided bird tours and attending talks. 

For those wanting to know more about the Kinabalu endemic birds, there are 17 species of montane birds found here and some of the highlights are;

• Borneon Treepie
• Bornean Green Magpie
• Whitehead’s Trogon
• Whitehead’s Broadbill
• Kinabalu Friendly Warbler
• Kinabalu Honey Buzzard

Bird Festival Photos

Below are random photos taken during the bird festival here at the Kinabalu Park in Sabah.

A visitor inquiring about some birding books at one of the vendors
Exploring Kinabalu Park for birds
The collectible Bird Pins being worn by an avid birder
Junior Birders prepare for the race
The official launching event taking place at Kinabalu Park in Sabah

Left: Cede Prudent and Datuk Masidi Manjun holding the official t-shirt, Right: Team from Tabin Wildlife Reserve
Junior birders posing for a photograph
Some of the Bird Art done by children as one of the activities during the festival
Bird watchers in action at Kinabalu Park
A team exploring the trails at Kinabalu National Park for the bird race
Selecting the winners for the various contest is no easy task as seen here
The Sandakan Borneo Bird Club official pin
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The Borneo Bird Festival 2015 is jointly organised by Sabah Tourism Board and Borneo Bird Club who has been doing this since 2008 and has taken Sabah Borneo to another level in niche tourism where many local and international birders or bird watchers have been coming back here. This even is also supported by the Ministry of Tourism Sabah, Sabah Tourism Board and Sabah Parks in promoting birding in Borneo. 

For those interested in attending the next bird festival and race, you can do so by visiting the Borneo Bird Festival Website for more information on the 8th installment which is going to be held in Sandakan, Sabah. If you have any questions, please contact them or you can leave it here and hope this Borneo Bird Festival 2015 Roundup has given a little more information on what happens during an event like this.