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Bird Watching Places Near Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur Bird Watching Spots

For those who need quick birding, here is a list of bird watching spots near Kuala Lumpur, which you can do in half a day or one full day without travelling too far.

Most of these places are selected based on the easy accessibility for the bird watcher and nature lover. However, you should know that the best way to go to these places is by hiring a private car, taxi or tour company service.

These birdwatching places near Kuala Lumpur are also divided into different habitats; for example, there are wetland birds, lowland birds, mangrove birds and sub-montane birds.

Overall there are almost 800 species found in Malaysia, and you can easily spot them and even some endemics at some of these accessible bird watching spots around Kuala Lumpur.

Bird Watching Locations Near Kuala Lumpur

Bird Watching at Fraser's Hill
Bird watchers in action at Fraser's Hill

1. Fraser's Hill

This is probably the best place to get many birds in one location. From lowland to sub-montane birds, Fraser's Hill is well known as one of the best birdwatching spots in Malaysia.

There are bird watching events here, namely the Fraser's Hill Bird Race 2017, which takes place from the 25-the 26 Feb. So if you are visiting KL and want to explore this even on the weekend, it would be a perfect opportunity to participate and get to know the local birders. 

Fraser's Hill is about 2.5 hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, and you can rent a car to make your way here. There is accommodation for those wanting to spend the night in this small highland town. There are also over 260 bird species found here, so almost every local Malaysian bird watcher has been here.

This former British Hill Station is the best-kept Mock Tudor town in Malaysia and offers numerous trails for birding and trekking. The cool climate at Fraser's Hill is also perfect for bird watching around here.

Birds to spot: Trogons, Barbets, Laughingthrush, Minivets, Sibia, Mesia, Eagle, Sunbirds, Spiderhunters, Warblers, Babblers, Bulbuls and Niltavas.

Fraser's Hill
Distance from Kuala Lumpur: 100 km
Driving time one way: 2.5 hours

Bird Watching at Awana Genting
A migratory Tiger Shrike was spotted at Awana Genting.

2. Awana Genting IBA

Another excellent morning birdwatching spot is at Awana Genting Highlands, only an hour's drive from the city of KL.

Awana is also well known among the locals as this spot is part of the birdwatching event, Wings of KKB, which takes place from 21-23 April 2017. The event also has a new branding called the Selangor International Bird Race 2017.

For serious birders, Awana is also one of Malaysia's Important Birding Areas (IBA) and was launched in 2010.

There is an area dedicated to this for bird watchers, and 200 native and migratory birds have been spotted. A road leads into this part, where you can park your car and walk along the minor road.

Birds to spot: Trogon, Black-thighed Falconet, Black-browed Barbet, Mountain Bulbul, Banded Kingfisher, Grey-chinned Minivet, Long-tailed Sibia, Verditer Flycatcher.

Update: The land owner has closed down this birdwatching location and removed the IBA sign. This is NO longer a birdwatching location.

Awana Genting
Distance from Kuala Lumpur: 50 km
Driving time one way: 1.1 hours

Bird Watching at Tanjung Tuan National Park
A flock of Lesser Adjutant birds nestling in Tanjung Tuan.
Photo by http://urchinsundertakings.blogspot.my

3. Port Dickson - Tanjung Tuan National Park

90 minutes drive from Kuala Lumpur, and you are at Malaysia's coastline in Negeri Sembilan. Port Dickson is a popular place for beachgoers, and exploring 10 minutes away from the main area will allow you to do some coastal birding at the Tanjung Tuan National Park.

The strange thing is that Tanjung Tuan is actually in Melaka, but the entrance is from Port Dickson. Anyway, over here, there are 94 species of birds recorded. Two of the species are globally threatened.

The best time to come is from February to April when the Raptor Season is. The yearly Raptor Watch also takes place here during that time. I recommend you spend the night around here and do an early morning birdwatching session.

Birds to spot: Raffles Malkoha, Black-bellied Malkoha (Threatened), Osprey, Black-winged Kite, Greater Spotted Eagle, Crested Goshawk, Crimson-winged Woodpecker, Blue-rumped Parakeet, Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker.

Tanjung Tuan
Distance from Kuala Lumpur: 103 km
Driving time one way: 2 hours

Bird Watching at FRIM Kepong
An Orange-backed Woodpecker was spotted in FRIM.
Photo by https://ron-nature-adventure.blogspot.my

4. FRIM at Kuala Lumpur 

Known as the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, this forest is located 30 minutes drive from the centre of Kuala Lumpur city. There are about 182 species found in this forest reserve, and one of the best places is near the pond area.

The best times are also in the early mornings or late afternoons. FRIM is a quick nature getaway from Kuala Lumpur city, and there can sometimes be a large crowd here. There is a canopy walkway here, but it has been closed for renovations and may reopen in 2020.

The operation hours are also from 8.00 AM to 5.00 PM, and best to get more information from the official FRIM website.

The best places to spot birds around FRIM are the wetlands, Kepong botanical garden, fruits arboretum, non-dipterocarps arboretum and the trails.

Birds: Drongo, Kingfisher, Cuckoo, Flycatcher, Waterhens, Iora, Bulbul, Barbet, Babbler, Tailor Bird, Leafbird.

FRIM
Distance from Kuala Lumpur: 20 km
Driving time one way: 30-40 Minutes

Bird Watching Templer Park
A Golden-whiskered Barbet was photographed in Templers Park.
Photo by https://ron-nature-adventure.blogspot.my

5. Templer Park

Located about a 30-minute drive from Kuala Lumpur city centre, Templer Park is one of the old nature reserves which can provide some bird watching. Though the place may be a little run down or not well kept, birders will find some gems here.

The popular spots are the forest trails here, where one of which leads to the waterfall. Avoid the weekends as there could be a lot of people around here. There are over 50 species to spot here, depending on the time of day.

Birds to spot: Trogon, Bulbul, Treeswift, Hawk-eagle, Babbler, Japanese Paradise Flycatcher, Kingfisher, Sunbird, Yuhinas, Red-throated Sunbird, Malkoha and others.

Templer Park
Distance from Kuala Lumpur: 24 km
Driving time one way: 30-40 minutes

Bird Watching Putrajaya Wetland Park
Birds are seen at Putrajaya Wetlands Park. Photo by http://siti-ctazpics.blogspot.my

6. Putrajaya Wetlands Park (Paya Indah Wetlands)

One of the better places is bird watching in the Putrajaya Wetlands area. The drive from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya can take 40 to 60 minutes.

The beauty of this place is that you will find many migratory birds, marshland birds, and water birds in this 2000-hectare wetland area. Over 200 species of birds generally make the wetlands their home, so for birders, this is one of the good places to explore. The migratory bird season is from September to December.

The best place to spot birds in Putrajaya is Upper Bisa 1 in Precinct 16. You can park at the Putra Square parking lot and walk about 2 km along the lake until you reach the islands. Make sure you bring some water with you.

Birds to spot: A few species of Heron, Egrets, Bittern, Flycatcher, Swiftlet, Warbler and Osprey.

Putrajaya Wetland Park
Distance from Kuala Lumpur: 36 km
Driving time one way: 1 hour

Bird Watching at Sepang Gold Coast
A Brahminy kite was sighted at Sepang Gold Coast. Photo by http://www.wildbirdclub.my/

7. Sepang Gold Coast

Bird watching at Sepang Gold Coast is the closest place to KLIA airport. You can do some quick birding for birders on a stopover as it takes around a 50-60 minutes drive from KLIA and KLIA2 airport.

From Kuala Lumpur, it takes about 120 minutes to drive to get here. One prominent area is the Sungai Sepang Besar River, which has a healthy mangrove area by the river mouth. Another area in Sepang is near the Taman Murni Sepang Town Jetty.

The best is to hire a local guide to bring you to some places. If you are doing it to pass the time, stay around the Taman Murni Sepang Town Jetty.

Ensure you tell your taxi driver to wait or pick you up at an agreed time.

Birds: Kingfishers, Raptors, Magpies, Mynas, Accipiter, Sea Eagles, Kite, Osprey, Honey Buzzard, Tit, Warblers, and others. 

Sepang Gold Coast
Distance from Kuala Lumpur: 85 km
Driving time one way: 2 hours

Bird Watching Kuala Selangor Nature Park
The boardwalk area at Kuala Selangor Nature Park. Photo by http://rnjmedia.com/

8. Kuala Selangor Nature Park

One of the famous places for a good birdwatching trip is the Kuala Selangor Nature Park or KSNP, where 160 species of birds have been recorded. You can spot more than 30 species of birds at any one time.

The Kuala Selangor Nature Park is a great bird watching site for coastal, mangrove and open field birds, and for those wanting to tick off their checklist, this is the place to visit. However, you need a birdwatching guide service to see the best of this place.

The best season to spot migratory birds is between September and late April. And if you are a fan of fireflies, Kuala Selangor is famous for them.

Birds to spot: Jambu Fruit Dove, Chestnut-bellied Malkoha (Threatened), Asian Emerald Cuckoo, Mangrove Pitta, Masked Finfoot, Milky Stork, Curlew Sandpiper, Rhinoceros Hornbill, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Black-naped Oriole, Black Drongo.

Kuala Selangor Nature Park
Distance from Kuala Lumpur: 70 km
Driving time one way: 2.1 hours

Bird Watching at Taman Botani Shah Alam
A White-throated Kingfisher at Taman Botani Shah Alam. Photo by Edward Chen

9. Taman Botani Shah Alam (Shah Alam Botanical Park)

The Taman Botani Shah Alam is located on the Selangor side and is only about an hour from Kuala Lumpur. This place used to be called Bukit Chaya and still is by the locals. Over here, if you are in luck, you can spot the Pitta among the many birds found here.

There is an RM4.00 entry fee to enter the park; all you need to do is explore the park. Get here as early as you can to avoid highway traffic.

There are bicycle rentals available, and avoid weekends as many people will come here. Visit the official Taman Botani Shah Alam website for more information.

Birds: Kingfishers, Hooded Pitta, Drongo, Minivets, Woodpeckers, Barbets, Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, Crested Serpent-Eagle, Pink-necked Pigeon, Asian Glossy Starling.

Taman Botani Shah Alam
Distance from Kuala Lumpur: 34 km
Driving time one way: 1 hour

Sungai Tekala Recreational Forest
One of the trails at Sungai Tekala is for bird watching. Photo by ww.xplorasidestinasi.com

10. Sungai Tekala Recreational Forest

This is one of the lesser-visited places and is close to the Semenyih Dam in the Hulu Langat district of Selangor.

There are a few trails to walk and spot the birds here, but you need to come early for this. If you book a taxi or Grab, ensure you get their number so that you can contact them when you want to return.

There is little infrastructure here, but there are public toilets and several stalls selling food and drinks. The place is a little run down, but just enough to get your birdwatching fix if you are nearby.

Birds to spot: Red-naped, Diard's and Scarlet-rumped Trogons, Blue-banded and Rufous-collared Kingfishers, and many other common lowland birds.

Sungai Tekala Recreational Forest
Distance from Kuala Lumpur: 37 km
Driving time one way: 1 hour
Operational Hour: Daily from 7.00 AM – 6.00 PM

And If Everything Else Fails...

Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
The KL Bird Park is a sure bet to see birds if everything else fails.

11. Kuala Lumpur Bird Park

This is your last resort to spot some birds, but in the city area at the KL Bird Park. Here, you pay a small fee to get in, and you can spot tropical birds from Malaysia and around the world.

There are quite a large number of birds to see here, including foreign birds. However, one of the star birds to spot is the Rhinoceros Hornbill, native to Malaysia and easily spotted at the KL Bird Park Cafe area.

Overall, this is an excellent place to bring your family, to introduce them to birdlife. You can also take a photo with some of the unique birds here. The area is enormous; therefore, going early in the morning is recommended.

Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
Distance from Kuala Lumpur: 1 km
Driving time one way: 0.1 hours

Kuala Lumpur Bird Watching
The Kuala Lumpur Kale Gardens is a great place to relax and spot birds in KL city.

12. Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens

The most beautiful lake garden in Kuala Lumpur is Taman Tasik Perdana; this place is just a 20-minute walk from Dataran Merdeka. In the mornings, there are a lot of common birds spotted around here, and walking to and around this place, you can easily spot the smaller birds.

The KL Lake Gardens is also close to the KL Bird Park and many other parks, so if all things fail, and you want an easy birdwatching place in Kuala Lumpur, this is the place to head to. Be prepared to spend a few hours here as the entire area is huge.

There are spots where small cafes and public toilets are found along your walk. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring along some drinking water.

Birds to Spot: Common Myna, Spotted and Zebra Dove, Falconet, Bulbuls, House Crows.

Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens
Walking Distance from Kuala Lumpur: 1.5 km

KL Bird Watching Places
A Large Niltava was sighted at Awana Genting.

The above places for bird watching near Kuala Lumpur are created for the convenience of those who want somewhere accessible to do this hobby.

Most places are easily accessible, and you can use a ride-hailing service to get to them. You can also get more birding information from my other specialist site called Bird Watching Asia for the birder.

You must remember to ensure that your driver will pick you up or wait for you. Overall, you just need about 2-4 hours for bird watching and travel time is around two to three hours.

Conclusion

For those planning to do more serious birding and travel around the country, you can also refer to my other article on Malaysia's best bird watching places. That list narrows down some of the top sites worth visiting.

You may or may not have been to these places for locals, but they are pretty decent, as I have personally been to many of them.

If you know of other good bird watching spots near Kuala Lumpur, share them with me in the comment form below, and I will update this list.

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1 Comments

Anonymous said…
Please update your information about FRIM. The traiks and canopy walkway are permanently closed. You can go on certain trails if you hire a FRIM guide. That is 120RM for about an hour.