Sunday, February 23

Borneo Bird Race to draw more enthusiasts

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KOTA KINABALU: Bird enthusiasts from 11 countries will soon converge in Sabah to take part in the second Borneo Bird Race.

Sandakan Bird Club chairman Cede Prudente said the race will cover over 1,000 kilometres of beautiful rainforest, coastal regions, freshwater swamps, lowland forests and the mountain ranges of Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei to search for over 600 birds that could be found throughout Borneo.

This year’s Borneo Bird Race 2014 starts from Kinabalu Park and moves on to the Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) in Sepilok, Sandakan and then to the Borneo Highlands in Kuching, Sarawak before finally going to Ulu Temburong National Park in Brunei.

Each international participating team’s objective is to spot as many birds as they can in each of the legs which begin at dawn, he said.

“At the end of the day, each team will enjoy the beauty of this land as they count the numbers of recorded species, and the longest list shall earn the prestigious ‘Bornean Bristlehead Cup’ trophy,” he said at a press conference yesterday.

In the last Borneo Bird Race 2013, team Wild Bird Club from the Philippines won the race with 148 bird species sighted, while team Nature Society from Singapore emerged as the second prize winner with 144 birds spotted. The third place went to the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand with 136 species spotted.

Among the endemic birds that can be spotted during the Bird Race are the Mountain Blackeye, Chestnut Crested Yuhina and the beautiful Bornean Bristlehead in Kinabalu Park and Sepilok in Sabah, the Pygmy Ebon, Blue-winged Leafbird and Rail Babbler at the Borneo Highlands in Sarawak and over in Ulu Temburong, Brunei, the Green Hornbill and Black Hornbill, which are among the unique birds of Borneo.

One of the objectives of the event is to promote Borneo as one of the premier bird watching destinations of the world besides encouraging travel within Asia, he said.

Also present at the event was Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.