Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia
  

 

   
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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024

 
     
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

   

 

 

Birds of  Southeast Asia

Dedicated to the late Charles Currin

 

There are an estimated 10,000 living species of bird, around one fifth of which occur in Southeast Asia.  The greatest diversity occurs in lowland primary rainforest and coastal mangrove.  Broadly, birds can be divided into passerines and non-passerines. Passerines, or perching birds (Order : Passeriformes) comprise around one half of all bird species.  They are also known as 'songbirds' and are grouped together in a single order on the basis of the arrangement of their toe and leg musculature.  Non-passerines comprise birds from 28 other orders in existence today.

Birds have undergone remarkable adaptive radiation, with many examples of convergent evolution i.e. unrelated bird groups have evolved similar body form in response to the demands of adapting to specific ecological niches. For example, swifts and swallows are of similar body shape, but are quite unrelated.

The casual observer need understand nothing of the complex evolutionary history of birds. Its simply enough to appreciate the stunning beauty and diversity of these creatures, particularly the brightly coloured kingfishers, barbets, trogons, woodpeckers, broadbills and majestic hornbills which inhabit the region's forests.



  

 

Waterfowl  (Anseriformes)
  

  Grebes
(Podicipediformes)
  
       
Whistling Ducks
  
  Typical Ducks
  
  Pygmy Geese
   
  Geese
   
  Grebes
   

Finfoots, Waterhens, Crakes, Rails
(Gruiformes)
   

         
Masked Finfoot
 
  Waterhens
 
Crakes, Rails
  
       

Darters, Cormorants
(Suliformes)
  

Tropicbirds
(Phaethontiformes)
 
 
           
Darters 
  
  Cormorants
 
Tropicbirds
 
       

Ibises, Pelicans, Bitterns, Herons and Egrets
(Pelecaniformes)
   

           
Ibises
  
  Pelicans
  
         
       
Bitterns
 
  Small Herons
 
Small Egrets
 
  Large Herons & Egrets
 
   

Storks
(Ciconiiformes)
 

               
Storks
 
               
 
Gallinaceous birds or landfowl
(Galliformes)
  
         
Megapodes   
   
  Pheasants, Junglefowl
     
Partridges, Quails  
   
       
Gulls, Terns, Pratincoles and allies
(Charadriiformes, Lari)
  
           
Buttonquails
 
  Terns & Gulls
 
  Pratincoles
 
       
Plovers, Lapwings, Stilts, Avocets, Stone Curlews and allies
(Charadriiformes, Charadrii)
  
         
Lapwings
 
  Plovers
 
  Stilts & Avocets
 
  Stone Curlews (Thick-knees)
 
 
Snipes, Painted Snipes, Curlews, Godwits, Sandpipers, Stints, Jacanas and allies
(Charadriiformes, Scolopaci)
  
       
Snipes
 
  Painted-snipes
 
  Curlews and Godwits
 
  Sandpipers 
 
  Stints
 
               
Jacanas     
   
               

Raptors
(Accipitriformes)
 

Falcons, Hobbies, Kestrels etc.
(Falconiformes)
  
         
Ospreys, Fish Eagles
 
  Harriers, Hawks, Eagles 
 
  Kites, Bazas 
 
  Falcons       
 
   

Swifts, Swiftlets and Treeswifts
(Apodiformes)
  

 
Swifts 
 
  Swiftlets
 
  Treeswifts 
 
       

Pigeons and Doves
(Columbiformes)
  

       
Pigeons & Doves
 
  Imperial Pigeons
  
     
Cockatoos, Parakeets and Parrots
(Psittaciformes)
 
Cockatoos   
  
Parakeets 
       
Parrots
  

Cuckoos, Coucals and Malkohas
(Cuculiformes)
  

 
           
Cuckoos
 
  Coucals
 
  Malkohas
 
 
 
 
 

Owls
(Strigiformes)
 

Nightjars and Frogmouths
(Caprimulgiformes)
  
           
Owls
 
  Nightjars
 
  Frogmouths
 
 
 
 
 

Kingfishers, Bee-eaters and Rollers
(Coraciiformes)
  

 
       
Tree Kingfishers
 
  River Kingfishers
 
  Water Kingfishers
 
  Bee-eaters 
 
  Rollers
 

Woodpeckers and Barbets
(Piciformes)
  

Trogons
(Trogoniformes)
  
       
Typical Woodpeckers
 
  Flameback Woodpeckers
  
  Small Woodpeckers
 
  Barbets
  
  Trogons
  
Hornbills and Hoopoes
(Bucerotiformes)
  
         
Hornbills   
    
  Hoopoes      
 
     
 

Broadbills and Pittas
(Eurylaimoidea)
  

Honeyeaters
(Meliphagoidea)
  
           
Broadbills
 
  Pittas
 
   
 
  Honeyeaters
 
   
 

Crows and allies
(Corvoidea)
  

       
Minivets
 
  Cuckooshrikes & Trillers
   
  Orioles
 
  'Vireos'
   
  Woodswallows & Peltops
   
       
Whistlers
   
  Ioras
   
  Wood & Flycatcher-shrikes
   
  Philentomas
   
  Drongos
   
       
Monarchs
 
  Paradise Flycatchers
 
  Fantails
 
Shrikes
 
Magpies & Treepies
 
           
True Crows
 
  Leafbirds
 
  Fairy Bluebirds
   
       

Swallows, Bulbuls, Tailorbirds, Prinias, Cisticolas, Warblers, Laughingthrushes, Babblers, Larks etc. 
(Sylvioidea)
  

       
Swallows
 
  Pycnonotus bulbuls
 
Other bulbuls
 
  Tailorbirds
 
  Prinias
 
       
Cisticolas
   
  Warblers
   
  White-eyes
   
  Laughingthrushes
 
  Minlas, Sibias & Mesias
 
         
Old World Babblers
 
  Jungle Babblers
 
  Fulvettas
   
  Larks
   
   

Shamas, Old World Flycatchers, Forktails, Wheatears, Stonechats, Thrushes, Mynas, Starlings etc.
(Muscicapoidea)
  

       
Magpie Robins & Shamas
 
  Flycatchers & allies
    
  Niltavas & allies
 
Forktails
 

Whistling Thrush, Blue Robin
 

       
Wheatears, Stonechats
 
  Thrushes 
 
  Dippers
 
  Mynas
 
  Starlings
 

Canary Flycatchers
(Paroidea?)
 

Nuthatches etc.
(Certhioidea)
  
Canary Flycatchers 
 
   
 
  Nuthatches 
 
   
 
   
 

Wagtails, Pipits, Sparrows, Munias, Finches, Weavers, Tits etc. 
(Passeroidea)
 

 
       
Wagtails
    
  Pipits
    
  Sparrows
   
  Munias & Mannikins
   
  Finches
   
             
Weavers
   
  Tits
       
 
   
 
   
 
   

Spiderhunters, Sunbirds, Flowerpeckers etc.
(Dicaeoidea)
 

 
           
Spiderhunters 
     
  Sunbirds     
      
  Flowerpeckers