Birds Of Universiti Sains Malaysia

Live wildlife!


view:  full / summary


Posted by M. A. Muin on October 8, 2012 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Some birds from USM...

Yellow-vented Bulbul. A coomon resident here.

Coppersmith Barbet. Preening.

Here are two shots of a leucistic Pacific/house swallow that i found recently. Very interesting. I must get a better shot of it...

Some other leucistic birds photo can be seen here:

Thanks a lot for viewing.

USM Birding group

Posted by M. A. Muin on June 30, 2011 at 12:18 AM Comments comments (0)

I've been longing to create and activate a birding group for my university, Universiti Sains Malaysia. For this particular purpose i have asked for some money from the university. Although the money stil nowhere to be seen, i decided to give it a try and create a short event of birding in the campus. 


On friday, 24th June 2011, i sent out some notification on my facebook and through SMS to some of my friends regarding the birding and photography activity. Although i missed a lot of them but its good enough for a start. To my surprise, a few of them showed out including the unexpected attendance of my MNS friend Neoh Hor Kee. We meet up at the Durian Valley, USM. Thanks a lot friends. Here are some shots of the birds seen during the birding trip.

White Bellied Sea Eagle

A lousy shot of a flying House Crow.

Coppersmith Barbet. The only species of barbet in the campus and on Penang Island.

A House Swallow. Formerly it was known as Pacific Swallow but Robson 2008 split the species occuring in Asia as House Swallow.

Pink Necked Green Pigeon. One of the common species during the fig fruiting season.

A pair of Thick Billed Green Pigeon. As u can see this species can be differentiated easily from the former by looking at the red marking at the base of the bill.

Thanks a lot to all participant. See you guys again in the next trip.


Nesting Baya Weaver

Posted by M. A. Muin on June 28, 2011 at 3:54 AM Comments comments (0)

Since i started birding in USM, i've only seen the Baya Weaver (Ciak Tempua) once at snake creek (just beside Durian valley). It was a male but i didn't notice any nest around. I've never seen their nest until recently.

The location was just across the road from the entrance to my workplace, Centre for Drug Research. There is a nice bamboo tree with an Atrocarpus sp. tree on te side. There were at least 10 nest around. Here are some shot of it,
The Atrocarpus sp. tree is also fruiting. I saw Crested Myna feasting on the fruit,

This is how the seed of plants were disperse.... Some other birds

 A juvenile Black Naped Oriole (Dendang Selayang/Burung Kunyit)

A Stork Billed Kingfisher. That's all. Thanks.

Update on Nesting Southern Jungle Crow

Posted by M. A. Muin on March 23, 2011 at 12:51 AM Comments comments (0)

After a while, i decided to go and check on the nesting southern jungle crow which i found as in previous post. When i arrived at the tree where the nest were, it is empty. The nest became quite hidden as new leaves are out.

So i decided to move a bit to the front after i heard a call of a southern jungle crow. To my surprise i saw another nest with a southern jungle crow in it.

 I missed to take a shot of the bird jumping out of this nest. My digiscoping skill is still very bad. Too slow. Anyway here is the shot of another bird perching nearby.

I'm confused and a bit worried. Is it me who caused the crow to move out from its first nest? 
Just yesterday, i manage to squeeze a few minutes to visit the bird again. I did observe that the bird still in the second nest. But somehow, it still occasionally visit the first nest. And it makes me confused whether this bird are really nesting or is it just another behaviour of it. Can anybody shed some light on this? Thanks a lot.

Nesting Southern Jungle Crow

Posted by M. A. Muin on March 23, 2011 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Southern Jungle Crow or formerly known as Large Billed Crow is formerly a common resident on Penang island. Nowadays it has become quite uncommon. In USM, this large black bird can be seen flying over or calling on high trees. I've seen an attempt from this bird to sit on a nest before at the museum. I was not sure back then whether it was really nesting or just trying to attack the nest. But recently, i manage to locate a nest which is actually quite noticeable. Quite surprising for such a wary species... The nest is high up, about 10 metres. Here are some shot of it.. only i noticed that i didn't take a shot of the whole tree...sigh! Nevermind, i'll add it up later..

Some rarities

Posted by M. A. Muin on January 12, 2011 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Being one of the USM's staffs gives me the opportunity to explore the campus more than who is not. But i guess that's not the fact because of my job which is not related to my hobby doesn't allow me to spend more time birding. Anyway, like everybody said, its a matter of luck too when it comes to birding. Here are some of my rare find recently from the campus... An Eyebrowed Thrush,

On 10 December 2010, i saw this bird with another individual at Alumni House during my lunch time. When i first saw it, i know it is an unsual sepcies to the campus. The belly is whitish and it has a distinct white supercilium. It was feeding on a fruiting Ficus tree nearby together with Asian Glossy Starling. As it was friday, i went for friday prayer and came back to the same tree to check it and try to get some photos. Lucky me, it was stil around. On 25 December 2010, i went to Tasik Aman for a short birding. After  a while, i sat down to write all of my sighting into my notebook. I was nearly finished writing when suddenly i heard a lot of noise made by a few birds around the lake. Suddenly a bird flew on top of my head and perched on a branch across the lake. At first i thought it was a sparrowhawk...but after a closer look, i realized it is a Hawk Cuckoo. Known for its rarity, i rushed myself to get some shots. I managed to get two shot of it on a clean perch and quite close by before it flew off..Thanks to Dave Bakewell for pointing it out as Large not malaysian hawk cuckoo. Another new bird for the campus...

 A shot showing rusty colored tail tip...

This shot shows the nape,

I hope i can find some of the other rarities soon so i can proceed with the book for USM's birds. Wish me luck! Thanks.

Some which i missed

Posted by M. A. Muin on December 2, 2010 at 9:59 PM Comments comments (0)

Here are some of the photos which i missed or didn't manage to do a proper write up due to lack of time... I went to Juru after i heard from friends that the indian roller is back. Here is my shot but  i didn't manage to get it on natural perch...

During the Raya haji holiday, i manage to squeeze some time for birding. I knew that Barn Owl was nesting in an unoccupied house in front of my house for long. But i didn't manage to get any shot of it as it didn't come out whenever i approached the house. I didn't go into the house as it will probably disturbed the bird and chasing them away..finally this time it did flew out of the house and perched nearby...there were two of them and i suppose it should be the mother and a kid.. Mother,


Permatang Nibong paddyfield has always been a good place for birding. In recent years it has been cultivating good numbers of Peninsular Malaysia rarities. This season, the aquila, openbill and black kite is back...i did a single visit recently and here is what i got.. Aquila on the pylon. It was very far from the road and this is the best i could get. This fella has a very pale head and i can't conclude which of the aquila it was...maybe Terence could give some idea..

Another aquila perched on the ground. This one could be greater spotted...but still it was too far to be sure..

 Some black kite were flying by..

 A yellow wagtail,

 Some other bird seen at Permatang nibong was grey headed lapwing, little egrets,intermediate egret, cattle egret, great egret, brown shrike, swallows and some others..i missed the black headed ibis which was sighted later by a friend in the area..sigh!

From USM, i got this forest wagtail foraging but a little skittish to get a good shot...

 This juvenile white breasted waterhen was sighted at my kid's nursery and somehow while i'm photographing it,it came closer and closer....wonder why..

Thanks for reading. That's all..

USM 101126

Posted by M. A. Muin on November 25, 2010 at 9:01 PM Comments comments (0)

Though this post dated today, some of the bird's photos may came from as old as a month ago. Year end is always a busy time for any company or institution including USM. I also missed out some other post which should have posted much earlier.. The urgency of creating this post is to highlight my sighting of a raptor which i long to see perching, a Japanese sparrowhawk. This smallish raptor is always very secretive. It always perched or roost in a hidden area. The main reason is that it can coceal itself from its prey,which are mainly smaller birds such as sparrows n munias. I was lucky to come across this bird which was particularly hunting late at dusk. It was around 6.30 p.m. while i was trying to photograph this dollarbird. It was also hunting for food,

 Ready, Get set,


 And came back with a beetle or something,


After a while the dollarbird suddenly flew off and didn't came back. It took me a few second before i saw a japanese sparrowhawk landed nearby.

This is a juvenile japanese sparrowhawk, Accipiter gularis. Its a female judging from its yellow eyes. It's a migrant. Can be cofused with Besra but Besra will have darker mesial streaks and breast band. Though this bird recorded nearly every season here, seeing it perched is quite a rare ocassion.

Afterward, a raptor was flying quite far away. I considered it as a mysterous raptor till i got back n checked the book. I concluded it as an immature Brahminy Kite. Any comment anyone?

 Other migratory bird sighted during this month of migratory season,  Asian Brown Flycatcher, Muscicapa dauurica. Sambar Asia.

It can be seen perching on branches everywhere around the campus. The particular behaviour of tis bird as of other flycatchers, it will ocassionally fly off to catch its prey and came back to same perch again.  

Some other birds which i manage to get improvement of the shots, Black Naped Oriole, Oriolus chinensis. Burung Kunyit atau Dendang Selayang.

 Our university ever famous mascot, Brahminy Kite. Haliastur indus. Helang Merah atau Lang Kawi.

 Though a house crow, Corvus splendens (Gagak rumah) is a common bird but getting them on a natural perch is quite tricky. They tend to be camera shy and skittish sometime.

 A white throated Kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis. Pekaka belukar.

That's all. Thanks.

USM 100925

Posted by M. A. Muin on October 7, 2010 at 12:06 AM Comments comments (0)

As the migration started, i'm stuck in the office with lots of things to be done. I manage to squeeze a weekend to check for the early migrants in USM while joining the Friends of Tasik Harapan Programme organized by the Uni. My intention is to look at how serious and to have a first impression of what's going to happen to this programme. And i'm quite dissapointed.....anyway its good to see somebody still concern about the lakes in USM. I hope they will succeed in future. The grill door of the store where the mudballs are is locked and the participant has to reach the mudballs located inside from outside. While looking at the programme participants busy throwing mudballs, i heard calls of the Arctic Warbler. I manage to locate the bird and it was quite low,

Arctic Warbler calling,

After the mudball throwing event, no other activity is held. I'm surprised! Mudball throwing in this will furthermore add to this nutrient rich lake. This will promote a rapid growth of the water hyacinth which is only maintain once a month....Sad! I hope they know what they are doing....some of other suggestion that i have is that they repair the lake bank which is badly eroded. This should be done first i think... Well, after a while i decided to go for birding around the campus. Here are some of other birds seen,

Another migrant, Brown shrike
A male Asian Koel,
The ever confusing swiftlet. I think this is Germain's,
The tame eurasian tree sparrow,
A subadult Magpie Robin. Notice that it still has brownish wing and throat.
A female pigeon. I think it's a Pink Necked as the base of the bill has no reddish patch and the subterminal of the tail is black. Correct me if i'm wrong...
A nice surprise at the end....a Dark Necked Tailorbird. Notice the yelowish vent in second photo. This is the most reliable feature to differentiate this species from the Common Tailorbird. This should be the first record from me in the campus.

What a nice record to wrap the day. More birding need to be done this season as i need to get those doubtful record of some migrants to be validated and photographed.....

USM 100806

Posted by M. A. Muin on August 12, 2010 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (2)

Its the convocation week. I was on my bike waiting for my wife to go back home. It is then i saw a scaly breasted munia beside the parking lot of Eureka building. I was lucky that i brought my camera along. The bird  looked wary and i'm wondering why...

Then only i saw this fella on the ground,

It is a fledgling, i think it has just recently came out of its nest. No wonder the mother was so worried with me around....

Picking up some food for the baby, but no feeding shot..

After a while, i noticed that the mother is too worried with my presence. Worried that the chick might be left alone starving to death...i decided to leave them alone. I hope the baby survived....