Migratory Birds of Malaysia
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Malaysia's shores welcome millions of tourists every
year. Among them, a very special group of visitors who need neither
passports nor visas, although many have flown hundreds, or indeed,
thousand of miles to be here.
There are Malaysia's migratory birds, from North
Asia, Europe, and elsewhere.
Like many of their human counterparts, these
visitors are escaping the onset of winter in the Northern
Hemisphere. They are attracted to Malaysia by our warm, sunny
climate and the abundance of food.
Among the most striking of these visitors is the
Purple Heron (Ardea Purpurea). The Purple Heron seeks secluded
wetlands and marshes throughout Peninsular Malaysia. It is known to
be shy and reclusive, and is therefore difficult to spot, despite
its large size (adults can attain up to 90cm in height). However, a
glimpse of its exquisite plumage of chestnut and maroon, with a
faint purplish tinge, makes the effort worthwhile.
The Crested Honey Buzzard (Pernis Ptilorhyncus)
visits our country from its breeding grounds in remote Siberia. It
soars gracefully on air currents, punctuating its flights with
high-pitched calls as it seeks out bees' nests, from which it feeds
on honey and bee larvae. These birds have been sighted at Sepang in
Selangor, Tanjung Tuan in Melaka and Pulau Kukup in Johor.
To catch a glimpse of the Lesser Crested Tern
(Sterna Bengalensis), take a drive to the coast, particularly near
Langkawi. If you're lucky, you'll witness their spectacular plunging
dives into the waves to catch fish. Another water lover, although
perhaps less adventurous, is the Dunlin (Calidris Alpina), which
leaves the bitter cold of Alaska and the Arctic Circle to walk
delicately along Malaysian mudflats and sand bars, where it wades
into shallow water looking for choice morsels. Surprisingly, the
Brown-headed Gull (Larus Brunnicephalus), a visitor from the
highlands of Turkmenistan and Mongolia, can be found well inland, in
addition to its more expected haunts of open seacoasts, estuaries
The Black-capped Kingfisher (Halcyon Pileata),
ventures further north than any other kingfisher species during
summer. From its home in China or Korea, it travels south in winter
along our rivers, swamps and even the mangrove forests of Johor.
This is one of the larger members of the kingfisher family, growing
up to 28cm in length. Its powerful red bill snaps up insects, fish
and frogs with equal ease, and is also used to excavate its
|Date of Issue
||3 February 2005
||30 sen, 50 sen, RM1
||40mm X 30mm
||70mm X 100mm
|Stamp Size in
||40mm X 30mm