An adult Red-Billed Malkoha

“Been testing out my new camera body (Nikon D7000). Having focusing issues (back focus) and had to change the first unit. A superb camera, very responsive.

“Had a chance to test the new unit today with this beauty. Single adult Red-Billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus javanicus pallidus) foraging. It was across a small ravine (and river bed) from me so possibly felt confident. Allowed extended views. I lay down on the slope to try and get more stable pictures.

“A very ‘hairy’ malkoha which makes pictures look a bit fuzzy.

“Likes to leap and scamper as malkohas usually do. Notice that the tail is moulting (left side shorter) (above left).

“Some pictures of prey (below left) and in the sun to show blue orbital skin (above right). Flight to show feathers (below right)

“Although supposedly reasonably ‘common’ I have rarely seen it.

“My ‘sifu’ GC Madoc (An Introduction to Malayan Birds Malayan Nature Society, 1976) says ‘I have never seen the Red-Billed Malkoha …’ – and that is saying a lot from this experienced bird watcher.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Fringe of dense primary forest near a rushing stream
12th January 2011

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