Bornean Bristlehead Endemic Bird in Sabah

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Borneo Bristlehead Sabah

The Bornean Bristlehead is one of the endemic birds in Sabah that most birdwatchers want to see or photograph. During the 12th Borneo Bird Festival 2022, I was fortunate to have encountered this beautiful bird at the event.

For your information, this bird has been a 10-year lifer because I never chased this bird on my list. Every time I visited Sabah, I would do casual birding as I was there to document the events.

Bornean Bristlehead Endemic Bird in Sabah

Well, on 22nd October, everything changed as I finally ended my 10-year wait to see this star bird of Sabah and Borneo. Trust me, my style of birding is very relaxed, and I never intended to chase any bird.

Most birders, birdwatchers or bird photographers would engage a guide to make sure that they get to see the endemic birds they seek. Yes, that is a common practice, but I never did go down that road.

Bristlehead Borneo Bird
The Bornean Bristlehead is trying to hide from my camera.

Well, the Bornean Bristlehead is a remarkable bird as it is usually spotted in the higher canopy of the rainforest. Several birders have seen it at eye-level from the steel canopy skywalk at the Rainforest Discovery Centre or RDC.

For my lifer, I was walking on the trails when I encountered a small group of birders pointing to a very tall rainforest tree quite far away. It was indeed the Bornean Bristlehead, and that was my luck. I used my Fujifilm X-S10 paired with the Fujinon XF150-600mm and got my ID shot. I think that was what mattered most.

After getting a few ID shots, I switched to the video and documented a short clip of the Bristlehead jumping around on the high canopy branch. You can view the Bornean Bristlehead video below.

Bornean Bristlehead
Scientific Name: Pityriasis gymnocephala
High Rate Sighting Area: RDC, Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre at Sepilok, Sabah
Medium Rate Sighting Area: Maliau Basin, Danum Valley, Tabin Reserve
Other Reported Sighting Areas: Sibu, Sarawak, Northeast Kalimantan
Learn More about the Bornean Bristlehead Bird.

Sabah Bornean Bristlehead
The full photo of the Bornean Bristlehead was taken with my FujiFilm X-S10 and a Fujinon 150-600mm.


To see the Bornean Bristlehead, several locations have reported sightings. Still, the Rainforest Discovery Centre has probably the highest chance of seeing this endemic bird of Sabah and Borneo.

You can also contact me as I can assist you with a bird guide or a birdwatching package in Sabah with a reputable tour company and local guides based around Sandakan and the Rainforest Discovery Centre. This article was created for Birdwatching Asia as one of Sabah’s top endemic birds.

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Bird Watching Asia is a self-funded project to promote bird watching in Malaysia and around Asia.

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