08 October 2013

Sharing is Caring...(MULU Short Tailed Babbler)

Re: Sharing is Caring...(MULU Short Tailed Babbler)  
Birds: Borneobirds.blogspo.com
Loc:  Malaysia.
Date: October 2013

Note:  Interesting write up on MULU Short Tailed Babler by Mr Wong Tsu Shi...feel free to xplore.   Happy Birding to ALL.. 

167 197 ++ hits & counting - since Jan 2011..many thanks..

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mulu Short-tailed Babbler ?

There is a mysterious Short-tailed Babbler, (similar to the Short-tailed Babbler Malacocincla malaccensis poliogenys of Sabah,
 Brunei and eastern Borneo, and the Barito drainage in Southern Kalimantan, and M. m. saturatum of western Borneo) dwelling
 in the forests of Borneo, it was not seen nor photographed in the wild since 1898.

Its existence is without doubt due to a specimen taken from Gunung Mulu in Sarawak in 1898. 

The following passage is copied from Smythies, The Birds of Borneo, 4th Edition.

"Another taxon, M. m. feriatum Chasen & Kloss 1931,was described from a single specimen collected by
 J. Waterstradt in March 1898, from an unrecorded altitude at G. Mulu. This may represent a distinct species 
(Deignan, in litt. to Smythies), with an entirely ochraceous underparts from the chin and throat to vent (except central abdomen) 
and chestnut crown contrasting with the mantle, the mantle lacking the greyish tinge obvious in Sabah examples of 
M. m. poliogenys. Wing 75, tarsus 30, bill from gape 23.5 mm. All other races have the throat white. This form could be montane, 
but no evidence of it was reported from the Royal Geographic Society expedition to G. Mulu National Park in 1977-78."

Apparently no one has seen or reported it since than.

Its only illustration can be found in both first and second edition of Phillipps' Field Guide To The Birds Of Borneo, in which the bird 
is depicted just like what is described in Smythies. For obvious reason, Quentin has named it Mulu Short-tailed Babbler, 
(For ease of narration, I will call it Mulu Short-tailed Babbler or Mulu Bird here), he also thinks it probably occurs in  montane
 forests, in contrast to Short-taild Babbler which occurs elsewhere in lowlands in the same National Park 

I have on 14th September 2013, photographed a bird which looks remarkably similar to the Quentin's Mulu Bird in Tawau Hills Park, 
the image is shown here with other images of Short-tailed Babbler for comparison.

This is the Tawau Hills Park Bird.
Same bird showing a little more throat and breast.
Close up of the head showing the lack of white throat

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