The 10 Most Popular Birds in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is a beautiful and diverse region, home to various birds. From the brightly-colored parrots of Indonesia to the endangered hornbills of Borneo, people can find birds everywhere. Besides, not only is there a diverse range of bird species but there are also some truly stunning locations to spot them. Southeast Asia is full of incredible places to go birdwatching.

Southeast Asian Pitta

This small, colorful bird is found in Southeast Asia from India to the Philippines. It has a beautiful green back and blue wings, with yellow breasts and a white throat. Southeast Asian pittas are known for their bright songs and are often seen in forests and gardens across the region. They feed mainly on insects and snails but also eat fruits and berries. They are vulnerable to habitat loss due to deforestation, so conservation efforts are needed to protect them.

Red-whiskered Bulbul

This songbird is found in Southeast Asia as far south as Malaysia and Vietnam and into parts of India. It has a distinctive long crest on its head and bright red markings around its eyes. It’s an omnivore, eating everything from fruits to insects. Further often searches for food on the ground and in shrubs. What’s more, they are most active during dusk and dawn when you hear their call is a sharp “tik-tik-tik.” Southeast Asian pittas are great contributors to the ecological diversity of the region. They help control insect populations.

Oriental Pied Hornbill

Oriental Pied Hornbills are unique and interesting birds. Native to Southeast Asia and India, they stand out in the forest with their black bodies, white wings, tail feathers, a yellow bill, and striking red patches around their eyes. They have adapted well to living in the dense forests of their home region; adult males like to show off by flying high into the sky, where they can be seen in pairs or small groups. Since Oriental pied hornbills primarily feed on fruit, they act as important agents of seed dispersal throughout their habitat. Additionally, these vocal birds can also help alert other animals when potential predators are nearby. Oriental pied hornbills make for fascinating viewing – both for avid birdwatchers and those of us who prefer to stay safely on the ground!

Great Argus

Found in Southeast Asia, this large pheasant has a distinctive crest and tail feathers up to 4 feet long. It is typically found in lowland forests and prefers to feed on fruits, nuts, and insects. Moreover, it is an important species for the region as it helps to disperse seeds and keep insects at bay. It is vulnerable to hunting and habitat destruction, so conservation efforts are needed to help ensure its survival. This bird can be found in various habitats, from lightly wooded areas to rainforests.

Oriental Darter

The Oriental Darter, also known as the Snakebird, is an intriguing bird to observe in its natural habitat. It is found throughout Southeast Asia and inhabits rivers, wetlands, and other bodies of water, where it has access to small fish, crustaceans, and other aquatic prey. It gets its snake-like name from its long, thin neck. On casual observation, the snakebird can easily be mistaken for a dark snake swimming through the water with its head raised above the surface, looking for food below. To feed, it plunges beneath the water and stays submerged for short periods of time before returning to the surface again. The platypus serves as one of the snakebird’s main predators. However, humans are also known to hunt this species which has led them to become threatened in some parts of their range. Fortunately, there are more regions where steps have been taken to ensure their conservation and protection against hunting and habitat destruction so that future generations may continue to marvel at these unique birds in their natural habitats for years to come.

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot

The Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot is a small species of parrot native to Southeast Asia and Indonesia. This delightful bird can easily be recognized by its bright blue crown, green feathers, and characteristic upside-down posture! Its scientific name – Loriculus galgulus – even translates to ‘hanging in chains. While Blue-crowned Hanging Parrots are mostly forest birds, they have been known to venture into urban areas in search of food. In fact, they will often flock around fruit trees, where they can be seen hanging from branches and feasting on the ripened fruits. Blue-crowned Hanging Parrots are not only beautiful but also quite sociable – it’s not unusual for them to gather together in large flocks at roosting sites. As such, these birds can help provide an important connection between humans and nature. They may be small birds, but they definitely make their presence known!  Caring for Blue-crowned Hanging Parrots is not easy as they require specialized care; however, their unique calls and personalities make them worthwhile companions. All in all, the Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot is a highly sought-after species that makes a great addition to any aviary or backyard setting.  For those wishing to learn more about this interesting bird, there’s plenty of helpful information available online and in books devoted specifically to Blue-crowned Hanging Parrots. Such resources can help foster a better appreciation for these feathered friends who offer us so much joy with their antics and company!
 See Also: 16 Fun Facts About Parrots

Scaly-breasted Munia

The Scaly-breasted Munia, also known as the Nutmeg Mannikin or Spice Finch, is a small but vibrant Southeast Asian bird. It is mainly gray in color, with chestnut wings and red eyes. The most memorable feature of this species is its tail feathers, which are white with black spots arranged in unique patterns like a fingerprint. It can be found throughout Southeast Asia in grasslands and open woodlands. It prefers habitats with plenty of vegetation to seek shelter from predators and breed its young. Scaly-breasted munias have been kept as pets by humans for hundreds of years due to their attractive colors and friendly behavior. As it adapts to urban nesting sites, the Scaly-breasted Munia has become an increasingly common companion across much of Southeast Asia. So if you ever find yourself visiting one of these countries and come across this species, make sure to stop and appreciate its luminous beauty!

Oriental Cuckoo

The Oriental Cuckoo is a medium-sized bird native to Southeast Asia. It’s easily identified by its distinctive “cu-cu” call, a sound that can be heard echoing through the lowland forests where it makes its home. This bird is usually seen flying around in the trees or perched atop branches looking for food – insects and berries are among their favorite fare. Despite their small size, these avian creatures have considerable endurance and they’ve been known to travel up to 2,400 km (1,500 miles) over the course of a single migration period. Moreover, it has become an important cultural symbol in several Asian countries, where it symbolizes an auspicious omen of good luck and fortune. With careful conservation efforts implemented throughout the region, the Oriental Cuckoo will hopefully continue to bring joy to those experiencing its iconic song for generations to come.

White-bellied Sea Eagle

This majestic bird of prey is found in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. It’s easily recognized by its white head, chest, and wings, along with its black tail. White-bellied sea eagles feed almost exclusively on fish, using their sharp talons to catch them from above.
See Also: 20 Fun Facts About Eagles

Black-and-Red Broadbill

The Black-and-Red Broadbill is one of the most vibrant birds you’ll find in Southeast Asia. It has a mostly black body and striking red underwings, which are clearly visible when the bird is in flight. As its name implies, the Black-and-Red Broadbill prefers to forage for food on the ground; it primarily eats insects but will also snap up small fruits and berries if it can get a hold of them. When disturbed, this species will take to the air in rapid bursts of flapping wings – an impressive sight indeed. Black-and-Red Broadbills can be found inhabiting lush tropical forests throughout Southeast Asia, particularly in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Borneo. For bird watchers visiting these areas, keep your eyes peeled – you may very well spot one of these strikingly beautiful creatures!

Common Hill Myna

Common Hill Myna is a distinguished species of bird native to Southeast Asia. It has glossy black feathers, a unique yellow bill, and striking red legs. Common Hill Myna is larger than many other species of birds in the genus, with a length from head to tail of up to nine inches. It is renowned for its powerful voice and melodic calls that can often resonate through Southeast Asian forests. Common Hill Myna is quite sociable and prefers living in pairs or small flocks. Although typically found among the trees, it will occasionally forage on the ground for food. This species also has distinctive territorial behavior, making loud noises and chasing away any intruders with menacing squawks and warning cries. Altogether, Common Hill Myna is an easily recognizable bird that brings vibrancy and charm to the diverse jungles of Southeast Asia.

White-rumped Shama

small beautiful birds
Taking a stroll through the jungles of Southeast Asia, you might just be lucky enough to spot the White-rumped Shama. Easily identifiable by its white rump and distinct black head, wings, and tail feathers, this nightingale is an impressive sight! While these birds are typically seen in the treetops making their melodious whistles and trills when on the ground, they feed mainly on insects but will also eat small fruits and berries from the forest floor. White-rumped Shamas often mate for life, forming strong bonds as a breeding pair. Larger flocks of White-rumped Shamas can also be seen during migration season in South Asia and Thailand, indicating it may still roam more widely throughout its historical range than first thought – a reminder to us of how important nature conservation efforts are for endangered species such as this beautiful bird.
See Also: Sleeping Bird And Its Characteristics
These are just 10 of the many beautiful birds that can be found in Southeast Asia. Whether you’re looking for a rare species or simply enjoying the sights and sounds of nature, Southeast Asia is sure to provide an unforgettable bird-watching experience!


Southeast Asia is home to many fascinating birds, from the bright-colored Red-whiskered Bulbul to the majestic White-bellied Sea Eagle. Pittas, hornbills, pheasants, parrots, munias, and more can all be found in Southeast Asia’s forests and grasslands. Whether you’re looking for a rare species or simply enjoying the sights and sounds of nature, Southeast Asia is sure to provide an unforgettable bird-watching experience! This article highlights 10 of the most popular Southeast Asian birds visitors should look out for on their trips.
Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.