“Green Broadbills (Calyptomena viridis viridis) are common at Kubah National Park and local bird watcher and guide, Yeo Siew Teck, helped me identify their calls. A number of birds were calling out for long periods of time in the very early morning, most likely males. We saw one male but suspect a female was also present with more males in the vicinity (from calls). Lighting was very low at 6.50am and I used a very high ISO to try and image these fascinating birds (above, below).
“I recorded the calls but processing the audio recording has been tough as the calls are soft and there are loud insect calls, frogs and other birds with the background jungle hum. Below is a heavily edited and amplified recording of the common call they make (below: step up the volume to listen)…
“…with a sonogram and waveform shown below.
“Wells (2007) reports ‘the furthest carrying call is the bubble-trill, a brief mellow moo followed by an up-inflected rattle, with a purring quality: oo-turrr, proven to be given by males‘. Davison (1999) describes them as ‘an accelerating and falling series of notes, as though a small wooden ball were dropped onto a table‘. I find this a very apt description. Bruce (2017) says they are ‘a soft, bubbling trill, starting with quieter note, that increases in tempo and has upward inflection, toi, toi-oi-oi-oi-oick; …. like sound of a stone bouncing on glass..‘.
“We also heard the low ‘moaning’ calls of a long drawn out whistle but I could not tease these out of the ‘busy’ recordings.”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
12th September 2017
Location: Kubah National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia
Habitat: Trail through primary forest
1. Bruce, M.D. (2017). Green Broadbill (Calyptomena viridis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie,
2. D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
3. Davison G.W.H. (1999) The Birds of Borneo by B. E. Smythies (4th edition). Natural History Publication, Kota Kinabalu
4. Wells, D.R. (2007) The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 2 (Passarines). Christopher Helm, London.