Bristlehead (Pityriasis gymnocephala 25-26 cm)

Bristlehead (Pityriasis gymnocephala 25-26 cm)

(Malay: Tiong Batu Kepala Merah. Indonesian: Tiong-batu Kalimantan.)

IDENTIFICATION Unmistakable black and red bird with a very large bill. Adult male (as shown) has bristle-like orange yellow feathers on crown, from which it gets its name. Face, throat and neck bright scarlet. Black ear-patch protrudes like the ear piece of a headphone. Thigh feathers red, rest of upperparts and underparts black; feathers on mantle, back and breast are fringed darker, making them appear scaly. Iris red-brown, massive bill black, legs and feet pink flesh. Adult female is like male but has red patches on flanks .

DISTRIBUTION An uncommon endemic lowland resident, up to 1220 m. Monotypic.

HABITAT AND HABITS Lowland and hill dipterocarp, kerangas, peat-swamp and mangroves forests, secondary forest, plantation forests. Nomadic. Usually seen in small family parties, but also in mixed feeding flocks. Moves rather slowly over upper and middle storeys while feeding, quite undisturbed by any human presence.

(Source: A Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of Borneo by Wong Tsu Shi, published by John Beaufoy Publishing Ltd, 2012. Available at all good bookstores throughout Borneo. )

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