Cambodia is one of the most amazing places in the world to spot wildlife and many birders put it on their list as somewhere they need to visit. With some species only available in Cambodia, it really is worth a visit.
The three birds endemic to Cambodia are the Chestnut-headed partridge, Cambodian tailorbird, and the Cambodian laughingthrush.
If you want to check off all the birds worldwide, you need to go to Cambodia as these three birds aren’t found anywhere else.
With only seven national parks, Cambodia is one of the best places to see a variety of wildlife. Cambodia is a bird lovers paradise with over 650 species. Cambodia has 8 critically endangered and 10 endangered species, and there are three birds that can only be seen in Cambodia.
Many bird-watching destinations in Cambodia can be completed in a day trip from Siem Reap so Cambodia is the perfect place to view rare birds such as the Bengal florican, white-rumped vulture, and giant ibis.
Make sure that Cambodia is on your holiday birding wishlist.
The chestnut-headed partridge Arborophila cambodiana is a small game bird. They have a bright orange breast, with black and white checked sides, and barred black underparts. The chestnut-headed partridge has a bright orange head and neck.
They can be found in a few places in Cambodia. Phnum Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary, Aoral Wildlife Sanctuary, Bokor National Park, and Krong Kampot. They can be found between 400 and 1400 metres elevation and prefer mountainous regions such as the Elephant and Cardamom mountains.
They can be heard mainly in the morning and afternoon, with the song being a duet. Couplets increase in pitch before stopping, and the other returning a succession of ‘chip’ notes.
The Cambodian tailorbird Orthotomus chaktomuk is a small tailorbird. They live in medium woody plants and can be seen up to elevations of 25 metres. They feed on the insects around the floodplain, including caterpillars and spiders.
The Cambodian tailorbird is grey with white underparts and cheeks, with a cinnamon-rufous crown. Females are paler all over, including the crown.
The Cambodian tailorbird is a loud bird. Their calls often last more than a minute with lots of trills and slurs. Females sometimes wait until the male is finished, although they will often sing over them.
They can often be found in pairs along the floodplains of the Mekong, Tonle Sap, and Bassac rivers. Although they live close to the capital city, Phnom Penh, they are difficult to see due to their habitat.
As more and more dams are being built along the Mekong, their habitat of flooded plains will become less and less, likely leading to a lower population.
The Cambodian laughingthrush Garrulax ferrarius lives in flocks of up to 10 birds and can often be found living among other species. They are dull-brown birds with mid-grey underparts and can be distinguished by their white neck side patch. They measure up to 30m long.
The Cambodian laughingthrush lives in evergreen subtropical or tropical forests and can be found at elevations of 800 to 1250 metres in the Cardamom Mountains in southwest Cambodia.
The Cambodian laughingthrush lives up to its name with the sound it makes. They can often be heard emitting loud cackling laughter. They have a relatively small population within a small range. It is thought that as logging and agriculture increase, the risk of the Cambodian laughingthrush going extinct will increase.
McGowan, P. J. K., G. M. Kirwan, and P. F. D. Boesman (2020). Chestnut-headed Partridge (Arborophila cambodiana), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.chhpar1.01
Kirwan, G. M. (2020). Cambodian Tailorbird (Orthotomus chaktomuk), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.camtai1.01
Collar, N. and C. Robson (2020). Cambodian Laughingthrush (Garrulax ferrarius), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.camlau1.01