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Thailand 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 Thailand it really is worth a visit.

The three birds endemic to Thailand are the Siamese partridge which is a subspecies of the Chestnut-headed partridge, turquoise-throated barbet, and the rufous limestone-babbler which is classed as a vulnerable species.

If you want to check off all the birds worldwide, you need to go to Thailand as these three birds aren’t found anywhere else.

With more than 100 national parks, Thailand is one of the best destinations for wildlife lovers. Thailand is a bird lovers paradise with nearly 1,100 species. More than 100 of these are rare, and there are three birds that can only be seen in Thailand.

Many bird-watching destinations in Thailand can be completed in a day trip from the capital Bangkok so Thailand is the perfect place to view birds as diverse as the Siamese fireback, the oriental pratincole, and the coral-billed ground cuckoo.

Make sure that Thailand is on your holiday birding wishlist.

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Siamese partridge

The Siamese partridge Arborophila diversa is classed as a subspecies of the Chestnut-headed partridge Arborophila cambodiana. Whereas the latter can be found in Cambodia, the Siamese Partridge can only be found in a small region of hillside forests in eastern Thailand. They were originally considered a separate species but have now been reclassified as a subspecies by some taxonomic authorities.

They are a small warm-brown partridge with a blackish eyestripe and neckband on its throat. They have black bars on the back, with black, rufous and grey patterned wings.

They can be seen in Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary in Chanthaburi and can be found between 500 and 1,000 metres elevation. Their sounds have been described as a short ‘tu-u’ followed by a ‘hu.’

Turquoise-throated barbet lonelyshrimp Flickr

Turquoise-throated barbet

The turquoise-throated barbet Psilopogon chersonesus used to be classed as a subspecies of the blue-throated barbet Psilopogon asiaticus but is classed now as its own species.

The turquoise-throated barbet has bright green plumage with a turquoise head and throat and red nape at the base of its upper bill. They can be distinguished from the blue-throated barbet due to the paler colours on their face and throats although their ranges do not overlap. They also have a black line behind the eye.

They can be found in the montane forest in Khao Luang National Park, the tallest mountain in Souther Thailand, where they can be found at elevations of 885 to 1520 metres. They are classified as least concern due to their numbers. Their sound has been described as a series of knocking notes or trills that sound like do-go-go-go.

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Rufous limestone-babbler

The rufous-limestone babbler Gypsophila calcicola is a medium-sized babbler with pale rufous underparts and head, and a black-streaked throat. Their bills are long for a babbler. They measure 18.0–20.5 cm with a weight of 25.8–28.3.

They have a series of sounds ranging from songs of 3-6 whistles, along with duets, chuckles, and chrrr-chrrr-chrrr noises.

The rufous limestone-babbler can be found in forests in Khao Yai National Park in Saraburi province, northeast of Bangkok. They can be found around limestone, making good use of the crevices where they make their nests out of dried twigs and roots. They can be seen at elevations under 915 metres. It is thought that as the forest gets ever smaller, the rufous limestone-babbler may become extinct. There is currently only one small population found in Thailand.


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.

del Hoyo, J., N. Collar, and G. M. Kirwan (2020). Turquoise-throated Barbet (Psilopogon chersonesus), 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.

Kirwan, G. M., N. Collar, J. del Hoyo, C. Robson, D. A. Christie, P. F. D. Boesman, and P. C. Rasmussen (2021). Rufous Limestone Babbler (Gypsophila calcicola), version 0.6. In Birds of the World (B. K. Keeney, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.