12 Vietnam endemic birds

VietnamBirdShooting 2016-05-04


  • Annam Partridge Arborophila merlini
  • Edwards’s Pheasant Lophura edwardsi
  • White-throated Wren Babbler Rimator pasquieri
  • Pale-throated Wren Babbler Spelaeornis kinneari
  • Vietnamese Cutia Cutia legalleni
  • Black-crowned Fulvetta;Alcippe klossi
  • Grey-crowned Crocias Crocias langbianis
  • Vietnamese Greenfinch Carduelis monguilloti
  • Orange-breasted Laughingthrush Garrulax annamensis
  • Collared Laughingthrush Garrulax yersini
  • Golden-winged Laughingthrush Garrulax ngoclinhensis
  • Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush Garrulax konkakinhensis

Two species, Imperial Pheasant (Lophura imperialis) and Vietnamese Pheasant (Lophura hatinhensis), are no longer considered the valid species. Imperial Pheasant L. imperialis is an occasional hybrid between Silver pheasant L. nycthemera and Edwards’s pheasant L. edwardsi, Vietnamese Pheasant is most likely just a form of Edwards's Pheasant.


Annam Partridge Arborophila merlini (English synonyms: Annam Hill Partridge, AnAnnam Partridge Arborophila merlini (Endemic bird of Vietnam)namese Partridge, Annamese Hill Partridge, Vietnam Partridge) was split from Scaly-breasted Partridge A.chloropus following Robson Field Guide to the Birds of SE Asia and Madge & McGowan (2002). Very similar to A.chloropus from which differs most conspicuously in yellower legs and in much more distinct black scaling on flanks and lower breast. The habitat are lowland forest specialist and occurring below 600 m. The most easy location to find for birder is in Bach Ma National Park (Hydro dam trail), Vietnam.

Edwards’s Pheasant Lophura edwardsi (English synonyms: Annam Pheasant, Vietnamese Pheasant (L. hatinhensis is now considered a variant of Edwards's Pheasant probably as a result of inbreeding)) was described on 1896 in Quang Tri Province, Central Vietnam. Male are Gloosy dark blue , white crest, shorish tail, greenish-blue cover-fringes and Female are quite plain greyish-brown with warmer scapulars and wings, blackish tail with dark brown (slightly warm) central feathers. This species is reported to prefer “exceedingly damp forests of the mountains at low and moderate altitudes” and to be extremely wary, seldom leaving the “thick underbrush and liana-covered hillsides. Range occurs in Central Vietnam (C Annam) the potential place are in the west of Bao Ninh district, Quang Binh Province, near to the Ke Bang limestone area; Ba Long Valley, Dakrong district, Quang Tri; Dong Che area, Dakrong district, Quang Tri; Loc Dien commune, Phu Loc district, 1 km north-east of the buffer zone of Bach Ma National Park; Hai Van pass, Hue province (http://www.birdlife.org on 20/04/2016)


White-throated Wren Babbler Rimator pasquieri has been split from Long-billed Wren Babbler R. malacoptilus following Collar (2006). Small (11-12 cm), almost tailless, streaky brown babbler, with a very long, slightly decurved bill and prominent white throat. Its crown, nape and head side are darkish rufescent brown with vague buff streaks. Dorsal feathering long, darkish brown and with long buff streaks, becoming vague on dark rufescent rump. Upperwing and tail plain darkish rufescent-brown, face slightly paler, with dark brown submoustachial streak bordering pure white on chin and throat, with clear-cut break to darkish ochre-tinged brown underparts marked with long whitish-buff streaks. It appears to strongly favour areas of forest with an undergrowth dominated by dwarf bamboo of the genus Arundinaria (Eames and Mahood 2011). This species has a very limited range, being restricted to the Hoang Lien Mountains in West Tonkin, northern Vietnam (del Hoyo et al. 2007). Nine specimens have been collected, all from Mount Fansipan (located in Hoang Lien Son Nature Reserve), from which there are also recent records (Eames and Mahood 2011). It has also been recorded in recent years at Mu Cang Chai Species and Habitat Conservation Area (Yen Bai Province) and Van Ban Nature Reserve (Lao Cai Province) (Eames and Mahood 2011). 

Pale-throated Wren Babbler Spelaeornis kinneari (English synonyms: Pale-throated Wren-Babbler, Light-throated Wren-Babbler) has been split from Long-tailed Wren Babbler S. chocolatinus following Collar (2006). A small (11-12 cm) dark wren-babbler with a pale throat. The male is dark bronze-brown with black scaling above, becoming plainer and more deep ochrous-brown on its fluffy rump feathers. The upperwing and tail are dark brown with a slight rufous tinge. Head sides dark brownish-grey with vague blackish-brown preocular patch and submoustachial area. Chin and throat dirty white with some faint brown mottling, becoming stronger on the upper breast and changing to deep bronze-grey underparts with blackish scaling and a few white tips; lower flanks plain brown. Iris brown; bill blackish; legs brownish-flesh. This species inhabits the understorey of broadleaf evergreen forest and overgrown forest gaps at 1,600-2,500 m in Vietnam, with probable records at 1,400-1,600 m in China (del Hoyo et al. 2007). This species is occurs in the Fan Si Pan Mountains in West Tonkin, Vietnam.


Vietnamese Cutia Cutia legalleni was considered a subspecies of Cutia nipalensis but now treated as a separate species following Collar, N. J. (2006). Male has forehead to nape bluish-tinged slate grey, broad black mask, whit throat, bright rufous-chestnut upperparts and barred underparts. Female has white throat and barred underparts but lacks the

Vietnam cutiastriking bluish grey crown and chestnut upperpart features of the male. Similar species. Himalayan Cutia. Male lacks fully barred underparts and lower throat. Female has crown and facemask features similar to the male unlike Vietnamese Cutia. It occurs in broadleaved evergreen forest, mixed broadleaved and pine forest, and sometimes pure pine forest (but usually when close to broadleaved forest). Although it may use secondary growth or logged primary forest it probably has an association with primary forest. Cutia legalleni occurs as two races within a small range in south-east Asian. C. l. hoae occurs on the Kon Tum Plateau in the eastern part of south Laos and central Annam in Vietnam, whilst C. l. legalleni is confined to the Da Lat Plateau in South Annam, Vietnam.

 Black-crowned Fulvetta Alcippe klossi (English synonyms: Rufous-winged Fulvetta) has been split from Rufous-winged Fulvetta Alcippe castaneceps following Collar, N. J. (2006). Very small (12 -12.5 cm) olive-brown and whitish babbler with black-and-white head pattern and pale rufous-ochre wingpanel. This species is found in the understorey of broadleaved evergreen forest, secondary growth, and forest edge at 1,510-2,100 m elevation. It has also been found in lowland semi-evergreen forest, lowland evergreen forest and lower montane forest, with records from elevations down to 50 m in the northern part of the range (del Hoyo et al. 2007). A. klossi is confined to southern Annam, Vietnam, where it is recorded from the Southern Vietnamese Lowlands, Da Lat Plateau and Kon Tum Plateau Endemic Bird Areas.


Grey-crowned Crocias Crocias langbianis (English synonyms: Grey crowned Crocias, Grey-crowned Crocias, Grey-crowned Sibia, Gray crowned Crocias, Gray-crowned Crocias, Gray-crowned Sibia, Mount Lang Bian Crocias, Mount Langbian Sibia) is monotypic species endemic to the Langbian Mountains of south-central Vietnam. Slim babbler with slaty-grey crown, blackish mask and boldly blackish-streaked flanks. Dull rufous upperparts with blackish-brown streaks and faint, pale shaft streaks on crown, nape and mask. White rest of underparts. Mostly slaty-grey, white-tipped tail, mostly grey greater coverts and secondaries and white-fringed, blackish primaries. Juvenile has browner crown with broader buffish streaks, duller head-sides, smaller flank-streaks, browner greater coverts and secondaries and narrower, white tail feather tips. It is resident in closed-canopy, tropical montane evergreen forest from 900-1,700 m (most recent observations come from a narrow altitudinal band from 910-1,130 m). Generally encountered in singles, pairs, and occasionally small groups of up to five, it is arboreal and forages with mixed-species flocks for invertebrates, particularly caterpillars, primarily in the outer canopy of broadleaved evergreen and coniferous trees. Crocias langbianis is endemic to the Da Lat Plateau, southernVietnam, where it is known from the Lam Dong and Dak Lak provinces. Previously known from only five specimens collected at two localities in 1938-1939, it was rediscovered in 1994. It appears to be very locally distributed and is considered fairly common only at Chu Yang Sin Nature Reserve, one of three sites with recent records. Two easy site for find are Ta Nung Valley and Mang Den town (Kotum province). 


Vietnamese Greenfinch Carduelis monguilloti (English synonym: Vietnam greenfinch) is monotypic species endemic to southern central Vietnam. Medium-sized (13·5–14 cm; 15–16 g), black-headed finch with large conical bill, yellow wing-flash and notched tail. Male has forehead to hindcrown, lores. It occurs in open pine forest, including Pinus kesiya forest, secondary growth, and forest edges near to cultivation from 1,050-1,900 m, as well as feeding on seeds from Pinustrees it has been seen flycatching recently hatched termites. Carduelis monguilloti is endemic to the Da Lat plateau of south Annam, Vietnam, where it is locally common.


Orange-breasted Laughingthrush Garrulax annamensis (English synonyms: Orange-breasted Laughing-thrush, Spot-breasted Orange-breasted Laughingthrush Garrulax annamensis Laughingthrush, Spot-breasted Laughing-thrush) is monotypic species endemic to South Annam (Vietnam), split from Spot-breasted Laughingthrush Garrulax merulinus following Collar, N. J. (2006). Medium-sized laughingthrush with brown upperparts and flanks, blackish throat, orange-rufous supercilium and underparts with neatly black-streaked breast. This species occurs in secondary forest, edge habitats and undergrowth, even in cultivated habitats adjacent to forest patches (J. Eames in litt. 2007, R. Craik in litt. 2007). It occurs singly, in pairs or in small groups, but apparently never in large groups like other members of the genus (J. Eames in litt. 2007, R. Craik in litt. 2007). G. annamensis occurs within the Dal Lat Plateau EBA in southern Annam, Vietnam. 

Collared Laughingthrush Garrulax yersini (English synonyms: Collared Laughing-thrush, Yersin's Laughing Thrush, Yersin's Laughingthrush) is monotypic species endemic to south central and southern Vietnam. Striking, black-hooded, orange-brown laughingthrush with silver ear-patch, Blackish primary coverts contrast with bright golden to orange-olive wing-feather fringes. It is resident in dense undergrowth of primary and logged montane evergreen forest, secondary growth and scrub bordering forest, occupying a narrow altitudinal band from 1,500-2,440 m. It is generally encountered in monospecific flocks of 4-8 individuals. Garrulax yersini is endemic to the Da Lat plateau, Vietnam. It is known from 11 localities, with recent records from eight of these, the most important of which appear to be Mount Lang Bian, Mount Bi Doup and Chu Yang Sin Nature Reserve.


Golden-winged Laughingthrush Garrulax ngoclinhensis (English synonym: Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush) Monotypic species endemic to Vietnam. First described in Eames, J.C., Le Tong Trai & Nguyen Cu (1999) A new species of Laughingthrush (Passeriformes: Garrulinacinae) from the Western Highlands of Vietnam. Shy laughingthrush with golden wings, chestnut crown, hind crown and nape, Black lores and grey ear-coverts, Grey mantle, back and rump with slight olive tinge. Olive-brown tail with outer webs tinged golden-brown. Black primaries and secondaries, but with golden basal halves. Olive greater coverts broadly tipped chestnut. Golden outer web to alula. Similar spp. G. yersini has black head, except ear-coverts, and orange breast extending up to mantle and down to belly. All observations have been between 2,000 and 2,200 m in the herb and shrub layers of primary, upper montane, evergreen forest. It is presumed to be resident. The holotype specimen had enlarged testes suggesting breeding activity in May. Garrulax ngoclinhensis was only described in 1999. It is only known from Mt Ngoc Linh and Mt Ngoc Boc (Eames 2001) on the Kon Tum plateau of central Vietnam. At Mt Ngoc Linh it has been recorded from the Ngoc Linh (Kon Tum) Nature Reserve, and Ngoc Linh (Quang Nam) proposed nature reserve. It has also been recorded from Kon Plong Forest Complex (Eames et al. 2001).

Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush Garrulax konkakinhensis (English synonyms: Chestnut-eared Laughing-thrush, Chestnut-eared Laughing Thrush) was described as new to science by Eames and Eames (2001). Shy laughingthrush with black-streaked grey forehead, chestnut ear-coverts, boldly and irregularly barred upperparts and white-tipped tail with a broad black sub-terminal band. Leaving in the undergrowth of primary upper montane evergreen forest, dominated by tree species from the families Fagaceae, Lauraceae, Magnoliaceae, Hamamelidaceae, Theaceae, Ericaceae, Myrtaceae and Araliaceae. Garrulax konkakinhensis was first discovered at Mount Kon Ka Kinh, one of the highest peaks in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Three specimens were collected there in April 1999, including one from a group of at least three individuals. There have subsequently been unpublished records from four locations within Kom Tum Province, including the Mang Canh Plateau in Kon Prong State Forest Enterprise (Mahood et al. in press). It has also recently been recorded in Xe Sap in Laos, where it could be abundant (T. Gray in litt. 2012).