I started to tell you about our birding experience in Malaysia but got sidetracked with the leech story. We did see birds - 80+ species in 2 days. Some of those were "heard only" birds. This is deep forest birding where it is impossible to see birds that are more than 10 yards away from the road. Our guide helped us identify the sounds and also helped to call the birds out to the road so that we could see some of them. There are a few categories of birds that are very common in this area. Flowerpeckers fill up a page in the field guide. The first real bird that we saw was Orange-breasted Flowerpecker. This bird is a)great looking, and b)easy to see because it likes feed in low bushes on the roadside.
The next Flowerpecker was this Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker. Same as above, pretty and easy (sounds like a few of my high school friends).
There are other birds in the forest that are much easier to spot. They are big and loud and easy (much like other friends of mine). One category of big birds are the Malkoas. We saw a few species of these including this Black-bellied Malkoa which is the hardest to find.
Another very colorful bird is this Pale-blue Flycatcher. It also has a pretty song unlike most flycatchers in the US. The pale blue really shows up in the green forest.
Asia doesn't have any hummingbirds but they have a category of bird called Bee-eaters. Bee-eaters are very colorful birds that remind me of hummers. This photo is terrible but you can kind of see the blue throat that gives this bird its name - Blue-throated Bee-eater.