Physical characteristics: Malaysian honeyguides have brownish gray plumage with small, bright yellow shoulder patches, dark olive-brown upperparts, a light gray breast, and red eyes. They have a brown pointed bill, white under parts, and black legs and feet. Females do not have the yellow shoulder patch. Adults are about 2.5 inches (16 centimeters) long and weigh between 0.8 and 1.4 ounces (23.0 and 38.5 grams).
Geographic range: These honeyguides live in the Malaysian Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo.
Habitat: Malaysian honeyguides inhabit tropical rainforests and broadleaved, lowland evergreen forests from sea level to 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) in elevation. They also are found in open country, secondary forests, and in hill-slope forests.
Malaysian honeyguides eat beeswax, bee larvae, bees, and other insects. (Illustration by Wendy Baker. Reproduced by permission.)
Diet: They eat beeswax, bee larvae, bees, and other insects.
Behavior and reproduction: Malaysian honeyguides call out with harsh, cat-like "miaow," followed by a churring "miaow-krruuu" or "miao-miao-krruuu," which rises in pitch. Males that are mating with females will sing. Little else is known about their reproduction behavior except that they are thought to be brood parasites like other honeyguides. Breeding seasons are believed to occur from February to May in Malaya, during August in Thailand, May into June in Sumatra, and from January into March in Borneo.
Malaysian honeyguides and people: There is no known significant relationship between people and Malaysian honeyguides.
Conservation status: Malaysian honeyguides are listed as Near Threatened due to deforestation. ■
Was this article helpful?