Indonesia birding day tours, which we run at any time!
Our Bali bird tours offer something for everyone, whether you are looking for a full-blown birding tour or something to include within your Bali vacation for half a day or longer.
Bali is a province of the Republic of Indonesia (“Indonesia” hereafter), part of a vast and sprawling archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. The island sits on the edge of the Greater Sunda region (just two miles / c. three kilometers to the east of Java) and is the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Known as “The Islands of the Gods”, Bali is one of Indonesia’s most important islands in terms of tourism, along with other islands such as Flores/Komodo Island (think Komodo Dragon!), Lombok Island (home to an endemic owl), and the Raja Ampat Islands with its birds-of-paradise and incredible reef life.
The provincial capital, Denpasar, is the most populous city, and the mid-elevation town of Ubud is considered Bali’s cultural center (a popular destination for anyone interested in temples, rice terraces, art, great food, or yoga). Beach and nightlife tourism is popular around the coast, particularly the beach resort areas of Jimbaran, Seminyak, Kuta, and Canggu where surfing is also a big draw, such as around the beaches near Uluwatu Temple. Coastal towns further away from this region of Bali offer something quieter, such as in Ahmed, or even dolphin-watching, such as at Lovina.
Bali is the only Hindu-majority province in Muslim-majority Indonesia. Balinese Hinduism is world-renowned for its intricate arts, including modern and traditional dances, painting, sculpture, and metalwork which provides color and flair in everything one sees as traveling around the island. Furthermore, Bali continues to be steeped in its historic past, such as with its ancient confederation of kingdoms, comprising ten royal Balinese houses that originate from a time before Dutch colonization of the archipelago.
Bali is an odd-shaped island and has a volcanic central mountain range. The highest peak is Gunung Agung (Mount Agung), an active volcano reaching 9,944 feet (3,031 meters) high. There are several other peaks over 6,600 feet (2,000 meters) high and many of these are cloaked in forest, however the volcanic slopes are exceptionally fertile, and so this is where much of Bali’s rice, vegetables, flowers, and coffee is grown. Being located just to the west of the Wallace Line, Bali’s fauna is more Asian in character than say adjacent Lombok, which has more of an Australasian influence. The abundance of mountains and plentiful rain during the rainy season (October to April) results in lots of rivers, and waterfalls in remote areas which are popular tourist attractions to take a break from the heat of the day.
Following International Ornithological Congress (IOC) taxonomy, v12.1 (April 2022), the Bali bird list is considered to stand at 421 bird species. We know that there are several species not included in this list as Andy has found and documented several first and second records for the island in the last year or so while he’s been living there, that are not currently on the national list (e.g. Black-browed Reed Warbler and Common Ringed Plover)! Bali has just one endemic species (Bali Myna) and 23 species are considered to be globally threatened. Bali Myna is considered Critically Endangered by BirdLife International.
A small island with a large resident population that is increased massively through tourism, there are substantial pressures on the birds (and other wildlife within and around Bali). The island has just one national park, Bali Barat National Park, located in the far northwest tip of the island near the port town of Gilimanuk (the port for access to Java). The Bali Barat National Park area is home to many wonderful birds, but with local knowledge it is possible to find a great assortment of birds in many other areas of Bali and these are accessible for anyone who has a little time to spare, no matter how short that might seem.
Birding trips can be catered towards beginner-level upwards, just let us know what you are after. Our trips could include walking through some rice paddies in Ubud with a knowledgeable local guide to point out the birds for you, visible migration watching, spending time photographing kingfishers and waterbirds, or perhaps targeting some of the really special birds in Bali, do let us know.
Some of the top birds in Bali include Bali Myna, Black-winged (Grey-rumped) Myna, Javan Kingfisher, Javan Pond Heron, Javan Munia, Cave Swiftlet, Sunda Teal, Green Junglefowl, Javan Hawk-Eagle, Javan Owlet, Javan Plover, Javan Banded Pitta, Cerulean Kingfisher, Flame-fronted Barbet, Yellow-eared Barbet, Javan Cuckooshrike, Scarlet (Javan) Minivet, Javan Bush Warbler, Sunda Bush Warbler, Sunda Warbler, Mountain Leaf Warbler, Kamchatka Leaf Warbler, (Javan) White-crowned Forktail, Javan Whistling Thrush, Sunda Thrush, Scaly (Horsfield’s) Thrush, Narcissus Flycatcher, Crescent-chested Babbler, Javan Scimitar Babbler, White-headed Munia, and Java Sparrow, but there’s far more to see beyond these few great birds.
Check out the tour ideas below or contact us if you have any questions about birding in Bali.