Following International Ornithological Congress (IOC) taxonomy, v10.2 (October 2020), the Indonesia bird list is considered to stand at a staggering 1,779 bird species, with an equally impressive total of 459 endemic species. As our knowledge of taxonomy and how to define a species alters, this total is likely to rise substantially, making Indonesia one of the must-visit destinations for bird watchers. It is however a major concern that there are 155 globally threatened species in Indonesia, many falling foul of the illegal pet trade, such as Bali Myna, Yellow-crested Cockatoo, and Javan Green Magpie, other globally threatened species include Flores Hawk-Eagle, Flores Scops Owl, Sumatran Ground Cuckoo, and Banggai Crow. This number is also unfortunately likely to increase. Bird conservation is increasingly crucial in Indonesia where bird-keeping has been an intrinsic part of life for centuries, though never quite on current levels as this tradition has developed into a large-scale business. According to BirdLife International (and local BirdLife Partner: Burung Indonesia) there are 38 Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs), and 225 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Indonesia, several of these fall within natural reserves, nature reserves, and national parks, however many are currently unprotected, such as important mangrove forests.
We currently have three fascinating tours (outlined below in chronological order) for those people interested in going birding in Indonesia, though watch this space as we will be adding several further amazing tours very soon. We are working with some excellent local guides to help maximize the many difficult birds seen on our tours:
Indonesia: The Lesser Sunda Islands – Comprehensive Tour
This thorough tour of the Lesser Sunda region starts and ends in Denpasar, Bali and covers the islands of Sumba, Rote, West Timor, Alor, Flores, and Komodo Islands. On this birding adventure we will seek out many endemic birds, such as Sumba Buttonquail, Sumba Hornbill, Little Sumba Hawk-Owl, Rote Boobook, Rote Myzomela, Timor Friarbird, Black-banded Flycatcher, Alor Myzomela, Flores Hawk-Eagle, Flores Crow, Flores Monarch, Elegant Pitta, Ornate Pitta, and Glittering Kingfisher. The non-avian highlights are sure to be Komodo Dragons! There are several species currently undescribed and new to science along our route and we will look for those too, such as ‘Mt Mutis Parrotfinch’.
Indonesia: Sulawesi and Halmahera – Spectacular Endemic Birding
This incredible tour looks for many spectacular endemic birds of Sulawesi and Halmahera (North Moluccas), with some of the best including (Wallace’s) Standardwing – a unique bird-of-paradise that we will look for at its display lek, Maleo, Hylocitrea (monotypic endemic family), Purple-bearded Bee-eater, Ivory-breasted Pitta, North Moluccan Pitta, Sulawesi Pitta, Green-backed Kingfisher, Scaly-breasted Kingfisher, Lilac Kingfisher, Blue-and-white Kingfisher, Malia, Geomalia, Knobbed Hornbill, Ashy Woodpecker, Satanic Nightjar, Halmahera Boobook, Moluccan Owlet-nightjar, and a wide-range of parrots, fruit doves, and so many more. Join us as we bird watch in this endemic-filled region of Indonesia.
Indonesia: West Papua – Birds-of-paradise and Endemics of the Arfaks and Waigeo
This exciting, short, small-group, West Papua birding trip looks for up to 15 species of birds-of-paradise, such as Wilson’s Bird-of-paradise (considered one of the most-attractive birds in the world by many who have enjoyed seeing it), plus other gorgeous birds-of-paradise such as Red Bird-of-paradise, King Bird-of-paradise, Black Sicklebill, Arfak Astrapia, Long-tailed Paradigalla, Crescent-caped Lophorina (formerly Superb Bird-of-paradise), Western Parotia, Trumpet Manucode, and Lesser Bird-of-paradise (along with many more). There is an almost endless list of amazing birds possible on this tour, including Common Paradise Kingfisher, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Western Crowned Pigeon, Vogelkop Bowerbird, Masked Bowerbird, Arfak Catbird, Spotted Jewel-babbler, Lesser Melampitta, Pesquet’s (New Guinea Vulturine) Parrot, White-striped Forest Rail, Mottled Berryhunter (a monotypic family), Papuan Pitta, Blue-black Kingfisher, and lots more!
Our new Indonesian tours will be covering Sumatra and West Java, Bali and East Java, Biak, Numfor, and Kofiau, and Papua Province for starters. On these tours we will be focusing on seeing the endemic birds of each region, a thrilling prospect!