Long-tailed Paradigalla

One of the birds of paradise that can be found in Arfak mountains is the Long-tailed Paradigalla (Paradigalla carunculata). It has got black feather all over its body, wing and tail. There is yellow wattles on its forehead.

The range of this paradise bird is very limited. According to field-guide book Birds of New Guinea by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler and John C. Anderton and Szabolcs Kókay, the Long-tailed Paradigala could be found in Bird's head region especially in Arfak mountains (and possibly Tambrauw and Fakfak mountains).

Long-tailed Paradigalla bird of paradise

Long-tailed Paradigala

I saw it for the first time when I guided an American visitor on a birdwatching trip to Arfak mountains. We were inside a blind (a special hut for watching birds) waiting for Western Parotia. There was a red pandanus fruit, put by local villager on a wooden post, just outside the dancing ground of Western Parotia. That morning, birds come to feed on the red fruit. There were female and male Western Parotia, female Black Sicklebill, female Vogelkop Superb Bird of Paradise eating the grain of the fruit. They took turn feeding. Suddenly a black bird landed on it and began to eat. It was an unfamiliar bird for me. When I watched it closer using my binoculars, I was surprised and happy to identify that it was a Long-tailed Paradigalla. It is an endemic species of Arfak mountains.

I brought a D-SLR camera that was equipped with a telephoto lens - a Canon 200D with Tamron 150-600 mm G2 lens. I turned on this camera and immediately shot the bird several times. It was a great day for me because I could see the Long-tailed Paradigalla for the first time and took some pictures of the bird.

During a few days birding in Arfak mountains, we were able to see a lot of birds including Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Vogelkop Bowerbird, Green-backed Robin, Blue Grey Robin, Western-smoky Honeyeater, Friendly Fantail, Goldenface, Vogelkop Melidectes, Spectacled Longbill, Friendly Fantail, Black-breasted Boatbill, and a lot more.

A male Western Parotia bird of paradise was performing courtship dance to attract his female partner for mating.

I and my clients stayed at Lorikeet guesthouse. We did day trips to various parts of the forest to see birds, butterflies, and flowers. There is a beautiful garden around the guesthouse. Rhododendron, Red Hibiscus, and New Guinea Impatients are some of the plants that can be found in the garden. Giant banana trees also grow there.

To enhance the birding experience in the forest, we use a spotting scope. With this watching device, we were able to see birds in distant trees such as Great Woodswallow, Papua Mountain Pigeon, Mountain Fruit Dove, and etc.

Arfak mountains is part of West Papua province. There are a lot of birding sites in this province from Wondama regency to Manokwari, Tambrauw, Sorong and Raja Ampat. For watching Red Bird of Paradise and Wilson's Bird of Paradise, visitora can travel to Raja Ampat, for watching Lesser Birds of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Red Myzomella, Lowland Peltop and Hooded Butcherbird, the best site will be Wondama regency.
The flight route to Wondama regency is Jakarta to Manokwari city by jet plane such as Airbus A320 or Boeing 737 operated by Lion Air, Batik Air and Sriwijaya Air. The next part will be flying by small aircraft Cessna Caravan 208 owned by Susi Air. Tickets to Wasior town of Wondama regency can be bought at the airport of Manokwari.

If you are interested in visiting West Papua to enjoy hiking, birdwatching and wildlife watching as well as swimming and snorkeling and want me (Charles Roring) to organise your trip and guide you, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com.