Birding in Indonesia

Indonesia is a great destination for visitors who like birdwatching. There are more than 17,000 islands in this country. Most of them are covered by green tropical vegetation which are the habitat of various species of birds. Here are some important birding destinations in Indonesia:


Located between Maluku and Borneo, in the transition zones from the Asia to Australia, Sulawesi island has got high number of endemic birds. Red-back Thrush, Sulawesi Pygmy Hornbill, Sulawesi Knobbed Hornbill, Maleo, Maroon-chinned Fruit-Dove, Scaly-breasted Kingfisher, Sulawesi Pygmy Woodpecker, Sulawesi Serpent Eagle, Sulawesi Goshawk, and a lot more. Visitors usually start from Makassar as the entrance gate to the island. After birding in Karaenta and Ramang-ramang areas, they will continue their birdwatching tour to Central Sulawesi for watching birds in Lore Lindu National Park and then to North Sulawesi for watching birds in Mount Mahawu of Tomohon, Tangkoko National Park, Mount Ambang and Dumoga Bone National Park.

Purple-bearded Bee-eater, an endemic bird from Sulawesi island.
Purple-bearded Bee-eater

Birding Tour in West Papua

The most important birdwatching destination in Indonesia is West Papua. According to field guide book Birds of New Guinea written by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler, the region has got nearly 780 bird species, including 366 found nowhere else.

Birds of Paradise have become important targets including Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise, and Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise.

Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari
Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari

In West Papua Province of Indonesia there are some birding sites. Some of them are Susnguakti forest, Mount Soyti, Klatomok Village in Klasow valley, Waigeo island, Ayapokiar, Mount Sakofsiah and Ases Valley. The main gates to these places are Manokwari city and Sorong city.


Wallace Standard Wing is a species of Birds of Paradise that is named after the famous British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. Halmahera, the largest island in the Province of North Maluku, is the destination for birds such as Ivory-breasted Pitta, Superb Fruit Dove, Grey-headed Fruit Dove, Blue capped Fruit Dove, and Sultan's Cuckoo Dove. There are also Moluccan Scops Owl, Blue and White Kingfisher, and Azure Dollarbird. The rainforest of Halmahera has got beautiful parrots too. Moluccan King Parrot, Umbrella Cockatoo, Violet-necked Lory, Chattering Lory, and Red-cheeked Parrot. Halmahera share significant number of birds with the nearby Raja Ampat islands in West Papua province of Indonesia.


Bali is the most famous tourist destination in Indonesia. It has got several important sites for birdwatching. Bali Barat National Park located in the western most region of the tropical island is where visitors usually go to watch birds. Their main target was Bali Myna (Leucopsar rothschildi). There are also a lot of interesting species such as Chestnut-headed Beeeater, Javan-banded Pitta, Lemon-bellied White-Eye, Soothy-headed Bulbul, Yellow-vented Bulbul and a lot more. In addition to birding visitors can enjoy a lot of other activities including taking cycling tour, Batik painting, or visiting a number of art galleries in ubud, swimming at Sanur beach or snorkeling in Nusa Lembongan.


Two famous birding sites in Sumatra are Mount Kerinci and Tapan Road of Kerinci Seblat National Park in Jambi. This higher elevation forests are the natural habitat of Black-browed Barbet, Scheneider's Pitta, Black and Crimson Oriole, Sumatran Treepie, Scarlet Minivet, Fire-tuffted Barbet, Blue-tailed Trogon, Whiskered Treeswift, Sunda Forktail.

black and crimson oriole

For birding in Mount Kerinci, Kayu Aro town is the recommended base for visitors. It is a 6-hour ride from Padang city. For Tapan Road, the base town should be Sungai Penuh.

If you want a guide to arrange your birding tour in Indonesia and guide you during the trip, please, contact me (Charles Roring by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.