Birding in Bali

Bali is a great destination for visitors who like birdwatching. Its hill forest and coastal areas are the habitat of hundreds of species of birds including Bali Myna, Javan-banded Pitta, Zebra Dove, Black-naped Fruit Dove, Spotted Dove, Collared Dove, Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon, Yellow-vented Bulbul, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Freckle-breasted Woodpecker, Malaysian-pied Fantail, Coppersmith Barbet, Collared Kingfisher, Little Kingfisher, Pacific Swift, Cave Swiftlet, White-tailed Tropic Bird, Javan Plover, Malaysian Plover, Sunda Teal, Purple Heron, Intermediate Heron, Javan Pond Heron, Beach Thick Knee, Little Tern, Black-naped Tern, Green Jungle Fowl, Chestnut-headed Bee Eater, and etc.

Day 1 Arriving in Bali

To start your birding tour, you need to fly to Bali island of Indonesia. Its airport name is Ngurah Rai. Landing at the airport you will be transferred to a hotel near Kuta Beach. You could take a rest for around 2 hours. After that, we start our trip to Uluwatu to watch birds such as Cave Swiftlet, Pacific Swift, Common Iora, Spotted Dove and Zebra Dove. Some times when we stand on the path along the cliff, looking at the horizon of the sea, we may be able to see White-tailed Tropic Bird. Be careful and watchful of the monkeys that like to steal and cause damages to things that belong to visitors.

javan-banded pitta in West Bali
Javan-banded Pitta

One day, I went to Ubud and enjoyed birding in rice field areas just a little outside of the crowded town. I used a mountain bike to explore the rice field. As I rode my bike, I saw a large flock of Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) walking behind a farmer who was plowing his farmland using a hand tractor. They were eating worm that was exposed from the soil that had just been turned by the tractor's blade. Their whole bodies were white but the heads, throats, chests and rumps were covered by light brown feather. Their bills were yellow.

endemic bird in bali
Bali Myna (Leucopsar rothschildi)

The farmer was not concerned or worried about the presence of the cattle egrets around him. He was fully concentrated in his works plowing the rice field.

Cattle Egret Bird
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)

Most visitors go to Bali Barat National Park for Bali Myna, Black-winged Myna, Java Sparrow, Javan Munia, Javan Kingfisher, Javan-banded Pitta, Flame-fronted Barbet, White-crowned Forktail, Orange-breasted Green Pigeon and hundreds of other bird species. But other places such as the slopes below Lake Tamblingan, Besakih in Mount Agung, Nusa Penida island are worth trying.

I also saw Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata). This bird was also called Nutmeg Mannikin. The underpart feather of the munia particularly around the belly looked like the scales of fish. He was busy picking small berries in a tree when I saw her and took a picture of her. The birds occur not only in the forest but also in farmlands and residential areas. Farmers often consider them as pest because they like feeding on rice grains in paddy fields. They can suvive in towns and cities because they can pick up grains of food wastes from houses and restaurants in residential areas. In other words, we could see birds that feed on food wastes in the city as scavangers. They play important role in cleaning of the city.

Bedugul is the most recommended site for watching highland birds such as Javan Kingfisher, Blood-breasted Flowerpecker, Black-naped Oriole, Flame-fronted Barbet, Crescent-chested Babbler, Sunda Warbler, Rock Pigeon, Brown Shrike and etc.v

Birding Gear

Scaly Breasted Munia in Bali
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)

There are some equipments that are needed by birdwatchers when going birding in Bali. Some of them include:

Extending your Birding Trip

If you want to enjoy birding in other parts of Indonesia, I highly recommend that you go birding in Raja Ampat, Tambrauw, North Sulawesi, or lower montane forest of Arfak mountains to see birds of paradise such as King Bird of Paradise, Lesser-birds of Paradise, Twelve-bird of Paradise, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, .
Here is how to get there:

After exploring the rainforest in Bali Barat and the north area of the island, you may need to relax at the beach. Tourists usually go to Kuta, Legian or Sanur.

Every tourist who wants to go to Bali will need a place to stay. Today there are hundreds of hotels in this tropical island. The hotel that I recommend is Kuta Beach Club- a three star accommodation at the heart of the tourism hub of Indonesia. Located on Singosari street, the hotel is close to restaurants, shopping center, traditional souvenir shops. Most of them are within walking distance from the hotel. I used to stay in one of its standard bungalow a few years ago. It was quite comfortable. The air conditioning was working although it was not cool enough. This hotel is only a ten minute walk from the beach that is usually crowded with travelers from all corners of the world.

Kuta Beach Club is also quite close to Matahari - a big shopping center in the area. Kuta is really a beautiful beach for swimming and sunbathing, and sometimes wave-surfing. Another important attraction of Kuta beach is sunset watching. Tourists spend their nightlife in Kuta by going to bars and caf├ęs for food and drinks or enjoying disco music at nightclubs. There are hundreds of shops along the streets of Kuta and Legian selling souvenirs. Unfortunately, tourists often complain that souvenir vendors are too aggressive in promoting their products to them. The official website of the hotel welcomes you as your home in the heart of Kuta. There is a swimming pool in the middle of the hotel that is surrounded with a lot of green vegetation. As the most popular tourist destination, Bali receives millions of domestic and international tourists every year.

Birding in remote region is a fun activity. If you want me to accompany you to go birding in Bali and other parts of Indonesia, you could contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or send whatssapp message to: +6281332245180.