Watching Lesser Birds of Paradise

Male and Female Lesser Birds of Paradise
A Couple of Lesser Birds of Paradise

Male Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)

Male Lesser Bird of Paradise sitting on a hanging vine

Courtship Dance of Lesser Birds of Paradise
Courtship Dance of Lesser Birds of Paradise

basecamp for tourists who want to watch Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari

Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor) are one of the most beautiful bird species in the world. The male one has got a combination of white, brown, yellow, green and black feather. He dances in the mornings and in the afternoons to seduce his female counterparts for mating. Male and female Lesser Birds of Paradise gather in the hanging vines or branches of a tree. The place where they usually gather is called lek. This lek is located deep in the forest on the edge of steep hill or cliff. When the sun appears on the east horizon, male Lesser Birds of Paradise begin calling their female birds. Most often, two, three or four male birds perform the courtship dance simultaneously. This courtship dance behavior attracts the attention of birdwatchers from around the world. They travel to West Papua to watch and photograph these beautiful birds.

Susnguakti forest in the south of Manokwari city is perhaps the best site in the world for watching Lesser Birds of Paradise.

Camera for Shooting the Paradise Birds

The Lesser Paradise Birds whose pictures are presented in this article were taken by using Canon 200D and Tamron 150-600mm G2 lenses. The shooting modes of the camera were set to sport and portrait when I photographed the birds. I did not use tripod when I made the photographs. I only leaned on the wooden frame of the birding hide (also called blind) to make the pictures.

In the past, I used Fujifilm HS50EXR to shoot birds in distant trees. It has got a half inch sensor and a 1,000 mm zoom lens. This point and shoot camera is light and suitable for travelers who want to make photographs of anything which they see in the forest, or in the city. Unfortunately, Fujifilm has stopped manufacturing this powerful bridge camera.
The latest products that are available on the market such as the Canon SX60HS, Nikon P900 and Nikon P1000 have got smaller sensors that cannot easily focus on the subjects when shootings are performed in low-light condition. I suggest that visitors who want to take pictures of the paradise birds bring such camera as the Fujifilm HS50EXR or other ones whose specifications are higher than it. D-SLR cameras with Tamron or Sigma150-600 mm sport lens are the photographic devices that I highly recommend.

Birdwatching Tour

I organize hiking and camping tours for visitors who are interested in watching and photographing Lesser Birds of Paradise in Susnguakti forest of Manokwari. The usual duration of the tours is 3 days/ 2 nights.
Accommodation in Susnguakti forest
As of today, there is no guesthouse or hotel in Susnguakti forest. There is only a simple basecamp. Dome Tents with mosquito nets, mattrasses, pillows, eating and cooking utensils are available for tourists. There is no toilet either. Tourists can use a small river near the basecamp for washing and as toilet.


Please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or send text to my cell phone to: +6281332245180. Whatsapp message could also be sent to the same number.