Bird Watching West Papua

West Papua is an important destination in the world for bird watching tourism. Tropical rainforests the cover this region from lowland to hills and upper montane areas are the natural habitat of hundreds of species of birds. Most visitors who travel to West Papua want to see birds of paradise. There are 42 species of birds of paradise that are known to science. Most of them live in New Guinea (PNG and West Papua). The famous ones include: Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Western Parotia, Black Sicklebill, Long-tailed Paradigala, Superb Bird of Paradise, Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise, and etc.

bird watching in West Papua
Red Bird of Paradise

There are several bird watching sites in West Papua that are worth visiting. They are described as follows:

palm cockatoo
Kakaktua Raja

Sunguakti Forest is located in the south of Manokwari city. It is actually the lower montane forest of Arfak mountains. Birdwatchers who go there can explore the forest to watch Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Hooded Pitta, Red-bellied Pitta, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Superb Fruit Dove, Yellow-capped Pygmy Parrot, Mimic Meliphaga, Frilled Monarch, Azure Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Common Paradise Kingfisher and etc. The forest is also a great place to see various kinds of insects including Swallow-tailed Blue Mountain Butterfly, Cruiser Butterfly, Silky Owl Butterfly, grasshoppers, crickets, beetles and a lot more. Other attractions of the forest are cuscus possum, bandicoot, forest dragon lizard, snakes, fire flies, and various kinds of tropical plants.

Mount Soyti is an upper montane forest of Arfak range. The species of birds in this forest is different from the ones that we see in lowland. Here, we can see a lot of endemic birds of Arfak mountains. Tourists from all corners of the world have been there to watch Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Western Parotia, Vogelkop Bowerbird, Black Sicklebill, Long-tailed Paradigala, Spectacled Longbill, New Guinea White-Eye, Capped White Eye, Western Smoky Honeyeater, Papuan Flycatcher, Vogelkop Melidectes, Ornate Melidectes, Cinnamon Browed Melidectes, Feline Owlet Nightjar, Mountain Nightjar, Blue Grey Robin, Green-backed Robin, Mountain Fruit Dove, Papua Mountain Pigeon, Brown Cuckoo Dove, Plum-faced Lorikeet, Brems Tiger Parrot, Mottled Berryhunter, Black Fantail, Black-eared Catbird, Wattled Brush Turkey, and a lot more.
There are several blinds which tourists can use to watch birds from closer distances. To attract birds, villagers put red fruit and banana fruits near the dancing grounds of Magnificent Bird of Paradise, and Western Parotia. Some other birds such as Wattled Brush Turkey, Cinnamon Ground Dove, Black-eared Catbird, Super Bird of Paradise and Black Sicklebill like to come to the same birding grounds.

Klasow Valley - I introduced this birding site to the internet users in late 2014 when birdwatchers did not know its existence. There are tens of villages in the valley. But the ones that have received birding visitors are Klatomok village and Malagufuk village. The valley is suitable for birdwatchers who are interested in seeing such lowland birds as Black Lory, Rainbow Lorikeet, Large Fig Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Yellow-faced Myna, Golden Myna, Blyth's Hornbill, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Northern Cassowary, Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, Moustached Treeswift, Metallic Starling, Grey-headed Goshawk, and a lot more.

Waigeo is the largest island in Raja Ampat regency. It is covered by rainforest that is the natural habitat of Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Red Bird of Paradise, Western Crowned Pigeon, Yellow-faced Myna, Lowland Peltop, Helmetted Friarbird, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Blyth's Hornbill, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Great-billed Parrot and a lot more.

When I guide tourists to Raja Ampat, I often organize tours to Kabui bay by motorized boat to see Radjah Shelduck, Spice Imperial Pigeon, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Brahminy Kite, Olive-backed Sunbird, Wimbrel, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Beach Kingfisher, White-breasted Woodswallow, Eastern Osprey, and a lot more.

I often combine the birding tour with snorkeling and sightseeing activities.

Tambrauw Mountains are important destination in West Papua for tours that are related to rainforest. Birds such as Red Bellied Pitta, Hooded Pitta, Mountain Peltop, Black Browed Triller, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Western Crowned Pigeon, Palm Cockatoo, New Guinea Vulturine Parrot, New Guinea Harpy Eagle, Long-tailed Buzzard, and a lot more. There are a lot of places to choose for birding in Tambrauw regency. From coastal forest in Weyos beach and hills to montane forests in Ayapokiar, Mount Sakofsiah, Ases Valley, and Fef visitors will be able to see various species of birds that are endemic to West Papua.

Birding Equipment

Visitors who want to travel to New Guinea need to bring some birding gear such as binoculars (fernglas), spotting scope (optional), laser pointer, field guide book Birds of New Guinea, and records of bird sounds that can be played using cell phone and a portable loud speaker. Most of these birding and wildlife watching equipment can be bought from online stores such as or


If yo@u are interested in traveling to West Papua to enjoy birding, and snorkeling, and seeing local people in their daily activities and want me to organize your tours, please contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180. I will be happy to organize your tour in this beautiful province.