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Birds of Paradise

I often organize birding tours in West Papua province of Indonesia. The usual duration of the tours is two weeks covering lower and higher montane forest of Arfak mountains, lowland forest of Manokwari, Klasow valley in Sorong regency, and Waigeo island in Raja Ampat. Birds of Paradise that have become our target are Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Glossy-mantled Manucode, Magnificent Riflebird, Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, Western Parotia, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Black Sicklebill, Red Bird of Paradise, and Wilson's Bird of Paradise. This long trip is suitable for avid birders who really want to watch paradise birds in their natural habitat. Most often the birding activities are located in remote forest regions where accommodations and logistical support are very basic.

Raja Ampat Reef

Lesser Birds of Paradise in tropical rainforest of West Papua, Indonesia. Lesser Birds of Paradise were performing courtship dance in tropical rainforest of West Papua

Raja Ampat is a regency in West Papua province of Indonesia whose coral reef environment is the healthiest and the richest in the world. Tens of thousands of scuba divers, snorkelers and freedivers go there every year to see the beauty of its marine life. Marine tourism supports local people to preserve their rainforest and coral reef. However, both local communities and foreign visitors have to be well informed about the importance of tourism activities that are safe for the environment.

Snorkeling in Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat archipelago have got a lot of coral reef sites for snorkeling and freediving. Most people go to Saporkren, Gam island, Kabui bay, Kri, Mansuar, Arborek, Piaynemo and Wayag. However, there are still a lot of coral reef sites in the region that have not been explored by foreign tourists. I highly recommend some uninhabited islands, and Fish Lagoon in the eastern region of Waigeo as a new destination.

Birding in Raja Ampat

Piaynemo islands in Raja Ampat
Piaynemo islands

Raja Ampat is a great destination in Indonesia for both domestic and international birders. Its tropical rainforest and coastal areas are home such birds as Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Palm Cockatoo, Lowland Peltop, and Eclectus Parrot. Birding as ecotourism activity is still very new in this archipelago. Birding visitors are highly advised to bring their own birding devices such as binoculars, and spotting scope.


There are a lot of species of Kingfishers that I see in the forest, along the rivers and at the beach of West Papua. Some of them include Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Hook-billed Kingfisher, Forest Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher

Also read:

Fried Banana
Wilson Bird of Paradise