Friday, June 7, 2019

Palm Cockatoo of Raja Ampat

When I go birding in Raja Ampat, Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus) is my favorite bird to see. In Indonesia, we call it Kakaktua Raja. Raja means: King. This large parrot has got smoky black feather and big red patches on both sides of his or her cheek. In the mornings, the bird likes to fly to coastal area and land on the branches of catappa trees. Palm Cockatoo eat like to eat catappa fruits.
a couple of Palm Cockatoo at Warduwer beach of Waigeo

Closer look of the Palm Cockatoo
Because of his or her big size, Palm Cockatoo can easily be recognized when sitting and feeding on tropical fruits that grow along the beach of Waigeo island. This bird can also be identified by his or her unique whistling calls. 
When I walked along the Warduwer beach of Raja Ampat. I saw two of the  sitting on very high branches of a tree. I made some pictures of them from a distance and later a closer photograph of the Palm Cockatoo from a window between the branches of trees closer to me.
In addition to Palm Cockatoo, other birds that I often see at Warduwer beach of Waigeo island are Red-cheeked Parrot, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Brahminy Kite, Eastern Osprey, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Pinon Imperial Pigeon and etc.
I use a good pair of Visionking 10×42 mm binoculars and Canon 200D as my birding gear. For field guide book, I used Birds of New Guinea, second edition by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler. This is a very important reference for identifying birds that occur in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat as well as other regions in West Papua and PNG.
Warduwer beach of Waigeo island is not only a good site for birdwatching but also for snorkeling and freediving. I have done a lot of snorkeling activities at this beach, fish like Wobbegong, Stonefish, Anemonefish, Butterflyfish, Surgeonfish, and Damselfish are some of the many birds that make the coral reef of Warduwer as their natural habitat.
Marine Life at Warduwer beach of Waigeo island
If you are interested in taking a birding and snorkeling trip to Raja Ampat and want me to be your guide, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.