Monday, March 2, 2020

Watching Red Bird of Paradise

I woke up early at 4.30 this morning. I immediately walked to Michael's room and called him from outside. He woke up and began to make preparation. We went to dining room where I made hot chocolate drinks. We left around five minutes later walking slowly up the steep slopes that led us to the lek of Red Bird of Paradise. It was still dark, we used flashlights. We saw millipede, and little frogs along the narrow trails. 
One hour later, we arrived at the birding ground. We sat at a hut for a while to to take a rest. We could feel the cool morning breeze on the ridge of the hill. It was useful to refresh our body. Sunlight began to brighten the sky above us. I informed Michael that we could sit at the birding platform which was around ten meters away from us. 
Courtship Dance of Red Bird of Paradise in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
A Couple of Red Bird of Paradise
Fifteen minutes sitting at the platform, we started to see a female Red Bird of Paradise on the tall tree in front of us. She flew to the tree, landed on one of the branches and began hopping to other branches as if she was checking the readiness of a dancing stage. Shortly after that more birds came. The male ones called their female mating partners. When three or four female Red Bird of Paradise arrived, the male ones perform their courtship dance performance. They hopped up and down a nearly vertical branch in upside down position and approached the female bird. Sometimes two female Red Bird of Paradise closely watched the performance of a male bird of paradise.
Meanwhile, I was busy at the platform with my camera trying to find the best setting that would produce sharp pictures in lowlight condition. I was struggling with the knobs or buttons of the camera. When I adjusted my camera to AV settings, I got good results. 
Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)
Male Red Bird of Paradise
I could now take as many pictures as possible. But my old pictures were still stored in the memory card. I only had some space left. As a result, I had to stop taking pictures of the birds and began deleting old photos that I were not good enough. 
The dance performance of Red Bird of Paradise was excellent. We watched them for around two and a half hours. When they flew away, we decided to return to our lodge again. It was a successful trip. In addition to Red Bird of Paradise, we also saw Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Blyth's Hornbill, Olive-backed Sunbird, and heard the calls of Hooded Butcherbird, Shining Flycatcher, Puff-backed Meliphaga, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Willie Wagtail. 
If you are interested in taking birdwatching and snorkeling tour to Raja Ampat, please, contact me by email to: or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

No comments: