Sunday, February 13, 2022

Bird watching in Sorong regency's Forest of Indonesia

Sorong is a city in West Papua province of Indonesia. It is also a regency that has got beautiful tropical forest. Tourists who go to Raja Ampat for snorkeling or scuba diving will need to fly to Sorong. 

There are forest areas, villages and town in the east of Sorong city that I and my clients like to visit for birdwatching and wildlife watching. Some of them include Mangrove forest of Sorong city, Ridge forest of Sorong, Sausapor town, Klabili village and Malagufuk village. They can be reached by cars. 

In Mangrove forest of Sorong city, we could see interesting birds such as White-bellied Cuckooshrike, Orange-fronted Fruit Dove, Olive-backed Sunbird (now also called Sahul Sunbird) and Orange-fronted Fig Parrot (Cyclopsitta gulielmitertii). 

There is something interesting about the Orange-fronted Fig Parrot. The word Cyclop in Greek Mythology is a race of giants from Sicily having but one eye in the middle of their foreheads. The word psittakos in Greek means parrot. Second part of the name is Gulielmitertii. In Latin Gulielmus means William and Tertius mens The Third. According to wikipedia Gulielmus Tertius or William III (Dutch: Willem Alexander Paul Frederick Lodewijk) was King of the Netherlands and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg from 1849 until his death in 1890.

Orange-breasted Fig Parrot

There, visitors can walk along the sides of the road, go hiking up the slopes or explore the forest of Klasouw calley to watch such birds as Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher Western-crowned Pigeon, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Orange-bellied Fruit Dove, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Black Lory, Coconut Lorikeet, Blyth's Hornbill, Blue and Black Kingfisher, Shining Flycatcher, Boyer's Cuckooshrike, Lowland Peltop, Red-bellied Pitta (now also called Papuan Pitta), Hooded Pitta, Hooded Butcherbird, Black Butcherbird,  Northern Cassowary, and a lot more. 

Blyth's Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus)
Blyth's Hornbill

There are also King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, and a few other species of birds of paradise which visitors can see if they explore the forest of Klatomok village thoroughly. 

Location of Klatomok village in Sorong regency of Indonesia
Location of Klatomok village in Sorong regency of West Papua

Actually, Klatomok village is not only attractive for bird watchers but also nature lovers. They can see various kinds of plants, and animals. There are insects, mammals, reptiles in the forest. Visitors can join local villagers who go to the forest to cut a sago tree for extracting its flour or do night walk to find wallaby, bats, possum and deer.

Mothers can show how to make sleeping matrass and bags using pandanus leaves or other natural fiber.

There are flights that connect Sorong and big cities in Indonesia including Manado, Ambon Makassar, Denpasar and Jakarta. They are served by Garuda, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, and Batik Air. 

rainforest tour in Indonesia
A homestay in Klatomok village of Sorong regency


Visitors can stay in homestays that are owned by villagers. It is a basic accommodation, so the price is affordable. Buying foods and drinks in Sorong city prior to the trip is highly recommended. But villagers can also enjoy local food such as sweet potatoes, bananas, and vegetables prepared by the villagers. 

After spending time in Klatomok village, visitors can go back to Sorong city to continue their trip to Raja Ampat to enjoy snorkeling or another birdwatching trip, or taking a trip to  Sausapor or Fef town located in Tambrauw mountains for another rainforest tour in West Papua. 

Also read:

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Birdwatching in Indonesia

Indonesia has got thousands of big and small islands between Asia and Australia. These islands attract the attention of naturalists, biologists and birdwatchers to come and study the flora and fauna of this country. According to field guide book Birds of Indonesia by James Eaton, et al., there are 1,417 species of birds in Indonesia (not including New Guinea).  

birdwatching in Indonesia
Common Paradise Kingfisher

For birds in New Guinea region, readers can study them by reading such field guide books as Birds of New Guinea by Thane K. Pratt and Bruce Beehler, et al.; and Birds of New Guinea (including Bismarck Archipelago and Bougainville) by Phil Gregory who said that there are 943 species of birds that are known to occur in New Guinea. 

Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus(
A Female Eclectus Parrot in her nest in West Papua's forest

With this abundant species of birds, Indonesia has now become the most important destination for birding visitors. From all the islands in this archipelago, I highly recommend 2 destinations, i.e. Sulawesi and West Papua. Sulawesi island is located in the transitional zone between the continents of Australia and Asia. The endemicity of birds in Sulawesi is the highest in Indonesia. For West Papua, the main attractions for visitors will be its Birds of Paradise. 

Although most of the islands in Indonesia have got birds that are different from New Guinea, for the islands such as Halmahera and Seram that are closer to West Papua province, they share some species with New Guinea. Some of them include Eclectus Parrot, Beach Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher, Great Cuckoo Dove, Blyth's Hornbill, and the migratory ones such as - Rainbow Bee-eater and Common Dollarbird. 

I personally have guided tourists to visit some interesting rainforest sites in Mount Kerinci and Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra,  for Sulawesi island: Ramang-Ramang, Karaenta, Lore Lindu, Tangkoko, Mount Mahawu, Mount Ambang, and Tambun. Islands further to the east that include Ternate and Halmahera are also good destinations for birding. 

Inter-insular Trading and Introduced Bird Species

Inter-insular trading in Indonesia allows ships to carry people and goods between the islands. Birds are originally from Java, Sumatra, Borneo and the Malayan peninsula such as White-rumped Shama and Spotted Dove have now reached cities in West Papua. Some birds escape to the nearby forest. Black-capped Lory, Coconut Lorikeet from West Papua have also reached Sulawesi and Java. However, they will not survive innthe forest because much of the forests in Java have been badly damaged. The introduced birds from West Papua may not be able to compete with local birds in Java in finding food inside the ever shrinking forest of the island. 


Birding in West Papua is more challenging than birding in other islands of Indonesia. The birding sites in West Papua are often located in remote forest far from cities. Most often, birdwatchers need to use 4WD pick-up cars to reach them. Birdwatchers do not have a lot of choices for accommodation either. That's why, on the average, the cost of birding tours in West Papua is higher than in other islands of Indonesia. 

Despite high cost,  birdwatchers still fly to West Papua because they really want to watch birds of paradise.  by Charles Roring

Please, support this blog by buying mugs, t-shirt, sticker, cell phone case, water bottle and a lot of other products that have got my illustration of birds, fish, flower, and butterfly printed on them. The art illustrations can be seen and ordered through my Online Wildlife Art Shop of Redbubble.

My drawing of Pale Blue Monarch (Hypothymis puella)
Pale Blue Monarch printed on a big cloth

bird knitting nest art print
Bird Knitting Nest-Watercolour on Paper


Please, support this blog by buying art drawings and illustrations of wild animals and plants in the form of prints on various products as follows:

Watercolour Sketch of Bird

Watercolour Sketch of Bird
Fruit Dove from Tropical Rainforest

Vector Art Drawing in Inkscape

Vector Art Drawing in Inkscape
Swimming with Whaleshark

Vector art illustration in Inkscape

Vector art illustration in Inkscape
Baby leatherback turtle was reaching for the sea

Drawing of Paradise Bird

Drawing of Paradise Bird
Lesser Birds of Paradise art print on classic T-shirt

Digital Drawing in Autodesk Sketchbook

Digital Drawing in Autodesk Sketchbook
A Couple of Red Bird of Paradise