Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Watching Birds of Paradise in the Forest of Arfak Mountains

A lot of visitors travel to Indonesia every year to watch birds. One of their destination is Arfak mountains. The higher elevation area of the mountains is the natural habitat of Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata), Magnificent Bird of Paradise (Diphyllodes magnificus), Vogelkop Superb Bird of Paradise, Black Sicklebill, Long-tailed Paradigala (Paradigalla carunculata) and a lot more. Most of these birds have got display grounds in the slopes of Arfak mountains. 

Western Parotia (Parotia sefilata)
Western Parotia

To reach the birding site, we need to wake up early in the morning, usually at 04.00 and make preparation. After wearing hiking shoes, bringing binoculars and camera, we will start walking to the birding sites. For Western Parotia, the walk can be as long as 30 minutes. For Magnificent Bird of Paradise, it can be as long as 1 hour. 

We will sit inside a hut that has been prepared by villagers for visitors. The male bird of paradise usually comes to his dancing or display site in the morning at around 06:00. It can be earlier than that time. To increase the chance of seeing the paradise bird, local villager put A Red Pandanus Fruit to attract birds. Female birds of paradise like to come and eat the fruits. Their existence will attract male birds to come too. Because the fruit is put on a wooden stick that is closer to the observation hut, visitors will be able to take pictures of the birds using a D-SLR camera with telephoto lens.

tropical birding in Arfak mountains
Birding in Manokwari

In addition to paradise birds, visitors can watch other tropical birds in the forest of Arfak mountains as well including Western-smoky Honeyeater, Black-breasted Boatbill, Friendly Fantail, Vogelkop Melidectes, Green-backed Robin, Blue Grey Robin, and a lot more.

To enjoy birding in Arfak mountains, visitors need to fly to Manokwari city. Regulars daily flights between Manokwari and other major cities in Indonesia are served by Sriwijaya, Batik and Lion Air. 

The weather in higher elevation forest of Arfak mountains is cool at night. Visitors need to bring some warm clothing. 

An organized birdwatching tour in Arfak mountains usually lasts for 4 days/ 3 nights. It can be combined with birding trip to lower montane forest for another 4 day tour. There, birdwatchers can watch Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise and Magnificent Riflebird. The accommodation in lower montane area is very basic. Visitors will need to stay in a simple basecamp. This will be a guided tour too. by Charles Roring Whatsapp: +6281332245180. 

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