Saturday, June 22, 2024

Birding in Minahasa

Minahasa is a region in the Province of North Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is a good destination for visitors who like birding. There are a lot of species of birds which tourists can watch in the mountains, agricultural lands, paddy fields, and lowland areas. 

bird of Sulawesi
Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher
Aethopyga siparaja Crimson Sunbird
Crimson Sunbird

The high elevation forests in Mount Mahawu and Sonder of Minahasa is the habitat of birds such as Crimson Sunbird, Sulawesi Myzomela, Turquoise Flycatcher, Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher, Warbling Flycatcher, Black-faced Munia, Superb Fruit Dove, White-faced Cuckoo-dove, Sulawesi Pygmy Woodpecker, Scaly-breasted Kingfisher, Sulawesi Drongo, Eye-browed Thrush, Sulawesi Leafwarbler, and etc. The best time to watch these birds are early in the mornings and in late afternoons.

Mount Mahawu is a volcano. Visitors could go up the stairs along its slope to reach its crater. From the top of Mount Mahawu, visitors could see the beautiful landscape of Minahasa land. 

Mount Mahawu of North Sulawesi
The Crater of Mount Mahawu

More birds could be found in agricultural lands around Subdistrict town of Sonder including Sooty-headed Bulbul, Sulawesi Cuckoo-dove, Zebra Dove, Black-naped Oriole, Pale Blue Monarch, Brown-throated Sunbird, Sahul Sunbird, Finch-billed Myna, Sulawesi Hanging Parrot, Slender-billed Crow, Brush Cuckoo, Gray-sided Flowerpecker, Yellow-sided Flowerpecker, and etc.

Sulawesi birds
Hair-crested (White-eyed) Drongo, Warbling White-eye, Yellow-billed Malkoha, Collared Kingfisher

In the paddy field areas of Subdistrict Sonder, visitors could watch Collared Kingfisher, White-breasted Woodswallow, White-browed Crake, Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Chestnut Munia, Scaly-breasted Munia, Purple Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, and etc. Water birds play important role in agricultural environment. Cattle Egret, for example, eat a lot of insects. This helps farmers to eliminate pests from their food crops such as rice, corn and vegetabe plants.

Cattle Egret in Talikuran rice field
Cattle egret in newly plowed paddy field on Subdistrict Sonder

The farmland of Subdistrict Sonder is worth visiting. Visitors could enjoy walking tours to see various kinds of crop plants that farmers grow. There are clove, rice, corn, banana, papaya, kangkung, tomato, chilli, aubergine, and etc. The villagers also run pig, poultry and fish farming. 

farmland in Minahasa highland
Some of the agricultural commodities in Minahasa highland: rice, banana, clove, aubergine and vanilla

Where is Minahasa and How to get there? 

Minahasa is a regency in the Province of North Sulawesi of Indonesia. The capital of the province is Manado city. Visitors need to fly from their countries to one of the major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar and Makassar. After that, the trip to Manado city can be carried out by one of the Indonesian airlines such as Garuda, Citilink, Batik Air, Lion Air, or TransNusa.

Flight route to Manado
Flight routes to Manado city
land route from Manado city to Tomohon and Sonder
Land route between Manado city and Tomohon town or Subdistrict Sonder in Minahasa highland
Arriving in Manado city, visitors could continue their trip by car to Tomohon town or subdistrict town of Sonder. 


There are hotels, resorts and homestays in Tomohon town. 

The tour guide for Birding Minahasa is located in Subdistrict Sonder.

If you are interested in taking a birdwatching tour in Minahasa and want me to organize your trip, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180. 

Also read:


The Province of Southwest Papua is a great destination for visitors who love birding. A lot of tourists travel to Raja Ampat to enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. As a matter of fact, there are also visitors who go there to enjoy birding and wildlife watching. Here are some of the birding destinations whose entry point is Sorong city:
Hooded Pitta, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Papuan Frogmouth, Frilled Monarch
Birding in Tambrauw regency
  • Sausapor - this is a small district town located in the northern coast of Tambrauw regency. It is a 4-hour car ride from Sorong city. Visitors who go there can watch Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Lesser Birds of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Magnificent Riflebird, Slender-billed Cuckoo-dove, Oriental Dollarbird, Blyth's Hornbill, Rainbow Bee-eater and a lot more. For accommodation, visitors can stay at Sansapore Beach Resort. Please, cek more info about the resort at this link:
Because Sausapor is a coastal town, visitors can enjoy watching sea birds too such as Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-naped Tern, Sacred Kingfisher, Oriental Pratincole, and etc.
  • Klabili village is located between Sausapor and Sorong city. A lot of birds could be watched there including Hooded Pitta, Papuan Pitta (formerly called Red-bellied Pitta), Western-crowned Pigeon, Papuan Frogmouth, Marbled Frogmouth, Red-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Common Paradise Kingfisher, Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Lesser Birds of Paradise, and etc. 
Eurystomus orientalis
Oriental Dollarbird
  • Gauksuak - It takes around 1 hour by motorized vehicle from Sorong city to Gauksuak forest. The Gauksuak beach is the place for watching Pacific Swallow, Black-naped Tern, Little-crested Tern, Pacific Reef Heron, Common Sandpiper and etc. The hill forest of Gauksuak is the habitat of Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Palm Cockatoo, Red-cheeked Parrot, Large Fig Parrot, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, and etc.
Blyth's Hornbill
Blyth's Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus)

Helmeted Friarbird (Philemon buceroides)
Helmeted Friarbird

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