Birding in Raja Ampat, West Papua: A Birder’s Heaven

Raja Ampat might be best known for its spectacular underwater life, but look up in the trees and you’ll find that its avian population is just as incredible.

For birders and nature enthusiasts Papua Paradise Eco Resort on Birie Island is heaven. New Guinea is home to an incredible 800+ bird species, 160 of which live around Birie and close by Batanta Island.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo at Papua Paradise Raja Ampat

Species of Birds in Raja Ampat

Guests on Birie Island will have the opportunity to take bird walks and enjoy the birding tower within Papua Paradise  Eco Resort. Local staff members are very knowledgeable about the birds of the island and will guide the way.

A jungle path leads from the cottages to House Reef 2 and is perfect for bird spotting. Walking through this wonderful canopy and mangroves you will be passing through the home of thousands of birds. And believe me, you’ll hear the wealth of bird life from your cottage. If you book the mangrove tour, a guide will help you to spot and identify all the species you’ll see along the way.

Uphill jungle trail perfect for bird spotting at Papua Paradise Eco Resort

Because the birds around the resort are used to humans they are easily spotted close to the cottages. Some you might see around your accommodation are palm cockatoos, willie wagtails, sunbirds, beach kingfishers and raja shelducks. Spice imperial pigeons, Blyth’s hornbills, frilled monarchs, glossy manucodes, and musky scrubfowl are also often spotted here.

Raja Shelducks at Papua Paradise Raja Ampat

This doesn’t include the huge variety of seabirds that can also be seen in the area. Most of the seabirds travel long distances so are found all over Raja Ampat and West Papua in general. You can also book a sunset boat trip to watch the hornbills fly in to roost on tiny Yum Iset. Not only is the scenery stunning, the birds are incredible to watch from the water.

The Famous Birds of Paradise

Papua is famous for its endemic birds of paradise, and many birders come specifically for them. Wilson’s and red birds of paradise can be seen on the Batanta Island, very close to Birie where Papua Paradise is located.

Wilson’s bird of paradise at Raja Ampat

Book a specialist Bird of Paradise tours to see Wilson’s or red birds of paradise while you’re staying at the resort. These tours leave before dawn to arrive at the best locations to spot these stunning birds. On the Wilson’s tour you’ll stay in a hide where you can watch the courting behavior of the male Wilson’s bird of paradise.

The Wilson’s bird of paradise readies his court in the hope of attracting a female by tidying up and making the area perfect for his potential ladies. The red birds of paradise are a little more elusive, but once you see the flash of yellow around their head and dark red back and wings you’ll never forget the sight.

Heaven for Birders

Beach Kingfisher at Papua Paradise Eco Resort

Raja Ampat is one of the last pristine environments in Indonesia, and with the help of locals and government, its many species are well protected. Marine life if the main focus for travelers to the area, but don’t miss out on the incredible life on the islands as well. The rainforest canopies and mangroves hold more avian life than you could ever imagine. So don’t miss the opportunity to see the colours and hear the sounds of the birds of Raja Ampat.

Would you like to see Papua’s incredible bird species in their natural environment? Leave us a comment about which birds you find most fascinating.

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