Bali Bird Watching, Herons in Petulu
Every evening around 17.00 thousands of herons gather together at Petulu.
Petulu is a tiny village set within the rice fields just north of Ubud and with the herons returning each day, its street are pretty much covered with bird droppings…
Ok that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but once the birds are in the tree you should not stand under them too long…
Nevertheless, it is a remarkable sight to see the white herons flying in. They all settle in the big trees along the road and stay there throughout the night.
To be honest, we did expect them to come flying in together in one large group, but after 17.00 they gradually show up and only after 18.00 are the trees filled with them.
When you arrive at Petulu for a Bali bird watching experience, you will be stopped by a village member who will ask for a donation. You’ll get a folder with information on the birds.
There are three types of herons at Petulu: the Egret which is totally white, the Cattle Egret which is slightly smaller and has a brown neck and finally the Javan Pond Heron.This is the smallest of the three and it has a black patch on his neck.
The villagers value the return of the herons every day. The herons started to arrive in the village in 1965 right after the ending of a large ceremony which was held in the village temple.
Because of the timing of the birds arrival, the villagers consider them a blessing from the Gods. Now ceremonies are held to honor them.
When considering the location of the village, Petulu is also ideal located for the birds.
The surrounding area is covered with rice fields and trees, creating an ideal place for the birds to find insects, little frogs, eels and to create suitable nests.
On the south side of the village there is a look-out point ideal for some bali bird watching. It is easy to find, as a sign next to road mentions: “the best place to see the herons”.
The little wooden house is in the middle of a rice-field from which you can see the herons arriving.
The little old lady running the place sells all kind of cold drinks so you’ll be comfortable during the whole spectacle.