Bali Starling in the Bag
Click to Enlarge !
Bali Starling has long been on my want-to-do list and it finally was ticked off that list today.
After a long drive from Denpasar, Bali, last night, I headed off this morning from the West Bali town of Labuhan Lalang with birding friends Bill Watson and Barbara De Witt, and our guide Hery, a park ranger at Bali Barat National Park. It was a 30-minute boat ride to a sandy bay in the national park.
It took us about an hour to find our first Bali Starling, the bird above. It was unbanded, so it was either raised in the wild by captive-bred parents, or it was a genuinely “wild” bird that had escaped the notice of park authorities. Either way, it was impressive.
We saw a second bird briefly, then found a third, this one with rings on its legs, clinging to the wire of a large cage which park authorities have established to facilitate the reintroduction of captive-bred birds to the wild. Two pairs of starlings were in the cage during our visit, undergoing a kind of adjustment phase before being released into the park.
One of the rangers holds up a sign outside the park headquarters. They are a dedicated bunch battling against the odds. Let’s hope their efforts succeed in saving this beautiful bird.