Halmahera Birding 2

Halmahera Birding 2



Ptilinopus monacha, Blue-capped Fruit Dove, Walik Topi-biru


Packed with north Moluccan endemics including the stunning Wallace’s Standardwing and Ivory-breasted Pitta. A trip to Halmahera is on many people’s wish list.

Key bird species:

Moluccan Scrubfowl; Dusky Scrubfowl; Moluccan Goshawk; Rufous-necked Sparrowhawk; Meyer’s Goshawk; Gurney’s Eagle; Bare-eyed Rail; Invisible Rail; Scarlet-breasted Fruit Dove; Blue-capped Fruit Dove; Grey-headed Fruit Dove; Moluccan Imperial Pigeon; Cinnamon-bellied Imperial Pigeon; White Cockatoo; Violet-necked Lory; Chattering Lory; Moluccan King Parrot; Moluccan Hanging Parrot; Moluccan Cuckoo; Goliath Coucal; Moluccan Scops Owl; Barking Owl; Halmahera Boobook; Moluccan Owlet-Nightjar; Halmahera Swiftlet; Blue-and-white Kingfisher; Sombre Kingfisher; Purple Dollarbird; Ivory-breasted Pitta; Red-bellied Pitta; Dusky Myzomela; White-streaked Friarbird; Dusky Friarbird; Moluccan Cuckooshrike; Halmahera Cuckooshrike; Rufous-bellied Triller; White-naped Monarch; Moluccan Monarch; Moluccan Flycatcher; Northern Golden Bulbul; Island Whistler; Halmahera Flowerpecker; Halmahera Oriole; Paradise-crow; Wallace’s Standardwing.

Birdwatching locations:

Around Sidangoli

The birding starts as soon as you leave Ternate: Depending on the weather, the time of year and the mode of transport you select, the sea crossing can be quite productive. Birds regularly seen on the crossing include Greater and Lesser Frigatebirds, Bulwer’s Petrel, Red-necked Phalarope and Aleutian Tern. You should also look out for the critically endangered Chinese Crested Tern that has been recorded off Halmahera once.

The usually arrival point in Halmahera is the small coastal town of Sidangoli. There are a couple of nice birder-friendly guesthouses in the town, and a number of restaurants, plus the birding is excellent nearby, so this makes an obvious place to set up for a couple of days or more. Almost all of the endemic and regional-speciality birds of Halmahera have been seen around Sidangoli, although some are less likely, like Purple Roller and White-streaked Friarbird.

The best birding areas near Sidangoli are on and off the main road heading inland. Leaving Sidangoli, this road first passes through a few kilometres of open farmland but soon after becomes lined with secondary forest and scrub. The road continues to rise until an obvious pass at around Km 12, and the habitat improves to become degraded forest on steep slopes. Many trails leave the road, some leading only a few hundred metres, other stretching off into the distance. Generally the further away from the main road you travel the more undisturbed and better condition the forest becomes. A dawn visit to the area around the pass should get you most of the more widespread endemics, plus a good chance of all the parrots. If you are lucky you might also spot a foraging Wallace’s Standardwing. The area just below the pass is also a pretty reliable spot for the difficult to see Scarlet-breasted Fruit Dove. By night this same area holds Moluccan Scops Owl, Halmahera Boobook and Moluccan Owlet-Nightjar. An obvious side trail heads north about 500m below the pass, this passes first through secondary forest before heading down into dense undergrowth. This area is good for pittas, with both Ivory-breasted and Red-bellied Pitta present.

Another spot worth a stop is back towards Sidangoli at around Km 10. Scanning from the road is again good for parrots and raptors, or following the track to the north takes you into better habitat, where most of the species above can be found, including the night birds. This is the vicinity of Anu’s house and the ‘original’ Standardwing lek. Most local guides know the location, and so can take you there, or you could try and find it yourself using the map below, but as you’d need to approach in the dark, this might not be advisable! By continuing to follow the ‘main’ track north several good forest patches are reached, and further north still the track rises into even better condition forest that is still relatively unexplored by birders. For those inclined, you could easily spend a few days exploring this area.

The roadside scrub on the road back into town should be scanned for the impressive Goliath Coucal, and back in town you should explore around the mangrove areas for Beach Kingfisher (more easily seen from a small boat).

Several other nearby areas can be easily reached on day trip from Sidangoli, or combined with moving location. These include the road towards Tobelo that passes through reasonable condition forest in a few places. Birds seen here include many of the same things as above, and also White-streaked Friarbird has been recorded. Another alternative is the road towards Sofifi, that forks away from the Tobelo road about 15 km beyond the pass. Following this road takes you through alternating clove plantations and occasional ridges of degraded forest. Purple Roller has been recorded on some of these forested ridges, and even the plantations are good for birds like Blue-and-White Kingfisher. Basically stop anywhere that looks interesting and explore!


A regular on the birding circuit of Halmahera, Foli is usually reached by charter or public boat from the village of Daru across the bay on the Sidangoli-Tobelo road. A small losmen (hotel) in the village makes a convenient base for a stay.

Stretching inland from Foli is a track that passes through a mix of open areas, degraded and reasonably intact forest on ridges. The road is not always passable by car or motorbike, so you may find yourself getting dropped a few kilometers in and then you are free to explore on foot. The usual areas visited include around Km 3 and around Km 17, but many trails leave the main track and are worth exploration. Many of the same birds as Sidangoli can be seen here, with perhaps a better chance of Purple Roller. Night-birding is also productive in this area, while Invisible Rail has been photographed at a small pond near Km 3. There are also usually known Standardwing leks in this area: Best ask at the losmen for the latest situation and let guys from there guide you to the spot pre-dawn.


Further around the coast is the remote village of Labi Labi. This area used to be forested to the coast but now you will have to travel inland further to find good habitat, as logging has taken its toll. Birds are similar to the above, but potentially in less disturbed habitat (if you can find less disturbed habitat, that is!).

Tobelo and Galela

Most people make the 3-4 hour trip along the north-east coast road for a chance of seeing egg-laying Moluccan Scrubfowl. These breed colonially on the black sand beach in the village of Simau, near Galela (north of Tobelo). By turning up at the village and asking to see the birds someone will normally arrange for you to accompany them to the site in the evening or early morning, where you have a chance of seeing birds in the dark on the beach. Be warned however; bird numbers have dropped massively in recent years and the locals can be pretty mercenary when it comes to prices. They are also pretty unhappy if you try and get to the area without a guide.

The hills behind Tobelo (including Gunung Mamuya) can be worth exploration, with several tracks heading in and up. Follow any that look like they head towards forested ridges and the birding should be rewarding.

Aketajawe-Lolobata National Park

If you are looking for adventure, or just a change of scene, you could try the western, ‘Aketajawe’ block of Aketajawe-Lolobata National Park. The large expanse of primary and ex-logged forest lies to the south and east of Sofifi and can be accessed from a number of points. These include the following:

From the village of Bina-Gara, on the parks northern border. This village is only around 1-2 hours drive from Sofifi, and basic accommodation can be arranged in the village. Locals here can then guide you to a large Standardwing lek only around 3km from the village, within the national park. The best bet to do this would be to walk the day before and camp at the basic shelter near the lek (and in the forest) and be there ready for dawn. The birding all around here should also be very good, with many of the birds mentioned above on offer, Invisible Rail already recorded, and more discoveries still waiting to be made.

From the village of Tayawi, on the Tayawi River. Accessed by following the coast road south of Sofifi for around 2-3 hours, this very small village can provide very basic accommodation (think of it as camping!). From the village it around 2km to a known Standarwing lek, again with a simple camping shelter nearby. Birding is said to be excellent in this area, with the pitta, endemic pigeons and parrots and more recorded.

From the village of Koli (Kobe). This is further afiled, and involves driving to the town on Weda, and then north (around 5 hours from Sofifi). You can arrange to stay in the village, or approach from accommodation in Weda. There is not a Standardwing lek known in this area, but the forests around are reportedly very good for birding, with many of the endemic species recorded. The site also has good access to some wetland areas. As you drive towards Weda, it is also worth stopping along the roadside as it passes through some excellent condition forest when it cuts across the island from the west coast towards Weda.

For even more adventure keep heading east or south from Weda. The coastal strip is usually fairly degraded (but often still good for birding) but the hills behind the road contain some of the most remote and intact forests on Halmahera.


Not many people make it this far, but if you were willing to try ask for info on boats when in Tobelo. If you make it to the island then at least nine endemic subspecies await, including ofVariable Goshawk, Chattering Lory, Moluccan Scops Owl, Paradise Kingfisher, Ivory-breasted Pitta, Dusky Myzomela, Cream-throated White-eye, Spangled Drongo and Paradise-crow; plus who knows what else….

Access and Accommodation:

Many birders visiting Halmahera opt to join an organised tour; either with an international group, or with one of the local companies (often Sulawesi-based) that offer tailor-made tours. If you decide to try things on your own, however, it is not so hard; but remember this is fairly remote Indonesia (despite the amount of birders that come here) and so time, patience and some knowledge of Indonesian would be useful.

The usual route to Halmahera is by fast ferry (or charter boat) from Ternate. Public boats leave from Ternate town centre, from the area next door to the main mosque (quite impressive in itself). Boats from here go to both Sidangoli and Sofifi, so make sure you get the right one. They leave when uncomfortably full, and make the journey at rocket speed in about 1-2 hours.

If staying in Sidangoli, then the Sidangoli Indah Hotel makes for a nice simple stay. The guys there will also be able to help you hire a car or motorbikes if you need them. Motorbike taxis are usually fine for birding the road above town, but you might want a car for longer excursions.

There are also hotels of varying degrees in Tobelo, Sofifi and Weda, and the aforementioned losmen in Foli. Outside of these your best bet would be to report to the village head (Kepala Desa) and let them arrange for you to stay in someone’s house (if they don’t name a price in advance, you are still expected to offer something when you leave, so please do so).

For boats across the bay (to Foli or Labi Labi) you may be able to get on irregular public boats, but more likely you will have to charter something. The sea can get pretty rough on the crossing, so don’t we tempted to hire the cheapest thing you can find; better to go for the most sea-worthy thing you can see and pay the few dollars extra! You may also want to arrange for a pick-up time, in case it doesn’t prove as easy to get a boat back.

For access to Aketajawe-Lolobata National Park, including information on the villages mentioned, the best bet is contact the National Park office in Ternate (Jl. Bandara Sultan Babullah) or Sofifi (Jl. Trans Halmahera, Desa Barumadoe, Sofifi, Halmahera), Staff there should be able to assist with arrangements and permits, and help you find a suitable guide to show you the way. The park in Halmahera has been supported by the NGO Burung Indonesia for a number of years, so most staff will be pretty familiar with birds and birdwatching. As well as staying at the villages mentioned, they can also help arrange longer excursions into the interior of the park. For trips like this you will obviously need to pack accordingly, but they will help advise you on what you need.

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Sula islands, Birding on Taliabu & Mangole

Sula islands, Birding on Taliabu & Mangole



Basilornis galeatus, Helmeted Myna, Rajaperling Sula


If you can figure out how to get here then there are a load of gripping endemics to be seen!

Key bird species:

Sula Scrubfowl, Meyer’s Goshawk, Sula Hanging Parrot, Moluccan King-parrot, Sula [Maroon-chinned] Fruit-dove, Taliabu Masked-owl, Sula [Moluccan] Scops Owl, Red-bellied [Sula] Pitta, Elegant Pitta, Slaty Cuckooshrike, Sula Cicadabird, Red-backed Thrush, Island Thrush, ‘Taliabu Bush Warbler’, ‘Taliabu Leaf Warbler’, Henna-tailed Jungle-flycatcher, Helmeted Myna, Bare-eyed Myna. Plus a host of endemic sub-species.

Birdwatching locations:

The eastern Sula island group is made up of three large islands: Taliabu, Mangole and Sanana. None of them have had many birdwatchers visit, largely because they are an adventure to get to! As a result they are still ripe for exploration. All three islands have seen extensive commercial logging over the last decades. While this has led to widespread degradation, it has at least left lots of logging tracks entering the forest.

In recent years the few birdwatchers that have been have focused on the area around the small town of Jorjoga on the north coast of Taliabu. From there it is around 5km south-east to a smaller village called Binadesa. This is near the edge of degraded forest and has access, via logging tracks, to forest at higher elevation (where camping is the only accommodation option).

Aside from this area, you could try almost anywhere. The largest region of intact forest is in the hilly interior of west-central Taliabu. This could, in theory, be accessed from pretty much any coastal village, including behind the larger town of Bobong. The best tactic is probably to travel around the coast asking people about the distance and routes to the good forest. These are notoriously difficult questions to get answers to, but if you ask in the right way you should eventually make some progress! (what is the right way to ask? Anyway that avoids ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, as the answer to them is nearly always ‘yes’!). Mangole also has hill forest in its centre, while Sanana is probably the most heavily degraded of the three islands, and the only reason you might end up here is in the process of trying to get to Mangole or Taliabu.

When you have made it to the place, the birds that await include Sula Scrubfowl, Sula Hanging Parrot, Moluccan King-parrot, Maroon-chinned Fruit-dove, Taliabu Masked-owl (few recent records, mostly from degraded lowlands, but also to 900m), Sula Scops Owl, Red-bellied (Sula) Pitta, Elegant Pitta, Slaty Cuckooshrike, Sula Cicadabird, Red-backed Thrush (lowlands), Henna-tailed Jungle-flycatcher, Helmeted and Bare-eyed Myna (the latter commoner in the lowlands, often in degraded habitat). The highest regions of the island also support an endemic form of Island Thrush, an undescribed Bush-warbler, and an undescribed Leaf-warbler!

Access and Accommodation:

Tailabu, Mangole and Sanana are not easy to get to, even by the standards of Maluku. There is an airport on Sanana (you can see it!) but at time of writing no scheduled airlines appear to fly to it. This could change, with Ternate and Ambon being the likely origin. Beyond that, your options are limited to boats. Assuming you don’t have the money for an expensive charter (in which case you can go where you like, when you like) then your options are limited to infrequent public boats, operating to mysterious timetables. Boat routes that appear to exist include from Peleng/Banggai (possibly even starting in Luwuk?) to Bobong; Ambon to Sanana; Sanana to Mangole(Mangole town? Dofa?) and Taliabu (Bobong? Loseng?); Ternate, via Bacan to Taliabu (Bobong?). If the weather is rough at the time you plan to visit, it might well be an idea to consider going somewhere else instead. Small boats plying the local routes are prone to sinking. Apparently the strait between Mangole and Taliabu islands has the world’s second biggest whirlpool…

To find info on boat timetables you can try Pelni’s website (for big boats) but for any other company there is probably little alternative than to get yourself to the relevant port of origin and ask there. You should then be prepared to wait anything from hours to weeks for the next scheduled service.

Once on Taliabu or Mangole then there is a reasonable network of coastal roads, or you could take to a smaller boat and get around that way. Just ask in one village how you get to the next!

For accommodation there are basic places to stay in some of the bigger towns (particularly the port towns) but outside of that you should be reporting to the Village Head (Kepala Desa) on arrival and so can ask them for assistance in finding somewhere suitable to stay. If you visit active logging concessions you should also report to the site manager, and get permission to enter.

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Birding trip to Buru

Birding trip to Buru



Charmosyna toxopei, Blue-fronted Lorikeet, Perkici Buru

I tried to get to the island of Buru twice before this trip but could not for different reasons, the first attempt was just after an earthquake which hit the island and foreigners weren’t allowed to travel to the island, the second time I just was not able to get a plane ticket. This time I was determined to get to the island by any means possible. The reason why I decided to visit the Island was to find out more about 2 species, the Blue-fronted Lorikeet (Charmosyna toxopei) and the Black-lored Parrot (Tanygnathus gramineus). Even though Buru Island is not rich in species it still holds some of the rarest and less known species on the planet.


The islands of Maluku known as the Spice Islands are part of Wallacea thus the fauna and flora is a mix of Asian and Australasian species. Ambon is the capital city and the centre of this region, the perfect place to use as the base for exploring the surrounding islands. There are still many islands not birded properly and one of them is Buru. Buru is a large mountainous island (8 613 square km), the highest point at 2428 m is Gunung Kelapamada, found in the northwest of the island. It was proposed as a protected Game Reserve as it is an important area with some of the remaining undisturbed forest on the island.

There are still patches of pristine forests present on the island especially in the west though most of the lowlands have now been cleared by slash and burn agriculture.

Most of the inhabitants of the villages on the South side of the island are Christian and on the north Muslims. Bara is a Muslim village and I was surprised at the abundance of wild pig and flying fox in the surrounding forest.

According to the guides they are spared as the people of the village don’t eat the meat, the same thing for the Spotted Whistling ducks we found in the mangroves. Dogs are not allowed in Bara.

When I asked the locals about any Foreigners that may have come previous to my arrival, I was informed of two groups, one German, and one Dutch, in 1994 and in 1996, that had visited for the purpose of collecting butterflies, insects, and lizards.


By air: It’s not difficult to get to Ambon from all major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Denpasar, Makassar or Manado. I won’t get into details about that. Merpati Nusantara operates Twin otters from Ambon to nearly all the islands in Maluku or Wallacea, to Namlea every Sunday, not to be counted on as it’s always fully booked if not booked minimum 2 weeks in advance. With luck and if the seas are calm one may find available seats because it’s cheaper for the locals to take boats. Merpati office in Ambon is found on Jl. A.Yani, No.19, phone: (0911) 342488, fax: (0911) 52572.

After landing on Namlea one should book return ticket to Ambon straight away otherwise the risk of not getting one when it’s time to leave the island is big.

By sea: There is a daily fast ferry (Kapal Cepat) from Ambon to Namlea; it takes about 4 to 5 hours depending on the weather and the waves. The price is 155.000rp (around 12 euros).

There is another ferry that runs between Ambon and Leksula on the South of the island twice a week. There is also the big Pelni ferry, but this one covers this distance once a month or so on its way to Sulawesi and it’s highly unreliable, I didn’t bother to get information about it. One can charter a small speed boat to get to Buru Island if money and time are not a problem.

On the north side of the island there is a road connecting most major villages such as Sawa, Waeputih and Wasamparo ending at Airbuaya, after the latter all traffic is done by motorcycles or big trucks. There are many river crossings which can be dangerous during the wet season.

There are some dirt roads connecting the villages on the south otherwise all transportation is done by small boats.

Report in brief:

The Lion Air flight from Yogyakarta to Ambon took about 5h30mins. The taxi from the airport to the city is not cheap (150.000rp). I checked in at Wisma Grace hotel at the back of hotel Amans, a cheaper alternative, very clean and good service (170.000rp for a d-room with AC and TV, breakfast included). There is a good and cheap restaurant on the top floor.

The hotel is in the centre of the city, close to market and the harbour. After a lunch of tuna steak and rice I went to the Merpati office to book a ticket. The two next flights to Namlea were fully booked, I put my name on the waiting list for the first flight and left for the Harbour. I asked around about the boat or ferry to Namlea, I was not surprised to get many different answers and one of them was that there is a fast ferry at Sudarso station.

Yes, there is a fast boat which leaves Ambon for Buru at 14.30pm daily, this information I got from the ticket office at Sudarso station.

The next day I was at the station in time, many people with a huge amount of baggage from chicken to fridges and TV sets…everything was loaded on board.

We left Ambon at 14.30pm and after a rough journey which lasted 4h30min we arrived to Namlea at sunset. Many motorcycles were waiting for customers to drive to the city.

I chartered one and asked to be taken to a clean hotel.

Hotel Grand Sarah is up on a hill overlooking the city, it’s where the president of Indonesia stays when visiting the Island. The prices weren’t that bad, 200.000rp (22 USD) for a standard room with AC, TV and warm water.

I arranged for a taxi-charter for the next day to take me to the N-West region on the island, as far as the road goes. If I could get to Bara village or further I will be pleased. According to the taxi driver it shouldn’t be a problem. I decided that we’ll leave at 05.00am, no time to waste.

That same evening I went to the police station to announce my arrival and my intentions. It was decided that a policeman will travel with me to where I’ll be staying the next couple of days and makes sure that everything is in order. It’s a safety issue.
We left the hotel at 05.10am, it was still dark and I was hoping for some owls and nightjars along the road. We stopped few times when we heard owls and saw nightjars flying in front of the car.

The road to Airbuaya (108 km) was fairly good with some patches of dirt. We were informed at the police station in this city that it was impossible to continue to Bara village by car due to the bad state of the road and the presence of many difficult river-crossings (no bridges). By motorcycles we should be able to cover the rest of the journey.

I chartered 3 motorcycles, one for the policeman, one for me and the last one for my baggage. It’s 38 km to our destination from Airbuaya, quite rough at places. There are many small river crossings and it is impossible to cross without the help of locals who earn money by taking people and transports to the other side on a wooden platform.

We arrived at Bara around 03.20pm, we stopped at the house of the head of village (kepala desa) and I asked him if it was possible for me to stay in his village for a week or so. There was no problem there and even offered me a room in his house. I paid the guys and gave some money to the policeman for buying cigarettes, he returned to Airbuaya with the others.

Nobody speaks English in this place so my knowledge in the Indonesian language is one reason why I can travel to any part of the country without problems. You can get very close to the locals if you can talk to them in their native language.

I gave some money to the lady of the house for buying food supplies.

I was curious about the birds in this region so I decided to head for the forest close by, I was joined by 2 local guys who knew where the nearest trails were and nothing about the birds.

We didn’t venture far, many bird species seen such as Flame-breasted Flowerpecker, Superb Fruit-Dove, Black-faced Friarbird, a flock of Claret-breasted Fruit-Doves, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Red-cheeked and Great-billed Parrots, Olive-backed and Black Sunbirds……

The birding during the next 6 days is done in 3 different places, about 8 km east and 9 km west of the village and on the sea shore.

The last 2 days in Buru island were spent birding the surroundings of Namlea city, there is a good trail close to the harbour, easily reached with a motorcycle for 5 to 10.000rp. No forest just gardens.

There is some lowland forest in this region but the huge tall trees are long gone. Major logging companies have built a 6 meters wide road to facilitate the transportation of wood to the coast where a huge wood mill takes care of the rest.
The slash and burn method is used by the farmers to clear the land for cultivation of crops such as Cacao. I talked to a farmer about their earnings. One Cacao tree produces about 5 kg of Cacao beans, when dried they are sold in the Sanana in the Sulas and sold for 10.000rp/ kg.

This is the reason why the forest is cleared rapidly; the farmers need to plant many Cacao trees if they’re going to make a living from the crops. Besides farming fishing is important for earning a living. Fish are sold to the Japanese ships that make many stops in the region.

Around Bara

The steep hills and mid-mountains start directly south of the logging road about 1 to 1,5km south of the village, the best trails to higher grounds run along the river-beds in the dry season, during the rainy season the rivers are flooded otherwise it is very difficult to find suitable trails to the mountain forests.

Forest at Bara

Some good grassland and monsoon forest are found east of the village.

The gardens close to the sea are good places for watching the parrot species especially the Red-cheeked the Great-billed and the Eclectus.

The best birding is, as anywhere else, very early in the morning and late in the afternoon.

Some bird species can be encountered at any time such as birds of prey, wood-swallows, bee-eaters, kingfishers…..

The steep hills and mid-mountains start directly south of the logging road, the best trail higher up is along with the river-bed in the dry season, during the rainy season the rivers are flooded.

Some good grassland and monsoon forest are found east of the village.


Because of health problems I couldn’t get the best of the trip as I planned it, I didn’t spend as much time as I wanted to thus I couldn’t visit different places and just focused on one. In general I’m very satisfied with my experience on the island and I did manage to see and record the sound of what I believe is Charmosyna toxopei. I know where I can find them and the next trip will be to get photographs.

I would like to thank my wife Lena, Steve Pryor (List of Buru birds) and Rasmus Boegh for their help and support. Questions and critics are welcomed (mehd_halaouate@yahoo.se).

Species Lists

Moluccan Megapode – Eulipoa wallacei
Orange-footed Megapode – Megapodius reinwardt reinwardt
Spotted Whistling Duck – Dendrocygna guttata
Radjah Shelduck – Tadorna radjah radjah
Yellow Bittern – Ixobrychus sinensis
Rufous Night Heron – Nycticorax caledonicus hilli
Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis coromandus
Great Egret – Ardea alba modesta
Little Egret – Egretta garzetta nigripes
Pacific Reef Egret – Egretta sacra sacra
Great Frigatebird – Fregata minor minor
Lesser Frigatebird – Fregata ariel ariel
Little Pied Cormorant – Phalacrocorax melanoleucos melanoleucos
Little Black Cormorant – Phalacrocorax sulcirostris
Darter – Anhinga melanogaster melanogaster
Spotted Kestrel – Falco moluccensis moluccensis
Oriental Hobby – Falco severus papuanus
Osprey – Pandion haliaetus cristatus
Pacific Baza – Aviceda subcristata stresemanni
Black Kite – Milvus migrans affinis
Brahminy Kite – Haliastur indus girrenera
White-bellied Sea Eagle – Haliaeetus leucogaster
Variable Goshawk – Accipiter novaehollandiae pallidiceps
Rufous-necked Sparrowhawk – Accipiter erythrauchen ceramensis
Buff-banded Rail – Gallirallus philippensis mellori, philippensis
Purple Swamphen – Porphyrio porphyrio melanopterus
Dusky Moorhen – Gallinula tenebrosa frontata
Common Coot – Fulica atra lugubris
Beach Thick-knee – Esacus neglectus
Pacific Golden Plover – Pluvialis fulva
Greater Sand Plover – Charadrius leschenaultii leschenaultii
Whimbrel – Numenius phaeopus variegatus
Wood Sandpiper – Tringa glareola
Common Sandpiper – Actitis hypoleucos
Lesser Crested Tern – Sterna bengalensis torresii
Greater Crested Tern – Sterna bergii cristata
Black-naped Tern – Sterna sumatrana sumatrana
Common Tern – Sterna hirundo longipennis
Little Tern – Sterna albifrons sinensis
Rock Dove – Columba livia
White-throated Pigeon – Columba vitiensis halmaheira
Spotted-necked Dove – Streptopelia chinensis tigrina
Brown Cuckoo-Dove – Macropygia amboinensis amboinensis
Great Cuckoo-Dove – Reinwardtoena reinwardtii reinwardtii
Emerald Dove – Chalcophaps indica indica
Pompadour Green Pigeon – Treron pompadora aromaticus
Superb Fruit Dove – Ptilinopus superbus superbus
White-bibbed Fruit Dove – Ptilinopus rivoli prasinorrhous
Claret-breasted Fruit Dove – Ptilinopus viridis viridis
White-eyed Imperial Pigeon – Ducula perspicillata perspicillata
Blue-tailed Imperial Pigeon – Ducula concinna
Pied Imperial Pigeon – Ducula bicolor bicolor
Red-breasted Pygmy Parrot – Micropsitta bruijnii pileata
Red Lory – Eos rubra cyanonotha
Rainbow Lorikeet – Trichoglossus haematodus haematodus
Blue-fronted Lorikeet – Charmosyna toxopei endemic
Red-cheeked Parrot – Geoffroyus geoffroyi rhodops
Buru Racquet-tail – Prioniturus mada endemic
Great-billed Parrot – Tanygnathus megalorynchos affinis
Eclectus Parrot – Eclectus roratus roratus
Moluccan King Parrot – Alisterus amboinensis buruensis
Oriental Cuckoo – Cuculus saturatus saturatus
Rusty-breasted Cuckoo – Cacomantis sepulcralis aeroginosus
Common Koel – Eudynamys scolopaceus orientalis
Channel-billed Cuckoo – Scythrops novaehollandiae novaehollandiae
Lesser Coucal – Centropus bengalensis medius
Lesser Masked Owl – Tyto sororcula cayelii
Moluccan Scops Owl – Otus magicus magicus
Large-tailed Nightjar – Caprimulgus macrurus schlegelii
Glossy Swiftlet – Collocalia esculenta esculenta
Moluccan Swiftlet – Aerodramus infuscatus ceramensis
Uniform Swiftlet – Aerodramus vanikorensis moluccarum
Fork-tailed Swift – Apus pacificus pacificus
Moustached Treeswift – Hemiprocne mystacea confirmata
Dollarbird – Eurystomus orientalis pacificus
Collared Kingfisher – Todiramphus chloris chloris
Sacred Kingfisher – Todiramphus sanctus sanctus
Common Kingfisher – Alcedo atthis bengalensis
Rainbow Bee-eater – Merops ornatus
Red-bellied Pitta – Pitta erythrogaster rubrinucha
Black-faced Friarbird – Philemon moluccensis moluccensis
Buru Honeyeater – Lichmera deningeri endemic
White-breasted Woodswallow – Artamus leucorynchus leucopygialis
Buru Cuckoo-shrike – Coracina fortis endemic
Cicadabird – Coracina tenuirostris amboinensis
Pale Cuckoo-shrike – Coracina ceramensis ceramensis
Drab Whistler – Pachycephala griseonota examinata
Spangled Drongo – Dicrurus bracteatus buruensis
Willie-wagtail – Rhipidura leucophrys melaleuca
Northern Fantail – Rhipidura rufiventris bouruensis
Island Monarch – Monarcha cinerascens cinerascens
Black-tipped Monarch – Monarcha loricatus endemic
Moluccan Flycatcher – Myiagra galeata buruensis
Slender-billed Crow – Corvus enca violaceus
Barn Swallow – Hirundo rustica gutturalis
Pacific Swallow – Hirundo tahitica javanica
Golden-headed Cisticola – Cisticola exilis rusticus
Golden Bulbul – Thapsinillas affinis mystacalis
Chestnut-backed Bush Warbler – Bradypterus castaneus disturbans
Clamorous Reed Warbler – Acrocephalus stentoreus sumbae
Buru White-eye – Zosterops buruensis endemic
Shining Starling – Aplonis metallica metallica
Moluccan Starling – Aplonis mysolensis mysolensis
Flame-breasted Flowerpecker – Dicaeum erythrothorax erythrothorax
Black Sunbird – Leptocoma sericea proserpina
Olive-backed Sunbird – Cinnyris jugularis buruensis
Eurasian Tree Sparrow – Passer montanus malaccensis
Black-faced Munia – Lonchura molucca.

Seram, Marsegu Island, Nature reserve

Seram, Marsegu Island, Nature reserve


Forest Tourism Marsegu Island
Administratively Marsegu Island forest area included in the District of West Seram, Central Maluku Province. This island was named by the community, “Marsegu Island”, because it has so many species of bats. The word “marsegu” comes from the local language which means bat. Marsegu Island is not scary, on the contrary a variety of beauty can be found there. Area of forest on the island reached 240.20 ha.

Forest on the island, divided into three groups, namely young secondary forest, secondary forest and old secondary forest middle. The types of flora that dominates is Gofasa (Vitex cofassus), Belo Hitam (Diospyros pilosanthera), Banyan (Ficus sp), Papaya Forest (Brachychiton discolor), Kuboha (Sterculia Ceramica), Berabu Mango (Cerbera manghas), Wood Stone (Maranthes co). Half the island is a mangrove forest areas with different types.
In this forest encountered a lot of bats. Can be found also many endemic species of protected birds like charred (Megaphodius Reinwadrtii) and coconut crabs (Birgus latro) which in the language of the region called the “canary crabs.” With the variety of wildlife and vegetation types, visitors as well as to learn about many things about different kinds of environment that exists in this Marsegu Island. The visitors can enjoy various kinds of seafood (seafood), whether obtained by way of fishing your own or buy from the communities around the island.

At this location there are two fresh water wells are usually used by visitors, as well as the public for drinking, bathing and washing. To go to the Island Marsegu, from the city of Ambon as Central Maluku provincial capital, can be reached via the route:
From Ambon to Hunimua, using public transportation with. Then the journey continues from Hunimua to Waipirit who has been on the island of Seram, using the boat for 1.5 hours. From Waipirit proceed toward the Pelita Jaya, with the distance 56 km. Next to the area within a Forest Island Marsegu sea lane along the ± 5 km.

Marsegu Island located in the western part of Seram Island (Nusa Ina / Pulau Ibu) is famous for its National Park Manusela. The island was given the name by the community as “Island Marsegu” because it has so many bat species. Marsegu word comes from the local language which means bat. Apart from bats can be found also protected animals such as birds Gosong Mega-phodius Reinwadrtii (Maleo) and Coconut Crab (Birgus latro) or a regional language called “canary crab.” There are still many other bird species that make this island as a habitat for eating, playing and sleeping.

Not only the mainland only animals that can amaze us. Marine resources potential is also quite large. There are a variety of colorful coral reefs that can be witnessed its beauty. Similarly, various shades of coral fish marine life with its diverse forms and sizes. To the delight of seafood can be enjoyed much as you like on this island. Wanted to go fishing alone or can also buy from the community around this island that his livelihood comes from the sea. Its seas very diverse wildlife, we can choose a variety of preferred fish species and process them with their own desires. Can be baked, fried or in other ways.

In the northern part there is a white sand beach Ipomea pescaprae zone which is dominated by wind grass (Spinifex littoreus) and Katang-katang (Ipomea pescaprae). This location is an attractive tourist spot for enjoying the scenery of sea and shore breathe the fresh air. For those who want to camp or stay a few days on this island, there are 2 (two) as a source of fresh water wells are usually also used by local communities for drinking, bathing and washing. So we need not hesitate to visit the tourist sites of this very exotic.

Halmahera Birding

North Moluccas Halmahera Birding



Birding trip to Halmahera (7 Days/6 Nights)

Day 1
Manado – Ternate – Sidangoli
Transfer to the airport in Manado, we will travel by Air to Ternate, onwards via a speedboat to Sidangoli, birding on mangrove forest for seeing Beach Kingfisher.
After lunch, birding trip will be continued along logging road to Kali Batu Putih.
Check-in and overnight at Sidangoli Indah homestay (Basic accommodation)

Day 2
Sidangoli – Kali Batu Putih/KBP
Arise early morning, drives along logging, birding around Kali Batu Putih where is the lek of Standardwing Paradise bird.
Other endemic species of Halmahera should be seen; Ivory-breasted Pitta, Paradise Crow, Long-billed Crow, Rufous-bellied Triller, Goliath Coucal, Moluccan Hanging Parrot, Chattering Lory, White Cockatoo, Cinnamon-bellied Imperial Pigeon, Grey-headed Fruit-dove, Scarlet-breasted Fruit-dove, Blue-capped Fruit-dove, Flame-breasted Flowerpecker, Cream-throated White-eye, Dusky Friarbird, Moluccan Scops-owl, Moluccan Boobook, and Moluccan Owlet-nightjar.
Common birds; Common Golden Whistler, Blyth’s Hornbill, Gurneys Eagle, Eclectus Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Violet-necked Lory, Willie Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Moluccan Starling, Mettalic Starling, Shining Flycatcher, Spectacled Monarch, Spangled Drongo, Golden Bulbul, Common Paradise Kingfisher, and Rainbow Bee-eater.

Day 3
Sidangoli – KBP – Daru – Foli
Today we are still birding around KBP, then driving down to Daru where is a port for a boat across to Foli, keep your step for Terns, Frigatebirds, and Brown Booby.
Arrive in Foli, check-in at homestay or native people houses (Basic accommodation).
Afternoon birding along logging road.
Return to accommodation for overnight.

Day 4

For more Details Itinerary please contact us.

Gunung Sibela Nature Reserve

Gunung Sibela Nature Reserve


Gunung Sibela Nature Reserve comprises an area of 23,000 ha. on Bacan. The site is named after the Gunung Sibela (2,118 m.), the highest mountain in N Maluku. Its slopes are thickly forested and are home to the only Crested black macaque population outside Sulawesi.
Labuha, the main village on Bacan, can be reached by plain from Ternate. Bacan is off the beaten track so be prepared and don’t go without some basic knowledge of Bahasa Indonesia.
* Labuha
o Harmonis Guesthouse
o Boreo Indah Guesthouse
o Wisma Pondok
G. Sibela peninsula located in the middle of P. Bacan, located approximately 6 km to the northeast of Labuha. The main habitat types in this region is evergreen rain forest with a few whole leaves of the forest habitat in the northern humid. Lowland rain forest in the southern part overgrown by tall trees (up to 60 m), which are up to 500 m altitude In between 500-1500 m elevation is mountainous rain forest with a lower trees and plants under the overflow, while at an altitude above 1500 there subalpin forest with low trees. Sibela Mountain (2110 m) has a narrow ridges and long, that ran from the southwest to northeast, and is the highest mountain in North Maluku. Slopes to the west, south and east is very steep and straight down into the sea, while the north and northeast is relatively flat. Around G. Sibela noted that all 10 villages scattered in the coastal areas. Land around the region G. Sibela a fertile ground for the plantation areas / fields. Most of the people their livelihood as farmers farmers, fishermen and ranchers sideline. Type of primary commodity crops are coconut, chocolate and coffee.

* Adina fagifolia
* A. minutiflora
* Agathis alba
* Alangium javanicum
* Alstonia sp.
* Anthocephalus macrophylla
* Arenga pinnata
* Artocarpus heterophylla
* Averrhoa bilimbi
* Cananga odorata
* Canarium spp.
* Celtis latifolia
* Chydenanthus sp.
* Cocos nucifera
* Coffea sp.
* Cynometra cauliflora
* Dendrocnide carriana
* D. stimulans
* Diosperos ullo
* Dracontomelon dao
* D. mangiferum
* Drypetes sp.
* Dysoxylum alliaceum
* Eucalyptus spp.
* Eugenia caryophyllata
* E. stipularis
* Euonymus javanicus
* Ficus riedeli
* F. septica
* F. variegata
* Garcinia dulcis
* Gonocarium calleryanum
* Gonystylus sp.
* Horsfieldia sylvestris

* Intsia bijuga
* Jasminum sp.
* Kleinhovia hospita
* Koordersiodendron pinnatum
* Lagerstroemia ovalifolia
* Lansium domesticum
* Leea indica
* Litsea forstenii
* Livistonia rotundifolia
* Macaranga sp.
* Metroxylon sago
* Metrosideros spp.
* Morinda sp.
* Musa spp.
* Myristica fragrans
* Nephelium mutabile
* Octomeles sumatrana
* Palaquium sp.
* Pandanus tectorius
* Pangium edule
* Paraserianthes falcataria
* Pimeleodendron papuanum
* Pisonia umbellifera
* Polyalthia sp.
* Pometia pinnata
* Shorea spp.
* Sloetia elongata
* Spondias cytherea
* Terminalia catapa
* Theobroma cacao
* Thespesia lampas
* Vitex coffassus
* Zizyphus angustifolius

* Crested black macaque – Macaca nigra

* Moluccan Scrubfowl – Eulipoa wallacei
* Long-whiskered Owlet-Nightjar – Aegotheles crinifrons
* Nicobar Pigeon – Caloenas nicobarica
* Standardwing – Semioptera wallacii


– Moluccas National Park and Nature Reserves Map


Moluccas National Park and Nature Reserves Map

The Moluccas has one National Park

Seram Manusela National Park

And  10 Nature Reserves

Gunung Sibela Nature Reserve
Pulau Kassa Wildife Reserve
Pulau Pombo Marine Recreation Park
Laut Banda – Gunung Api Banda Marine Park
Pulau Manuk Wildlife Reserve
Yamdena Nature Reserve
Kai Besar Nature Reserve
Pulau Kobroor Wildlife Reserve
Pulau Baun Wildlife Reserve
Kepulauan Aru Tenggara Marine Nature Reserve

North Moluccas

1 National Parks, 3 Nature Reserves, 27 Proposed Nature Reserves

South West Moluccas

0 National Parks, 2 Nature Reserves, 7 Proposed Nature Reserves

South East Moluccas

0 National Parks, 4 Nature Reserves, 8 Proposed Nature Reserves


1 National Parks, 9 Nature Reserves, 42 Proposed Nature Reserves


Ambon-Masbait Nature Reserve

North Moluccas

Ambon-Masbait Nature Reserve

Longitude (DD) 127.21089746
Latitude (DD) -3.46890620
Designation Nature Reserve
Status Designated
Current Status Not Known
IUCN Category Not Known
Documented Total Area (ha) 6.250
GIS Total Area (ha) 13.305


Halmahera Lolobata Game Reserve

Halmahera Lolobata Game Reserve

Longitude (DD) 128.27968132
Latitude (DD) 1.15477932
Designation Game Reserve
Status Proposed
Current Status Not Known
IUCN Category Not Known
Documented Total Area (ha) 189.000
GIS Total Area (ha) 121.827


Ambon-Pulau Pombo Recreation Park

Ambon-Pulau Pombo Recreation Park

Ambon, Pulau Pombo, Ambon-Pulau Pombo Recreation Park, Taman Wisata Alam,
Longitude (DD) 128.59344713
Latitude (DD) -3.65515646
Designation Recreation Park
Status Designated
Current Status Not Known
Establishment Year 1973
IUCN Category V
Documented Total Area (ha) 998
GIS Total Area (ha) 1723
Site Governance Government Managed Protected Areas
From a distance it looked very pualu small. Our boat continued to rumble quietly pushed back the waves. Destination closer, but the island still does not show greatness. Just look up above the trees that stretch of white sand modest extent.

In front of me, framed paintings of natural pamandangan Creator’s work. Degradation of coastal colors that surround the island dwarf, the fish also seemed to dance among the rocks that spread, while above, the birds chase each other to challenge the wind. What a perfect harmonization of nature, the soothing view of the eye and the heart.

Finally our wooden boat had reached the beach. We’ve got Pombo Island, uninhabited island mute.

Because there is no dock on the island, the ship could not dock perfectly. Some ABK only tied to the mast of a ship in the plant at the island’s lips. I rushed down and plunged my feet into the beach, cool tersasa after half an hour of sunbathing on the ship there is no roof.

Pombo Island is located about 5 km from the eastern island of Ambon, the extent of not more than 4 km2. Besides the island there are two islands that were located more dwarf nearby. If the sea water was receding, almost three islands together.

By the Government of Maluku Province, Pombo made a protected conservation land. Until now, the island is not permitted for the occupancy by permanent residents. There are some plants developed there, making it increasingly small island green.