Birdwatching at Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve

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Tanjung Tuan Bird Watching

One of the core areas for birdwatching in Melaka is at the Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve, located by the state border of Melaka and Negeri Sembilan.

Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve is also one of the last pristine coastal rainforest areas on Peninsular Malaysia’s west coast. It is home to one of the unique birding events called Raptor Watch.

Birdwatching at Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve

Bird Watching Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve
Birdwatchers at the beach of Tanjung Tuan. Photo from The Star.

Though this forest reserve is a beautiful place, there are not many birders that come here, and even if they do, it is usually bird photographers seeking a particular bird.

Hopefully, with the digital age now, more people will be exposed to birdwatching locations around Melaka, and this article provides some insight into this forest reserve.

If you come here from February to April, the spring migration of raptors to Tanjung Tuan allows visitors to witness the soaring and thermaling of thousands of migrant raptors on their journey back to their breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere. This is also known as Raptor Watch, which takes place over a weekend here.

During the raptor migrating season, you can expect to see raptors like the Black Baza, Oriental Honey-Buzzard, Grey-faced Buzzard, Greater Spotted Eagle, as well as the Chinese Goshawk and Japanese Sparrowhawk.

Tanjung Tuan Raptor Species
The raptors of Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve. Image from Malaysia Nature Society.

What birds are seen at Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve?

You can easily spot the common birds seen at most rainforests, but this place being a coastal rainforest, there are occasions that migratory species may be spotted around here.

I do not have a complete bird list for Tanjung Tuan, and the simple list below is taken from several birders who shared what birds were spotted when they visited. If anyone has an updated list, I would appreciate it if you could share it with me.

Birds of Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve;

  • Asian Glossy Starling
  • Asian Paradise-flycatcher
  • Banded Kingfisher
  • Black-naped Oriole
  • Blue-throated Bee-eater
  • Changeable Hawk Eagle
  • Coppersmith Barbet
  • Crimson Sunbird
  • Dollarbird
  • Greater Flameback
  • Large Green Pigeon
  • Orange-headed Thrush (during winter migration season)


Location Map Tanjung Tuan
It takes about 90 minutes to drive from Melaka city to Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve.

Where is Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve?

Tanjung Tuan is about 1.5 hours away from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The area of 607,000 square metres has been designated as an Important Bird Area (MY12) and declared an important site for birds by the National Geographic Society.

From Kuala Lumpur, it is about 104 km and takes about 90 minutes to drive one way here using the North-South Expressway. However, I would estimate around 100-110 minutes to be safe. Use Waze or Google Maps to get here is you are going on your own.

Tanjung  Tuan Forest Reserve
Address: Jalan Pantai, Tanjung Tuan, 71050 Melaka
Open: 7.00 AM to 6.00PM
Tel: 018 211 7191

Entrance Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve
The main entrance to Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve in Melaka.

Melaka Forestry Department
Tel: 06 231 6095

Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Melaka
Aras 18, Menara Persekutuan,
Jalan Persekutuan,
Hang Tuah Jaya, 75450 Ayer Keroh, Melaka.

Birdwatching at Tanjung Tuan Lighthouse
The beautiful lighthouse at Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve in Melaka.


For anyone who plans to explore birdwatching at Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve, I would recommend going on a weekday as fewer people are around the area.

There will definitely be many more people who come here for hiking and trekking on weekends, sometimes in large groups that can be noisy. However, if you have no choice, go early in the morning when they open.

About Bird Watching Asia

Bird Watching Asia is a self-funded project to promote bird watching in Malaysia and around Asia.

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