Birdwatching Locations Around Indonesia

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Indonesia Bird Watching Locations

Birding in Indonesia is on many birders’ to-do lists, and here is a specially curated list of birdwatching locations around Indonesia that has been compiled for anyone planning to bird here.

This list is compiled based on several online sources and some of my experiences birdwatching around Indonesia. I used to travel frequently to Indonesia before the pandemic, but since then, I have visited this beautiful place less. And just so you know, I am constantly updating this article, so if you see something not here, it could be added soon.

Birdwatching Locations Around Indonesia

The birding sites around Indonesia below are based on the main islands and in alphabetical order. The information is very surface level; therefore, if you want detailed information, you will need to find out more by yourself.

After all, I have yet to visit all of the places, and hopefully, in the next few years, I will have the opportunity to do so, providing more information and bird photos from my travels around Indonesia. So, for now, I am creating this master list of birdwatching locations around Indonesia, and whenever I visit a place, I will write about it and highlight it in this list.

Birdwatching in Bali

Bali is a birding wonderland combined with a beautiful holiday, so you can have the best of both worlds in one place. This means you can bring your family along and also do birding here. Basic birding can be done at popular tourist destinations, while serious birding is at the Bali Barat National Park.

  • Around Kuta – it’s also not a bad spot to find the Java Sparrow among the other regular small to medium birds.
  • Seminyak – Very commercial, but if you look carefully, you may see some interesting common birds of Indonesia. Bulbuls, mynas, sparrows, and if you look up, you see the shore birds occasionally flying across.
  • Sanur – Good migrant wader action in season; this location in Bali has also turned up several Indonesian vagrant rarities. But you need to visit less crowded areas like the Bali Festival Park and Campuhan Beach.
  • Serangan Island (Pulau Serangan) – This location is said to be the best spot for migrant waders in Bali. Always worth a look for Indonesian rarities, and best to self-drive around this island.
  • Bali Barat National Park – The home of the Bali Starling, this park is one of the best places with a bird guide and offers one of the best selections of other Sunda lowland species. I saw about 54 species of birds in eight hours around here.
  • Uluwatu – The cliff location of Uluwatu is great for breeding White-tailed Tropicbirds and passing seabirds. Watch out for the monkeys when birding here, as they tend to grab anything shiny, like your glasses.
  • Bedugul – Birding in the hills of central Bali. A good place to explore is the Bali Botanical Gardens. There is also a huge lake around the Bedugul area worth checking out.
Komodo Island Birdwatching
A Wallacean Drongo at Komodo National Park.

Birdwatching in Flores

Flores is an island in East Nusa Tenggara and is quite huge; hence, you need at least 7-10 days to explore the entire island. Personally, I have been to several locations around Flores, but I still need to do a full birding trip here. You can read my initial article on birdwatching in Flores, which was done in 2017.

  • Labuan Bajo – The main entry point into Flores is here, and most of the hotels and resorts are also here. Birding around the hotels and resorts is quite good, provided they are out of the main town area. The Sylvia Resort Komodo in Labuan Bajo is one of the interesting places for small to medium birds along the beach area.
  • Kelimutu National Park – The town to stay at is called Ende, and this national park is quite spectacular, with the tri-coloured lakes at the peak of Mount Kelimutu. The national park is also home to several interesting birds.
  • Maumere – This is not a common place to visit, but I stayed at the Coconut Garden Resort in this laid-back town east of Flores. I need to come back and do more birding here.

Birdwatching in Java

As Java is huge, there are many locations for birdwatching; hence, the areas provided below are sourced from local Indonesian birder’s experiences. You may need to contact the proper bird guides here for more details. Personally, I have been to only three of the places listed here.

And just to make it easier, I have broken up the places in Java into three areas – Jakarta, which is west Java; Yogyakarta, which represents central Java; and Malang, for east Java.

Birdwatching around Jakarta, West Java

  • Muara Angke – Surprisingly good birding for the north of Jakarta. The Muara Angke Wildlife Refuge is a good place to look for the Sunda Coucal and other birds.
  • Muara Gembong – A vast area of mangroves, rice fields and fish ponds. A huge area that is great for waterbirds, Munias, Sunda Coucal, and possibly the Javan Lapwing.
  • Pamanukan – Coastal mangrove around the Cipunagara Rive way north of Bandung, a good site for the Javan White-eye, Javan Plover and munias. Also called Ujung Pamanukan.
  • Pulau Rambut – This place requires a boat trip out to the waterbird breeding colony, usually passing many Christmas Island Frigatebirds on the way. Rambut island is part of the Kepulauan Seribu Regency, north of Jakarta.
  • Pulau Dua – Coastal mangrove and fish ponds two hours west of Jakarta at a place called Banten Bay. It can be good for waders, herons, egrets and sometimes the Javan White-eye.
  • Ujong Kulon – This place is all the way west of Java island and at the Ujong Kulon National Park. Not an easy place to access. This place is also home to the rare Javan Rhino.
  • Carita Forest Park – A small patch of degraded forest that is surprisingly good for some of the lowland forest Javan endemics. It definitely requires a bird guide service here.
  • Sunda Straits – Located between Java and Sumatra, the Sunda Straits are great for pelagic birding. Birds include migrant petrels, shearwaters and a chance of Indian Ocean rarities.
  • Gede Pangrango – This place is south of Jakarta, near Bogor. Birds include White-browed Shortwing, Javan Frogmouth, Javan Tesia, Javan scimitar babbler, Sunda Thrush, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon and Sunda Bush Warbler. About 200 or more birds have been spotted around this park near Jakarta.
  • Halimun Salak National Park – Gunung Halimun is the recommended area to bird in, with lots of forest at mid to high elevations. Birds include Ruddy Cuckoo-Dove, Javan Trogon, Blue Nuthatch, Sunda Bulbul, Spotted Crocias, Blue-winged Leafbird, and Javan Sunbird.

Birdwatching around Bandung, Central Java

  • Tangkuban Perahu – One hour from Bandung and a massive tourist attraction with easy birding for some of the high mountain specialities. Birds seen here include the Volcano Swiftlet, Sunda Bush-Warbler, and Island Thrush.
  • Coastal Surabaya– The area is massive, with a lot of mangroves to choose from, and birds here include lots of waterbirds and migrant waders. Places include Gunung Anyar Mangrove, Wonorejo Mangrove, Hutan Cemara Mangrove, and Medokan Mangrove.

Birdwatching around East Java

  • Baluran National Park – One of the hard places to access from Java but easier from Bali. The Baluran National Park is a savannah-like forest located on the northeast of Java, and it is said that the Green Peafowl and Banded Pitta have been spotted here. I visited this place in 2017, but briefly for wildlife and did not have time to explore the birds.
  • Alas Purwo National Park – Located in Southeast Java is the Alas Purvo National Park, which is isolated, massive and known for the Green Peafowl, both junglefowl and Banded Pitta. You need a bird guide for this place. Also easier to access from Bali.
  • Gunung Ijen – This mountain is in east Java and offers montane birding to see the partridge and bush warbler. My climb up here in 2017 was strenuous as we started at 2.00 AM. I only saw a few birds on my way down around 8.00 AM. Ijen is known for the Javan Frogmouth, Snowy-browed, Indigo, and Little Pied Flycatchers, White-bibbed Babbler, Pygmy Cupwing, Grey-breasted Partridge and Javan Banded Pitta.
  • Meru Betiri National Park – Another national park south of East Java. Not as popular as Alas Purwo, but birds here include Yellow-bellied Warblers, Javan Black-capped Babblers, Javan Banded Pitta, White-crowned (Javan) Forktail, Wreathed and Rhinoceros Hornbills, Banded Broadbills, and Scaly-crowned Babblers.
  • Lumajang – This area is nearer to Malang, and the place to visit is Pantai Mbah Drajid Wotgalih, south of Lumanjang. From Malang, it’s a three-hour drive here. Waterbirds and migrant waders are found here.
  • Around Jogjakarta – It is said that you can find the Java Sparrow nest in one of the famous temples here, which is either Prambanan or Borobudur. But you can also find the Java Sparrow at the Melia Purosani Hotel in Yogyakarta.
  • Cangar and Watu Ondo – These two places are known to be birding destinations out of Malang in East Java. There are some bird guides found here as well.
Banded Pitta Indonesia
A Javan Banded Pitta.

Birdwatching in Kalimantan

This one is tricky, as logistics and bird guides are not easy. However, if you get a good bird guide for Kalimantan, you will have a great time birding in the thick rainforest of Borneo. Personally, I have only done birding at Kayan Mentarang.

  • Kayan Mentarang – Montane birding near the Sarawak border. Difficult to access, but it may be the best site for Bornean montane endemics in Kalimantan.
  • Menyapa – Hill and montane birding in the seldom visited Menyapa hills is not for the unadventurous, but new discoveries undoubtedly await those who try it.
  • Tanjung Puting – This area is the lowland peat swamp forest in the south of Central Kalimantan, which is popular for its lowland and peatland specialities.
  • Barito Ulu – Lowland and hill forest in the remote north of Central Kalimantan. Home to some of Borneo’s most sought-after birds.
  • Gunung Niut – Remote montane forest in West Kalimantan. Difficult to access and seldom visited, but home to several montane specialities rarely recorded elsewhere.
  • Gunung Meratus – Five hours from Banjarmasin and known to be home to many birds including Chestnut-hooded Laughingthrush, Penan Bulbul, Bornean Frogmouth, Meratus Blue Flycatcher, Hose’s Broadbill, Meratus White-eye, Bornean Whistler, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Asian Stubtail, Fruithunters, and Temminck’s Babbler.
  • Gunung Palung – Accessible swamp, lowland and hill forest in the south of West Kalimantan. An impressive bird list to match the variety of habitat types.
  • Mahakam River – Boat trips on the Mahakam River for rare waterbirds, including Storm’s Stork and White-shouldered Ibis.
  • Sungai Wain – Easily accessible lowland forest near Balikpapan, with a great range of species, including Bornean Peacock-pheasant and Bornean Ground-cuckoo.

Birdwatching in Komodo National Park

This is probably the easiest and most fascinating birdwatching destination in Flores, and also very touristy. But you will get some interesting endemics here, and more bird guides can also be found here.

  • Rinca Island – This is not a bad place to see some birds, but again, people come here for the Komodo Dragons, and along the trails, you can spot some of the Flores endemics.
  • Komodo Island – You probably get more birds on this main island while exploring the trails. Birds include the Wallaces Drongo, Oriole, Orange-footed Scrubfowl, Flores Crow and others.
  • Padar Island – The hike up is worth it for the view, but there are only a few birds to spot here. Chances to see the Flores Crow and a few raptors.
  • Labuan Bajo – Some resorts are secluded and offer nice walks along the beach. Here, you can spot quite a few common and uncommon birds.
Flores Bird Watching
A Rainbow Bee-eater in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara.

Birdwatching in Lesser Sundas

This is one of my must-go places in Indonesia for birding; I have heard a lot of good things about birdwatching in the Lesser Sundas.

  • Lombok – The short hop across Wallace’s line ensures a trip to Lombok has birds to make it worthwhile.
  • Gili Islands – A chain of three islands that is known as the next Bali and home to several birds. See my Sooty-headed Bulbul photo while I was birding at Gili Trawangan.
  • Komodo – Famous for giant lizards, but also great for Yellow-crested Cockatoo. See the listing above for more details.
  • Wetar – This island is not an easy place to get to, but anyone who tries it will be rewarded with a selection of endemics that very few people have ever seen. Wetar Island is part of the Maluku Regency and the furthest away from East Nusa Tenggara, nearer to East Timor.
  • Sumba – Another beautiful island in the south of East Nusa Tenggara, offering easy roadside birding, beautiful scenery, amazing local culture, and a ton of endemics.
  • Timor – Easy access to some great birding locations at East Nusa Tenggara, sharing the island with Timor-Leste.
  • Alor & Pantar – Seldom visited by many but with a good range of local specialities, with affinities to both Flores and Timor. I visited Alor Island in 2017 for scuba diving but managed to do some birding during my 5 days here.
  • Rote – This small island off Timor is getting a great reputation for some of the hard-to-find Timor endemics, plus its own endemic forms with birds including Rote Boobook, Rote Leaf Warbler, Rote Myzomela, Rote Fantail, Timor Bushchat, Jonquil Parrot, Timor Stubtail, Orange-banded Thrush, Elegant Pitta, Black Cuckoo-dove (Timor Black Pigeon), Rose-crowned Fruit Dove, Timor Green Pigeon (very rare), Timor Figbird, Timor Oriole, Timor Warbling Flycatcher, Timor Gerygone, Indonesian Honeyeater, and Red-chested Flowerpecker.

Birdwatching in Maluku

This one is on my bucket list to bird at Maluku. A totally remote part of Indonesia, but several bird tour companies in Maluku offer some world-class birding.

  • Ambon – The travel hub of central and southern Maluku. Got a few nice birds, too.
  • Tanimbar – This 65-island group is south of Maluku and not easy to get to, but it is closer to Darwin, Australia, and West Papua. This place is also known as Timur Laut.
  • Seram – Part of the Maluku Regency, the island is divided into the east and west Seram. Huge mountains, obscure islands, Salmon-crested Cockatoo, and a whole load more central Moluccan specialities and Seram endemics await.
  • Damar – Damar Flycatcher (Ficedula henrici) is a little-known muscicapid found only on the small island of Damar. One of the hardest places to access in the Southernmost part of Maluku.
  • Kai – Relatively easy to get to, nice beaches, two endemic white-eyes and an endemic coucal.
  • Buru – It looks big on the map, but getting there and getting around is for the adventurous. If you try it, the birds are all there somewhere.
  • Taliabu – If you can figure out how to get here, then there are a load of gripping endemics to be seen!
  • Bacam – This is where Wallace first discovered the Standardwing, now named after him, but he may also have been the last person to visit this island!
  • Obi – If you make it this far, you will be on your own. There is a woodcock here somewhere.
  • Halmahera – Packed with north Moluccan endemics, including the stunning Standard wing and Ivory-breasted Pitta. Birdwatching in Halmahera is one of the must-do birding trips in the world.
Mount Ijen Birdwatching
Orange-spotted Bulbul at Mount Ijen, Indonesia.

Birdwatching in Sulawesi

Honestly, there are so many interesting places for birdwatching in Indonesia, I think you may need a full year to explore all the regions here.

  • Tangkoko – Easy access and a great introduction to Sulawesi’s birds.
  • Dumoga-Bone (Bogani) – A massive national park which has only partially been explored. Known sites include Tambun for Maleo and some nice lowland birding.
  • Lore Lindu – Huge national park in central Sulawesi and the best site for easily accessed montane endemics.
  • Sangihe, Taluad, Siau – The string of islands off north Sulawesi, including Sangihe, Siau and Talaud, are not so easy to get to, but loads of great endemics await those who try it.
  • Around Makassar – An endemic white-eye and some good migrant shorebirds can be found by those with a few hours to kill between flights.
  • Gunung Ambang – Montane birding in north Sulawesi. There are not as many species as Lore Lindu, but a few things are easier to see here.
  • Gunung Mahawu – Just outside Manado and a great spot for Scaly Kingfisher.
  • Nantu – Famous as a site to see Babirusa, but also pretty good for birding too
  • Banggai – A nice selection of Sula endemics after a short boat ride from Luwuk, including the newly rediscovered Banggai Crow.
  • Lake Tondano – Near Manado and good for waterbirds and migrant raptors

Birdwatching in Sumatra

  • Gunung Leuser – Vast undisturbed forests stretching from lowlands to montane. Rarely visited, and many discoveries are still to be made.
  • Kerinci-Seblat – Famous montane and hill birding. Easily accessible forests with a good chance of almost all montane Sumatran endemics.
  • Bukit Barisan Selatan – Getting a great reputation for montane and sub-montane specialities, also good for lowland and hill birding.
  • Way Kambas – Easily accessible lowland forest. White-winged Ducks, Storm’s Storks and some of the best night birding in Asia.
  • Coastal Medan – Some great sites near Medan for coastal birding. Good for waders, big waterbirds and migrants.
  • Pantai Cemara – It is not easy to get there, but perhaps the best wader site in Sumatra. Nordman’s Greenshank and Asian Dowitcher are regularly seen.
Birdwatching in West Papua
A pair of Yellow-faced Myna’s in West Papua.

Birdwatching in West Papua

This place, known to the world as the Mecca of birdwatching after South America, is probably on top of any birders to-go destination. West Papua is part of Indonesia, and East Papua is the PNG side, and they are not related. I visited this place in late 2017 and did an article on birdwatching in Raja Ampat, which was just a simple few-hour birding session. Raja Ampat is in the Waigeo area of West Papua.

  • Batanta, Salawati, Waigeo – A pilgrimage to see Wilson’s Bird-of-Paradise! The islands are also home to Red and King Bird of Paradise (BoP), Northern Cassowary, Western Crowned-pigeon and more.
  • Arfak – Stunning mountain scenery and stunning birds. See displaying Western Parotia, Magnificent BoP, plus Black Sicklebill, Long-tailed Paridigala, Arfak Astrapia and much much more.
  • Biak & Numfor – Easy birding in the islands of the Geelvink Bay. Loads of endemics, some of them easy, some of them hard!
  • Nimbokrang – Hot, sweaty, mosquito-infested lowland forest and swamp. Crawling with birds is easy to access.
  • Wamena & Lake Habema – The high mountains of Papua. It has awesome scenery and some awesome birding to match.
  • Wasur – Extreme lowland birding in the swamp forests and savannahs of Papua’s far south. Absolutely overrun with birds, including trans-fly specials and many Australian migrants.

Birdwatching at the Riau Islands

The Natuna Islands are a 272-island archipelago of Indonesia, located in the Natuna Sea between Peninsular Malaysia to the west and Borneo to the east. One of my dream birding destinations for sea birds. The is very little information about birding at the Riau Islands.

  • Riau Island – Riau alone has many islands and to get from one another requires the local ferries.
  • Anambas Island – Located west of Natuna, the Anambas Islands consist of several smaller islands.
Birdwatching Locations in Indonesia
Google Maps shows the entire Indonesia islands.


We are the only birdwatching media in this part of the world and have been in operation since 2018. Birdwatching Asia is also a Malaysian-owned business and is independently managed. We are not a tour company but have contacts with several birdwatching tour companies.

You can find us active on the Birdwatching Malaysia Facebook Group and Birdwatching Asia Facebook Page, while we have a Birdwatching Malaysia Instagram and a birding YouTube page.

This list is compiled by me, David Hogan Jr, who has also done birding around Indonesia in the last ten years. I was also a scuba diver in the last 20 years, where I semi-retired from diving in 2019. But once in a way, I may put on a BCD and regulator if it involves seabirds.

Thank you for viewing my article on birdwatching locations around Indonesia, and if there are any errors or mistakes, my sincerest apologies I hope that you can contact me with the correct information, and I will update it here. Again, happy birding wherever you are.

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