Monday, September 24, 2012

Blyth's hornbills are called Burung Taun-taun

I frequently see Blyth's hornbills while trekking in the jungle around Manokwari. The best spot to watch this bird is Dopi river (located in the north coast of Manokwari). In West Papua, we call it taun-taun. It is big and likes to eat fruits from nutmeg and ficus trees. Blyth's hornbills and other birds play a very important role in the ecosystem of rainforest. They disperse seeds of the fruits that they eat. They can fly in a group of two, four or even thirty birds. I know a nice place by Dopi river where tens of the taun-taun birds gather to sleep. There are three high trees that have been made as their sleeping trees. In order to avoid predators, perhaps snakes, Blyth's hornbills choose the tip parts of the twigs. The one below is a male.
I have guided several birdwatchers from Europe to see these sleeping trees of Blyth's hornbill since last year. It takes around three hours walking from Manokwari to Dopi river. The best times to watch birds are in the mornings and in the afternoon before sunset. I and some of my friends built a camp which can be used by birdwatchers to stay for several nights in the tropical rainforest of New Guinea to watch birds and see everything the jungle has.
If you are physically fit, then you can take a birding tour in Dopi river. I have seen various species of tropical birds here. Some of them that I can identify are the lesser birds of paradise (paradisaea minor), pygmy parrots, white or grey goshawk, sulphur crested cockatoo, western crown pigeon, dollar birds.
Birds are not the only animals that you can see in this jungle. Deers, monitor lizard (locally called soa-soa), kangaroo, cuscus live in the rainforest around Dopi river too.

If you live in the United States of in Europe and want to watch birds in Manokwari, first, you need to fly to Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia. Second, take a domestic flight served by Sriwijaya Air, Batavia Air, or Express Air to Manokwari city. I will meet you at the airport to bring you to Dopi river. Here is my e-mail: