Best time to travel to Indonesia

Birdwatching in Indonesia 2024

Indonesia will amaze you with its avian world unlike any other

Best time: May–October

Birdwatching
Birdwatching
Birdwatching
Birdwatching

With around 400 endemic species, Indonesia may seem like a completely separate planet to a birder. 22 islands have their own endemic species, and it is definitely worth visiting them all. The main island of Java also has plenty of endemics as well as nature reserves where they can be spotted.

Endemics include Javan Frogmouth, Javan Trogon, White-flanked Sunbirds, Rufous-tailed Fantail, Javan Tesia, Black-banded and Brown-throated Barbets, and Javan Cochoa. Many species are also confined to Sumatra and Bali, such as the Pink-headed Fruit Dove, Javan Kingfisher, Sunda Blue Robin and Java Sparrow.

Although birding in Indonesia may be done all year round, the dry season from May/June to September/October is the most favourable. The best time to visit Java for birding is the beginning of the dry season in May, June, and July, as well as the end of the dry season in October when resident birds are the most active. However, the rainy season is great for watching migratory shorebirds.

Some of the best spots to observe birds include Muara Angke, a mangrove forest and sanctuary in Kapuk Muara, Penjaringan, north of Jakarta. Another preserve, Pondok Bali, is located near Pamanukan, east of Jakarta. Pulau Rambut is an island equipped with an observation tower over a waterbird sanctuary.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Indonesia for birdwatching?

You can witness the best birdwatching in Indonesia during the dry season lasting from May to September or October. Birdwatchers should visit Java Island from May to July or October, when resident birds increase their activity. During the rainy season, migratory shorebirds can be seen and enjoyed by birders. Show more

Where are the best spots for birdwatching in Indonesia?

Indonesia boasts many reserves and national parks, providing abundant birdwatching places. Muara Angke, Pondok Bali, and Pulau Rambut are among the most preferred destinations. Muara Angke offers a beautiful mangrove forest sanctuary, while Pondok Bali is in close proximity to Jakarta, and Pulau Rambut has an observation tower overseeing a waterbird sanctuary. Show more

What endemic bird species can be found in Indonesia's Java Island?

Several exclusive bird species can only be spotted on the Java Island region, including the Javan Frogmouth, Javan Trogon, White-flanked Sunbirds, Rufous-tailed Fantail, Javan Tesia, Black-banded and Brown-throated Barbets, and Javan Cochoa. Other unique bird species are found in Sumatra and Bali, such as Java Sparrow, Javan Kingfisher, Sunda Blue Robin and the Pink-headed Fruit Dove. Show more

Are there migratory birds that can be seen in Indonesia during the rainy season?

Migratory shorebirds can be seen in Indonesia during the rainy seasons, which is not ideal for birdwatching. Birdwatchers can see several migratory waders and shorebirds, such as sandpipers, plovers and snipes, as they visit Indonesia during their migration. The best time to visit them is usually during the dry season, but coastal wetlands, mangroves and estuaries offer the best spots for these types of birds. Show more

What is the Pink-headed Fruit Dove and where is it commonly found in Indonesia?

Pink-headed Fruit Dove is a spectacular bird species found in Indonesia's Sumatra and Bali islands. It is a medium-sized, colourful bird, possessing a green body and a bright pink head. They commonly reside in lowland rainforests and primarily feed on fruits and insects. Birdwatchers must follow ethical birding practices and be cautious while observing them as they are at high risk of habitat loss and hunting, which is putting them in danger of extinction. Show more

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