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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cattle Egret

I spent three months traveling in Bali early this year. It was a nice experience because I could watch some species of birds while riding bicycle around Ubud or walking through endless rows of rice field. Bali is the island of the gods - the place where temples are integrated with beautiful nature. One afternoon I rode my bicycle along Jalan Campuhan just for sight seeing. At a turn of the road I saw a farmer plowing his rice field with a motorized hand tractor. Behind him was some cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis). When I took some pictures of them, I didn't know their name. I used a bridge camera - Nikon Coolpix P500. I don't have  a digiscope. I have to read A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Indonesia to identify their species.
These birds were searching for food among the dirt which had just been turned over by the farmer. I don't know whether it was worm, small fish or frog which the birds were eating. Most of them have got white feather with pale brown plumage covering their heads and neck. Their bills are yellow. I saw one whose feather was completely white among the other cattle egret. I don't know whether it is still the same species or different.
It's amazing that these cattle egret birds were not afraid of human. Compared to New Guinea, the number of species of birds in Bali is lower. However, they can still be seen even in urban and rural areas of Ubud. I like the Balinese way of living that protects trees for spiritual reasons. It allows birds to build their nests. Small birds like to eat grains that are put by the Balinese on the grounds and temples as daily offerings to gods or spirits. What the Balinese do directly support the life of birds.
Bali is a tropical island in Indonesia. It is now the most popular travel destination in the country. Every year millions of people go to Bali's coastal towns to enjoy sunbathing, swimming wave surfing or even scuba diving. Those who like staying in rural areas prefer to stay in Ubud. by Charles Roring/ E-mail:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Purple Naped Lory from Seram island

Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world. It is also a natural paradise for birdwatchers who want to see great varieties of tropical birds. When I made a land tour across Seram island last June 2012, I saw a beautiful bird that had been captured by a Moluccan man. Its head was covered by purple and black feather whereas its wings were mostly green. Most of its body, bill and tail was red with some yellow stripe at his front neck or throat. The bus that was carrying me and other passengers stopped at a village in East Seram for a while to load rice. The man approached the bus and showed his pet. I immediately turned on my digital camera to make some pictures of the bird. I knew it was a lory but I was not able to identify it immediately.
The next day when I arrived in Ambon, I took out my book Birds of New Guinea trying to identify it. I saw several species that look like it but I was not really sure so, I made a little research on the internet. Finally, I found its pictures on several birding websites and on wikipedia. The bird is called Purple Naped Lory (Lorius domicela). According to wikipedia it is now an endangered species. Along the way from the town of Bula to Ambon city, I saw extensive deforestation. Endless rows of sawit palm trees, rice fields and other commodity plants have replaced pristine tropical rainforest. In addition to agriculture and logging activities, the hunting and trading of birds in Indonesia seem to be a serious problem to this country. 
When in Ambon, I was interviewed by Rodi Fofid from, an online radio about eco-tourism and the preservation of tropical rainforest. I expressed my concerns about bird trading in Maluku islands particularly in Seram and how we could stop it through responsible tourism that provides alternative income generation to local people. I hope that I can provide birding tour for birdwatchers who want to see endemic birds in Maluku islands. If you are interested in taking a birdwatching trip in Seram and its surrounding islands, please contact me by e-mail to I will be happy to arrange a trip for you. by Charles Roring/ E-mail:
Also read: Streaked Weaver