Thursday, December 21, 2017

Red Bird of Paradise

Birdwatching in Raja Ampat of Indonesia
Male Red BOP was performing courtship dance
to attract his female birds.
Here are the photographs of Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) that I watched when I went birding in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat.
There are several places in the island which birders could visit to watch the birds. The ones that I know are Warafar, Mamdifu and Fish Lagoon forests in the eastern region of the island. There are also some birding sites in southern region of Waigeo, particularly Saporkren where the Red BOP could be seen. The best time to watch the birds is early in the morning at approximately  05.30 to 09.00.
From my personal experience, morning time is not always the best time because most often the birding site is against the morning sunlight. I usually checked the birding site first before deciding whether it is good to watch in the morning or in the afternoon. If the bench for birdwatchers or birding platform is in the east or northeast of the tree, morning time is the best. If it is in the west or south west, afternoon time will be the better choice. Watching birds of paradise with sunlight against our eyes will not give us the best birding experience. Most often, when we want to take pictures of birds in high tree in backlight condition, what we will get are dark or glare pictures.
When the sun is behind us during the birding time, we will get brighter and sharper pictures of the paradise birds.
The population of birds of paradise in the forest is decreasing due to continuous logging activities and poaching. The introduction of birding tourism in Raja Ampat is very important in supporting local people to protect their forest and animals that live in it.
Hiking in West Papua's forest of Raja Ampat - Indonesia
Tiger Orchid
While travelling in the forest, it is not only birds that can be seen but also other animals and unique plants. One day, I went to the eastern most area of Waigeo island. While exploring the tropical rainforest, I saw beautiful orchid flowers at a steep hill. I was surprized to see that flowers were very fragrant. I took pictures of the flowers and then did some research on the internet about this interesting plant. Finally, I could identify it. Its name was  Queen of the Orchids (Grammatophyllum speciosum). It is also called Tiger Orchid. by Charles Roring
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