Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Slender-billed Cuckoo Dove

This is the photograph of Slender-billed Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia Amboinensis) that I saw in the forest of north-east region of Waigeo island of Raja Ampat regency. I and two villagers were conducting an early morning bird walk when we saw the bird 2 kilometers outside Yenbekaki village. 
Actually the species of Brown Cuckoo Dove, according to Phil Gregory in his book Birds of New Guinea: including Bismarck Archipelago and Bougainville, has been split into several species. So, the ones that we see in West Papua is now called Sultan's Cuckoo Dove. The Amboyna Cuckoo Dove is considered as the species that lives in Ambon island, Seram and other islands in the Moluccans. As a matter of fact, some birders disagreed with the split.
It was a nice trip because we were able to see other birds as well including Hooded Butcherbird, Helmetted Friarbird, Oriental Dollarbird, Papuan Black Myzomela, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Olive-backed Sunbird (now also known as Sahul Sunbird), Beach Stone Curlew, Shining Flycatcher, Singing Starling, Eclectus Parrot, Torresian Crow, and Papuan Blyth's Hornbill.
Birding in Indonesia
Brown Cuckoo Dove
I turned on my camera and shot the bird. I used Canon 200D with Tamron 200D telephoto lens to make this picture. I also brought a good pair of roof prism Visionking 10×42 mm binoculars.
Raja Ampat regency in West Papua province of Indonesia is a great destination for birdwatching. As a tourist guide, I often organize birding tours to this archipelago for visitors who want to watch Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise and a lot of other birds such as Wimbrel, Radjah Shelduck, Beach Kingfisher, White-breasted Woodswallow, Eastern Osprey, Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Coconut Lorikeet, Pied Imperial Pigeon and a lot more. I usually combine the birding tour with snorkeling and sightseeing excursion to various islands in archipelago. 
Coastal region in Waigeo island
Waigeo island in Raja Ampat
The first time I saw this bird species was when I was guiding tourists in Arfak mountains. 
A few weeks ago, I also saw the same species in lowland forest of Sorong regency. I was guiding two experienced birders from Australia, Peter Lansley and Dan Ashdown at the time. 
There are a lot of doves and pigeons in the rainforest of West Papua's forest. Some of them include Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Wompoo Fruit Dove, Mountain Fruit Dove, Cinnamon Ground Dove, Superb Fruit Dove, Stephan's Dove, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Great Cuckoo Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Spice Imperial Pigeon, Zoey Imperial Pigeon, Papua Mountain Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Western-crowned Pigeon. 
Doves and pigeons are seed dispersers. They play this very important role for the ecosystem of tropical rainforest. It means that they are the ones, together with other seed dispersers, that grow rainforest.
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