Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Birds of Sumba, Indonesia

We ended up seeing 11 of the 12 endemic bird species on the island of Sumba during our tour of the Lesser Sundas in Indonesia last month. Thanks to Barbara DeWitt for most of these photographs. This Red-naped Fruit-Dove was seen on the forest edge from a clearing at Manurara. It is a highly sought after endemic which can easily be missed during a visit to the island.
Apart from recognised taxa, there are several birds on Sumba presently regarded as subspecies which will eventually elevated to species status. This is the endemic race of the Barn Owl at its hollow during the day.      
The Blood-breasted Flowerpecker was common in the forests of Sumba, where our birding was concentrated in the Langgalin National Park in the Lewa area. Again, this is a subspecies endemic to Sumba which will one day be split as a full species.
Red-cheeked Parrots were seen frequently as we birded the road west of Lewa. This race differs from our Australian birds.
Short-toed Eagle was seen several times on Sumba. The Lesser Sundas is the most easterly area where this widespread species occurs.
A Rufous-backed Kingfisher was a welcome sight below a bridge on the road to Manurara. This species is always difficult and it was most unusual to have one sitting out in the open.
Short-tailed Starlings were plentiful on Sumba, as they were on the other Lesser Sunda islands we visited.
Locals on the forest road near Lewa. Only about 5 per cent of the rainforest of Sumba remains, mostly in isolated fragments along this road, so the future of the island's special birds is by no means assured.

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