Thursday, December 23, 2010

Paradise bird Cincinnurus magnificus

The bird that you see in the photograph below in English is called the Magnificent Bird of Paradise. Its Latin name is Cincinnurus magnificus. This is one of the species of BOP that you can watch in Vogelkop region of West Papua including Arfak mountains and Tambrauw Mountains. Besides this species, birders can also see western parotia, black sickle bill and most importantly the bower bird. This photograph was made by Gerard Berkhof in the morning of 5 December 2010. Mr. Berkhof was with 8 other tourists at that time. Pandanus Conoideus is in fruiting season between November and January. 
Red fruits are abundant in the tropical rainforest of the Arfak mountains. Magnificent birds of paradise like to eat red fruit whose seeds look like rice grains. To attract this bird, Hans Mandacan - my friend who owns a tourist house in the village put the fruit in front of the bird watching hut (also called blind) just around 5 meters from the watching window.
To watch the paradise bird, all tourists had to be inside the hut before sunrise. So, I asked them to wake up early in the morning. They woke up at 5 a.m. and left the guesthouse at 5.30 after drinking some coffee or tea. Because the number of tourists who did the bird watching that morning was six, and the hut could only accommodate 4 people, I decided to devide them into two groups and placed them in two bird watching huts located at different places. When all of the tourists had been in the huts, I; Hans Mandacan and Hami Mandacan left them. We came back to pick them up again at around 9.30 a.m. One group was able to take a lot of pictures of the magnificent birds of paradise and spotted cat birds whereas the other was not. Hami explained to me that members of the other group were talking staying in the hut. This was the cause why the birds did not come. They were afraid of the noisy sounds from men's voice.
Birds of paradise and all other birds species in the tropical rainforest of New Guinea island are facing extinction due to continues hunting, deforestation. The size of the rainforest is shrinking rapidly day by day.
The bird watching tour package that I offer to tourists is an alternative income generation that I introduce in Papua to help the indigenous people earn money from the natural resources that they have without destroying the environment. Other bird watching sites that I recommend to tourists are Senopi village, Syioubri village, Numfor island, and the Table Mountain.
In addition to hiking and watching the paradise bird, other ecotourism activities that tourists can do in Arfak mountains are watching butterfly, and learning herbal medicine. by Charles Roring
Also read:
Birding Tour in Manokwari Highland and Lowland
Paradise bird from vogelkop region

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