Sunday, January 10, 2016

Wounded Moustached Tree Swift

When I went birding in the jungle of Klasow valley early this year with two birdwatchers from, I had an opportunity to see a Moustached Tree Swift closely. A boy from the jungle village, picked it up on the ground after watching it falling from the air. He told us that this bird was fighting against another tree swift and got hit on his eye.
Moustached Tree Swift
Simon Thomson, one of the birdwatchers, held the bird and put it on his Swarovski Optiks HD-ATS-80 HD Spotting Scope with 20x60 Eyepiece (Angled, 80mm) for closer examination. Because of the fighting, the bird suffered severe injury on his eyes. Free fall to the ground also worsened his condition.
I asked the boy what food he had given to the bird to help him survive. He answered, "sweet tea." We were so surprised to hear that. Later, Simon explained that the bird should be given insects such as grasshopper. There were around fifteen children who were around us.
After that they boy returned to his house which was not far from our basecamp. The next two days when I returned again to the valley with a Dutch tourist, they children told me that the bird did not survive. I was sad to hear that but highly appreciated the boy's effort in helping the bird.
Klasow valley is a birding site in Sorong regency of West Papua. The jungle village near Klabolo stream where I stayed was a new human settlement in the jungle. The villagers were cutting trees, clearing the lands to open vegetable gardens and build their houses. The valley is also the natural habitat of abundant butterflies, wallaby, and tropical plants.
I introduce ecotourism in the valley to curb illegal logging and to stop the destruction of rainforest. Visitors need to walk for around one and a half hour to reach the jungle village. To travel to the valley, every visitor needs a good backpack that can carry some clothes, and photographic equipment.
Birdwatchers and nature lovers who want to see tropical rainforest or watch birds in West Papua can contact me (Charles Roring) by email to

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