A different citiwalk, a birdwalk

A Pink-necked green pigeon is resting on a Bungur tree

A Pink-necked green pigeon is resting on a Bungur tree

Birdwatching in a city is definitely unpopular, particularly when you talked about Jakarta, one of the most populated cities in the world. Once I uploaded my story of my recent birdwatching activity in the center of Jakarta, I received a suggestion to visit another birdwatching site up in the mountains. Sigh….

To most birdwatchers, seeing a rare, endemic species is maybe like winning a prestigious prize. But, this was not my intention that day. More than 10 years ago, our small bird club carried out a bird survey in the city. Our question was simple. Can we still see wild birds in Jakarta? More than ten years ago, this city still held at least 105 species. Some of the buildings that retain a patch of tall trees in their garden might be a good place to see the noisy Red-breasted parakeet (Psittacula alexandri). Last Saturday right at the center of Jakarta, at the National Monument (Monas) park, I saw them again.

Birdwalk at MonasMonas was constructed around 1961 in 80 ha area just in front of Presidential Palace. For the last ten years, Monas has been through a lot of facelift particularly around the edges. More trees have been planted, from palms, Banaba tree or Bungur (Lagerstroemia speciosa), to Jamaican cherry tree (Muntingia calabura). The latter was my favorite childhood tree. The red berry fruits were the one that attract me to climb the tree, just as they attract the birds. Urban environment have been shown to favor birds that eat seeds and insects and thus helping to disperse the seeds and control the urban insect populations. The life of frugivores is much tougher as they really depend on available fruiting trees. But at least the Jamaican cherry tree in this park was able to satisfy the Pink-necked green pigeons (Treron vernans).

Pink-necked green pigeon, a city survivor, feeding on Jamaican cherry

Pink-necked green pigeon, a city survivor

This was my bird of the day. Like many green pigeons, they are strong flyers and rarely come to the ground. Ten yeas ago, this bird was not in our list for this park. They tended to be found in old wooded areas, avoiding the crowded central parts of Jakarta.

At the end of the morning, our list grew to 18 bird species. Thanks to our young good guides, the new generation of bird enthusiast, we were able to see the small minivet (Pericrocotus cinnamomeus), the coppersmith barbet (Megalaima haemacephala), and the Asian glossy starling (Aplonis panayensis). Our citiwalk of the day was successful.

A shy small minivet

A shy small minivet

People are coming to this park for their weekend exercise, jogging, or picnic while the spotted dove (Streptophelia chinensis) or the Asian pied starling (Sturnus contra) occasionally come to the ground to feed on seeds. It feels good to see that a part of this city is still sustaining a small bird community. The art of urban birdwatching is finding the good sites, foraging for life supporting system of the city for birds and for us…..

PS: this posting has been listed in “I and the Bird“.  It’s a very YAY! except that they used he instead of she.  Here’s what they say,

“Noonanthome of “Wisdom of Wildlife” compares seeing a rare bird with winning a prestigious prize.  Well, he’d know as the newest recipient of the Most Pink-necked Pigeon Award.  How prestigious”

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18 responses to this post.

  1. Just wondering if hornbill can survived in the urban areas like Jakarta? Next time, please take me? :D

    Reply

    • I think so. We didn’t have historical records on hornbill in Jakarta. If we have those smaller species, they might survive.

      I’ll ask you next time. It was a sudden invitation from Maya :D

      Reply

  2. Posted by sabdo on May 14, 2009 at 8:56 am

    nice shot of pink-necked green pigeon! seems that current monas is slightly better for bird habitat than ten years or so ago. true or false? if true would be interesting to investigate what causes it: better vegetatation, fencing, fewer people or other factors… sounds like a question from multivar stats?
    yok, i think hornbill might survive (at least for few days…). dare to proof?

    Reply

    • I think it’s true. Good idea! We lost Kemayoran, but others seem well preserved (Senayan, Manggala, Menteng). So, we may need to look beyond Monas

      Reply

  3. [...] – Noonanthome of Wisdom of WIldlife compares seeing a rare bird with winning a prestigious prize.  Well, he’d know as the newest recipient of the Most Pink-necked Pigeon Award.  How prestigious.  The post in question is A different citiwalk, a birdwalk. [...]

    Reply

  4. Oops! Sorry about the he/she thingy. I’ll fix it.

    Reply

  5. Posted by seabiodiversity on May 24, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Nice postings and an enjoyable read :)

    Reply

  6. Congratulation Mbak Noon. Your blog has been selected to receive the Most Pink-necked Pigeon Award.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Iqbal on June 23, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Ada Jalak suren (Strunus contra) di Jakarta? Di alam saja aku belum pernah lihat, apa lagi belakangan ini di penjual burung makin jarang dijumpai. Syukurlah kalau akhirnya malah bertahan di tengah ekosistem urban. Kapan rencana birding berikutnya?

    Reply

    • Ini juga baru pertama kali lihat di Jkt. Sempat googling, tapi gak nemu info pelepasan burung di sini. Rencana birding tergantung ajakan hahaha…….

      Reply

  8. Posted by shafika on December 5, 2009 at 5:26 am

    Hye.

    I am palnning to Bau- Bau for the expedition under Operation Wallacea.
    Could you tell me more about that forest site as i will spend my entire two weeks in the forest site?

    Reply

  9. Posted by shafika on December 5, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Hye.

    I am palnning to Bau- Bau for the expedition under Operation Wallacea.
    Could you tell me more about that forest site as i will spend my entire two weeks in the forest site?
    plz

    Reply

    • Hi Shafika. Glad to hear that you will join Operation Wallacea. I don’t think I could tell you more than the opwall website (my last report is on the website I think). Are you planning to join particular study? Some studies would probably take you more into the forest (birds probably). There are lots of hike (be prepare for this) but I thinks it’s worth to see different parts of the forest.

      Reply

  10. Posted by echa on March 14, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Belum ada tulisan terbaru lagi ya Mbak Nurul? Saya senang baca blog ini :)

    Reply

  11. Posted by Rajesh on September 8, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Hi Noonathome ! from India and I’m visitig Jakarta for 3 days from tomorrow, I like bird photography, Pl recommend the best sites at this time of the year. I did go to Muara Angke last time and had a good time.Thanks

    Reply

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