Bali Barat National Park, on the northwest tip of Bali was, until recently, the last and only refuge of the highly endangered and magnificent Bali Myna, also known as the Bali Starling, and undoubtedly the most prized sighting of any birder visiting Bali.

In recent times a conservation release programme has successfully introduced these wonderful birds to the Bali’s offshore islands, Nusa Penida and neighbouring Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, which are nowadays the best places to see them.

However, Barat National Park, because of its location at maximum distance from the tourist centres of Bali provides a quiet escape, not only to spot the Mynas but many of the other birds which can be seen in the vicinity, such as Java Sparrows, Black-winged Strarlings, Beach Thick-knees, Banded Pittas, Orange-breasted Pigeons, Racket-tailed Treepies, Green Junglefowl, Yellow-throated Hanging-parrots, Rufous-backed, Collared and Sacred Kingfishers, Grey-rumped Treeswifts, White-breasted Wood Swallows, Javan Cuckoo-shrikes, Laced Woodpeckers, Blood-breasted Flowerpecker among many others also found on nearby Pulau Menjangan, where Lemon-bellied White-eyes can also be seen.

In central Bali, The area of Ubud and the Bedugaul Botanic Gardens is home to a rich variety of birdlife, including Blue-eared Barbets, Black Eagles, Indonesian Honeyeaters, Orange and Sunda Whistling-thrushes, Crescent-chested Babblers, Javan Pond-herons, Streaked Weavers, Javan Munias, Javan Kingfishers, Pied Bushchats, Asian Palmswifts, Yellow-vented Bulbuls and Bar-winged Prinias.

In southern Bali, close to Denpasar Airport, the area of Benoa/Sanur and, adjoined by road, Pulau Serangan, is a good spot for spotting Slaty-breasted and White-browed Crakes, Javan Pod-herons, Striated and White-faced Herons, Little Egrets, Small and Barred Buttonquails, Long-toed Stints, Far Eastern Curlews, Terek Sandpipers, Streaked Weavers, Oriental Magpie-robins, Blue-tailed Bee-eaters, Small Blue and Sacred Kingfishers, Olive-backed sunbirds and Pacific swallows.

If you’re having trouble catching a glimpse or photograph of that most famous Bali resident, the Bali Myna, or more especially if you are travelling with children, although the specimens are for the most part captive, Bali Bird and Reptile Park, located at the village of Batubulan, north of Denpasar, offers a chance to see not only the Myna, but a wide sample of Balinese and Indonesian Birdlife, together with many other species from around the globe, and has a host of activities to excite the kids and learn about birds and conservation.


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