The Island Group of Java consists of three provinces - Jawa Barat, Jawa Tengah, & Jawa Timur; and also the Districts of the capital jakarta and the large city of Yogyakarta.
Java is an island of Indonesia and the site of its capital city, Jakarta. Once the centre of powerful Hindu kingdoms, Islamic sultanates, and the core of the colonial Dutch East Indies, Java now plays a dominant role in the economic and political life of Indonesia. Home to a population of 130 million in 2006, it is the most populous island in the world, ahead of Honshū, the main island of Japan. Java is also one of the most densely populated regions on Earth.
Formed mostly as the result of volcanic events, Java is the 13th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in Indonesia. A chain of volcanic mountains forms an east-west spine along the island. It has three main languages, and most residents are bilingual, with Indonesian as their second language. While the majority of Javanese are Muslim, Java has a diverse mixture of religious beliefs and cultures.
Java lies between Sumatra to the northwest and Bali to the east. Borneo lies to the north and Christmas Island to the south.
Java is almost entirely of volcanic origin; it contains no fewer than thirty-eight mountains forming an east-west spine which have at one time or another been active volcanoes. The highest volcano in Java is Mount Semeru (3,676 m). The most active volcano in Java and also in Indonesia is Mount Merapi (2,968 m). See Volcanoes of Java. Further mountains and highlands help to split the interior into a series of relatively isolated regions suitable for wet-rice cultivation; the rice lands of Java are among the richest in the world. Java was the first place where Indonesian coffee was grown, starting in 1699. Today, Coffea arabica is grown on the Ijen Plateau by small-holders and larger plantations.
The area of Java is approximately 132,000km2. The island's longest river is the 600 km long Bengawan Solo River. The river rises from its source in central Java at the Lawu volcano, then flows north and eastwards to its mouth in the Java Sea near the city of Surabaya.
Alas Purwo National Park
The last home of the tiger in Java this isolated park is great for Green Peafowl, both junglefowl and Banded Pitta.
Baluran National Park
Savannah like forests in east Java. Green Peafowl and Banded Pitta abound.
A small patch of degraded forest that is surprisingly good for some of the lowland forest Javan endemics.
Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park
The spot for Javan montane endemics. Spend a few days exploring the different altitudes.
Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park
Lots of forest at mid to high elevations. Some good site options for some of the mid-altitude birds that are hard elsewhere.
Waterbirds and migrant waders on south coast of East Java.
Muara Angke (Jakarta)
Surprisingly good birding for the middle of Jakarta! Worth a morning just for Sunda Coucal.
A vast area of rice and fish ponds. Great for waterbirds, munias, Sunda Coucal and maybe Javan Lapwing.
Coastal mangrove, fish ponds and rice. A good site for Javan White-eye, Javan Plover and munias.
On the south coast of west Java this little visited site has many of the lowland Javan specialities for those who like to explore.
Coastal mangrove and fish ponds. Can be good for waders and occasionally Javan White-eye.
A boat trip out to the waterbird breeding colony, usually passing many Christmas Island Frigatebirds on the way.
Surabaya Coastal Environs
Waterbirds and migrant waders on the coast around Surabaya.
The Sunda Straits
Pelagic birding for migrant petrels and shearwaters and a chance of Indian Ocean rarities.
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* Field Guides & Bird Song
For a comprehensive list of recommended titles covering Indonesia as a whole - please see the Indonesia page of Fatbirder
Geographical Variation in Birds of Java
G F Mees Series: NOC PUBLICATIONS 26 119 pages, col photos, figs, tabs, distribution maps. Nuttall Ornithological Club 1996
ISBN: 61451Buy this book from NHBS.com
Guides & Tour Operators
Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…
Vacation Indonesia Tours
Vacation Indonesia Tours, owned by Nurlin Djuni & Darwin Sumang, is your gateway to Indonesia. We can immerse you in our culture, heritage and our extraordinarily diverse natural history. The Islands of Indonesia are justly famous for birdwatching. Over 372 species have been recorded and many are found nowhere else. Nurlin Djuni specialises in Birdwatching/Holidays Tours in Sulawesi, Halmahera, Papua, Java, Bali, Kalimantan, Lesser Sundas and Sumatera…
CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.
2006 [05 May] - Gary & Marlene Babic
Gunung Gede – Pangrangro National Park in western Java, Indonesia, is easily accessible from Jakarta and is reported to hold nearly all of Java’s endemic birds in its montane forests. Some of the species are easier to see in the Cibodas Botanical Gardens located at the base of the park than in the park itself. This report covers a short trip taken at the end of the rainy season…
2008 [08 August] - Martin Wootton
2009 [08 August] - Bruce Wedderburn
This report is based on a five day birding trip to Western Java which was organised together with Indra Ferdinand (Freddy’s Homestay). This birding trip was a continuation of the previous trip to Western Java in February 2009 and the focus was on the Javan endemics missed previously. A total of 120 species were seen during the five days of birding…
2009 [09 September] - Brendan Threlfall
…Birding wise, Paul Jepson’s Birding Indonesia is a fantastic guide and indispensable for any visiting birder. The Mackinnon field guide is also invaluable but as others have said does have its limitations (e.g. on the Babblers)…
2010 [10 October] - Craig Robson - Java & Bali
…Java was experiencing its heaviest rain since the 1980s, two months ahead of the official start of the monsoon season. Despite this setback, we recorded 247 species, including all of the currently recognised extant species that are endemic to the two islands, apart from Javan Scops-Owl, Javan Cochoa and Java Sparrow. Amongst the highlights this year were Christmas Island Frigatebird, Javan Hawk-Eagle, resplendent Green Peafowl, Javan Plover, Far Eastern Curlew, Great Knot, Grey-cheeked and Sumatran Green-Pigeons, a digiscoped male Pink-headed Fruit-Dove, many good perched views..
2012 [11 November] - Frank Lambert
…Arriving mid afternoon we were soon greeted by heavy monsoon rains and our short excursion into the forest produced only a couple of wet, bedraggled Black-capped Babblers and poor views of a few other species, including the highly localized endemic Black-banded Barbet…
2013 [07 July] - James Eaton - Sumatra & West Java
…The coastal wetlands and forest produced a number of these endemics; White-capped Munia, Javan White-eye, Javan Banded Pitta, Black-banded Barbet, Javan Tit Babbler and a fabulously tame pair of roosting Javan Frogmouth…
2014 [08 August] - Craig Robson
... Once again, we found a wide range of speciality birds, including Chestnut-bellied Partridge, Christmas Island Frigatebird, Milky Stork, Javan Hawk Eagle, Green Peafowl, Javan Plover, Sumatran Green Pigeon, Pink-headed Fruit Dove, Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon, Sunda Coucal, Yellow-throated Hanging Parrot, Sunda Scops and Spotted Wood Owls, Javan Frogmouth, Salvadori’s Nightjar, Volcano Swiftlet, Javan Trogon, Javan Kingfisher, Black-banded Barbet, Javan Flameback, Javan Banded Pitta, Pied and Trilling Shrike-babblers, Javan Cochoa, Sunda Blue Robin, Pygmy Bushtit (or Tit), Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush, White-breasted and White-bibbed Babblers, Spotted Crocias, Javan Tesia, Javan Bush Warbler, White-bellied Fantail, Black-winged Myna, Javan Sunbird, and White-capped Munia...
2015 [02 February] - Jorgen Bech - Bali & East Java
In Bedugul I focused on species I had not seen on Ijen: The two Thrushes (between the two last bridges of the western circuit), Honeyeater (anywhere inside the B.G.), and the easily seen Short-tailed Starling.
2015 [07 July] - James Eaton - Sumatra & West Java
...Javan White-eye, Javan Coucal, Javan Banded Pitta and Black-winged Myna were coastal highlights, while up in the endemic rich mountains Chestnut-bellied Partridge put on quite a performance, along with Javan Scops Owl, Javan Frogmouth, Javan Tesia, a brief Javan Cochoa, White-bibbed Babblers, Rufous-fronted Laughingthrush and Javan Hawk Eagles were just some of the highlights.
2016 [04 April] - Mike Nelson - Sumatra & West Java
With a slew of endemics always the main attraction, our West Java and Sumatra tour always delights along with several more widespread highlights also showing well. Starting in the sweltering lowlands of Java and working our way up into the mountains we tracked down such gems as Javan Trogon, Hawk-Eagle and Frogmouth, Spotted Crocias and Javan Banded Pitta also did well.
Alas Purwo National Park
The park is located in Blambangan Peninsula at the southeastern tip of Java island, along the shore of strait across Bali. With an area of 434 km², the park is made up of mangroves, savanna, lowland monsoon forests and coral-fringed beaches. An internationally renowned surf break peels along the edge of the park at Plengkung on Grajagan Bay. Mount Linggamanis (322m) is also located in this national park….
Baluran National Park
The park is dominated by forest and savanna vegetation. The coastline is formed by irregular peninsulas and bays. Near the coast are living coral areas, sandbanks, and mudflats. The peninsulas are covered with mangroves, while other parts of the coastline are covered with swamp forest. The volcano is covered with lowland and upland monsoon forest…
Gunung Gede-Pangrango National Park
…It evolved from already existing conservation areas, such as Cibodas Nature Reserve, Cimungkat Nature Reseve, Situgunung Recreational Park and Mount Gede Pangrango Nature Reserve, and has been the site of important biological and conservation research over the last century…
Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park
Its mountain tops reach 1,929 metres and are often mist-shrouded, while its valleys are thought to hide much that remains to be discovered…
Ujong Kulon National Park
The park encompasses an area of 1,206 km² (443 km² marine), most of which lies on a peninsula reaching into the Indian Ocean. The explosion of nearby Krakatau in 1883 produced a tsunami that eliminated the villages and crops of the coastal areas on the western peninsula, and covered the entire area in a layer of ash averaging 30 cm thick. This caused the total evacuation of the peninsula by humans, thereby allowing it to become a repository for much of Java’s flora and fauna, and most of the remaining lowland forest on the island…
Birding in Java & Bali – Burung-Nusantara / Birds-Indonesia
Information about birding sites in Java and Bali, including key species, maps, access, local guides and resources. Birding in Java and Bali is many people’s introduction to Indonesian birds. The sites listed here include the best for the die-hard searcher of Java’s montane and lowland endemics, to those suited to a few hours break from a Bali beach holiday. Browse sites from the map or the table. Each site page will show links to birding trip reports, guides and other content that is relevant. Help us keep this information up to date by posting your experiences back here as comments…
Birding Near Jakarta
I was working in Jakarta Indonesia recently and spent a Saturday at Bogor's Kebun Raya (Botanical Gardens) and two Sunday mornings at Muara Anke, close to Jakarta…
Birding on Java
A number of different locations with access details, checklists etc.