Lesser Sunda Islands
The Nusa Tenggara Island group is split into two provinces: Nusa Tenggara Barat and Nusa Tenggara Timur.
West Nusa Tenggara (Indonesian: Nusa Tenggara Barat) is a province in south-central Indonesia. It covers the western portion of the Lesser Sunda Islands, except for Bali.
The two largest islands in the province are Lombok in the west and the larger Sumbawa island in the east. Mataram, on Lombok, is the capital and largest city of the province. The province is administratively divided into six regencies (kabupaten) and one municipality (kotamadya).
Lombok is mainly inhabited by the Sasak ethnic group, with a minority Balinese population, and Sumbawa is inhabited by Sumbawa and Bima ethnic groups. Each of these groups has a local language associated with it as well. The population of the province is 3.821.134; 71 percent of the population lives in Lombok.
Great scenery and great birds. The large selection of endemics ranges from the easy to the very hard.
Famous for giant lizards, but also great for Yellow-crested Cockatoo!
The short hop across Wallace's line ensures a trip to Lombok has birds to make it worthwhile.
Easy roadside birding, beautiful scenery and amazing local culture; and a ton of endemics!
Easy access to some great sites and birds. A trip to Timor is well worthwhile.
Not an easy place to get to, but anyone who tries it will be rewarded with a selection of endemics that very few people have ever seen.
Guides & Tour Operators
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.
2008 [08 August] - Henk Hendriks
We followed the more or less “standard” birding trail of the Lesser Sundas. Ever since reading the excellent reports of Philippe Verbelen, back in the nineties I was eager to visit this region. In the past I had birded Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi and Halmahera and so it seems logical to expand my birding activities within this fascinating country to the southeast. So we/I visited Sumba, Timor, Flores, Rinca/Komodo and I also spent a few days on Bali at the end of my trip. According to Birdlife International, Sumba, Flores and Timor are Endemic Bird Areas and together they hold most of the endemics and specialties of the Lesser Sundas…
2013 [08 August] - Peter Ericsson
…Not many birds seen from the roadside of the tower but stepping inside of the forest soon proved productive. This area is a stronghold for Flores Monarch, an endemic to Western Flores. The bird has a distinct call and readily responded to playback. A great looking Monarch at that…
2013 [09 September] - Craig Robson
…There were plenty of Small Blue Kingfishers, as well as a good range of large waterbirds, such as Little Black and Little Pied Cormorants, and a range of herons and egrets. A swimming group of Sunda Teal were somewhat distant, Pink-necked Green-pigeons were rather more obliging, and we had nice views of some migrant Rainbow Bee-eaters. A responsive Olive-backed Tailorbird was a bit of a fast-mover…
2013 [09 September] - David Hoddinott - Lesser Sundas Endemics
…The rain seemed to have sparked some activity and many birds were perched up singing. Some of the species we encountered in the late afternoon included the immaculate Black-naped Fruit Dove, Green Imperial Pigeon, Wallacean Drongo, Yellow-ringed White-eye, rare Sumba Brown Flycatcher and splendid Apricot-breasted Sunbird. Our night birding here was very rewarding too with superb views of Little Sumba Hawk-Owl and Mees’s Nightjar….
2013 [10 October] - James Eaton
…We then ventured away from the well-trodden route and headed to the small island of Roti once again, to see ‘Roti Boobook’, an undescribed Phylloscopus warbler and several near- Timor endemics and potential endemic splits. Although many of Timor's endemics aren't quite so gaudy, Black- banded Flycatcher, Buff-banded Bushbird, an undescribed nightjar and Timor Sparrow were all greatly admired, as was the sighting of an undescribed species of parrotfinch that we discovered on last year’s tour..
2015 [06 June] - Rob Hutchinson - Sumba, Roti, Timor, Flores & Komodo
...Little Sumba and Sumba Boobook, and Mees’s Nightjar, the extremely rare Orange-crested Cockatoo, a fortunate sighting of Sumba Green Pigeon, three unimaginatively named flycatchers; Sumba, Sumba Jungle-, and Sumba Brown, Chestnut-backed Thrush, Cinnamon-banded Kingfisher, our first Elegant Pitta, Sumba Buttonquail, and many more.
2015 [07 July] - Mike Nelson - Sumba, Roti, Timor, Flores & Komodo
...Our tour continued to Timor where we caught the fast ferry over to Roti Island. After a quick lunch and a drive out we stopped at a wetland which gave us some of the local targets plus many Australian waterbirds on migration in the Austral winter. Timor Blue Flycatcher, ‘Roti’ Northern Fantail, Plain Gerygone, Australasian Darter, Australian Pelican, White-headed Stilt and White-shouldered Triller, and even Masked Lapwing, a vagrant to Indonesia.
2015 [08 August] - Stijn de Win & Peter Ericsson
In the end we had seen almost all the endemics possible plus a lot more. Flores Scops Owl, Flores Hawk Eagle, White-rumped Kingfisher, Small Wallacean Hanging Parrots, Bare-throated Whistler, Flores Monarch, Elegant Pitta, Yellow and Citrine-crested Cockatoos, Sumba Hornbills, Little Sumba Hawk Owl, Small Buttonquail, Sumba Myzomela, Chestnut-backed, Orange-sided and Chestnut-headed Thrushes, Five-colored Munias, yet to be described Parrotfinch species, Black-banded, Sumba and Rufous-chested Flycatchers, Red-naped, Banded Fruit Doves to name a few.
2015 [09 September] - David Erterius - Lesser Sundas
Situated to the south of Sulawesi and east of Bali, the Lesser Sundas is made up of a wonderfully diverse group of islands.
2015 [09 September] - Subhojit Chakladar - Lombok
...We also went to the Mataram University campus to get close looks at Scaly-crowned Honeyeaters. After sunset, we headed to Kerandangan Nature Reserve to search for Lombok’s only endemic. A few Large-tailed Nightjars were very active and vocal at the site. So were Orange-footed Scrubfowl. The Rinjani Scops Owl were calling right after sunset.
2016 [04 April] - David Donato - Nusa Penida
I had the opportunity to visit Nusa Penida, Indonesia between 5 to 14 April 2016, to do some bird watching. Nusa Penida, is an island just east of Bali, Indonesia. It is west of Wallace’s Line, having an Asia avian composition. The immediately further east is the Island of Lombok on the other side of Wallace’a Line which, has an Austro-papuan avian composition. Nevertheless, there are some species that cross the line. Nusa Penida is dry by Indonesian standards have an extended dry season from April to November, and a short intense wet season from December to March...
2016 [10 October] - Gareth Knass
...Other Lesser Sundas endemics, most being seen at a few sites: Flores Minivet, Chattering (Browncapped) Fantail, Russet-capped Tesia, Scaly-crowned Honeyeater, Flores Leaf Warbler, Flores Spangled Drongo, Eyebrowed Heleia (Cream-browed White-eye), Crested Heleia (Crested White-eye), Wallace’s Heleia (Yellow-spectacled White-eye), Thick-billed Heleia (Thick-billed Dark-eye) (Poco Ranaka and Danau Ranamese), Golden-rumped Flowerpecker, Flores Warbling (Jungle) Flycatcher (only seen once at Poco Ranaka), Black-fronted Flowerpecker, Flores (Bloodbreasted) Flowerpecker (Danau Ranamese)...
Places to Stay
"For trekkers there are incredible waterfalls and beaches to discover and while hiking through the tropical forests you can also search for the indigenous birds of Sumba Island. If you are looking for adventure, true natural beauty or just relaxing and really getting away to another world, Nihiwatu Resort, in Indonesia is the place to be."
Birding in the Lesser Sundas – Burung-Nusantara / Birds-Indonesia
Information about birding sites in the Lesser Sundas, including key species, maps, access, local guides and resources. The string of islands east of Bali are a fascinating region of Indonesia to go birding, and one that’s growing in popularity. Access to the main islands is pretty easy, and the sites themselves are not difficult to reach. For those that try birding in the Lesser Sundas very high endemism awaits, plus some fascinating scenery and culture. 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…
Birds of Sumba Island
On the island of Sumba, birds are a special treasure. Although this ecoregion`s overall biodiversity is low, about 180 bird species can be found here, including seven that are endemic. But the rapid pace of deforestation on the island is threatening these and other species.