Bali Myna (aka Bali Starling) Leucopsar rothschildi ©Andy Walker Website

Birding BaliBali is an Indonesian island located at 8°25′23″S 115°14′55″E Co, the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country’s 33.0 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island.With a population recorded as 3,151,000 in 2005, the island is home to the vast majority of Indonesia’s small Hindu minority. 93.18% of Bali’s population adheres to Balinese Hinduism, while most of the remainder follow Islam. It is also the largest tourist destination in the country and is renowned for its highly developed arts, including dance, sculpture, painting, leather, metalworking and music.

The island of Bali lies 3.2 km (2 mi) east of Java, and is approximately 8 degrees south of the equator. East to west, the island is approximately 153 km (95 mi) wide and is approximately 112 km (69 mi) north to south; it’s land area is 5,632 km². The highest point is Mount Agung at 3,142 m (10,308 feet) high, an active volcano that last erupted in March 1963. Mountains cover centre to the eastern side, with Mount Agung the easternmost peak. Mount Batur (1,717 m) is also still active; an eruption 30,000 years ago was one of the largest known volcanic events on Earth.In the south the land descends to form an alluvial plain, watered by shallow, north-south flowing rivers, drier in the dry season and overflowing during periods of heavy rain. The longest of these rivers, Sungai Ayung, is also the longest on the island (approx. 75 km).The principal city is the present provincial capital and largest city, Denpasar, near the southern coast. Its population is around 300,000. Bali’s second-largest city is the old colonial capital, Singaraja, which is located on the north coast and is home to around 100,000 people. Other important cities include the beach resort, Kuta, which is practically part of Denpasar’s urban area; and Ubud, which is north of Denpasar, and known as the island’s cultural centre.There is a coastal road surround the island, as well as three major two-lane arteries that cross the central mountains at passes reaching to 1,750m in height (at Penelokan). Minor roads branch off of these major highways. The Ngurah Rai Bypass is a four-lane expressway that partly encircles Denpasar and enables cars to travel quickly in the heavily populated south. Bali has no railway lines.The island is surrounded by coral reefs. Beaches in the south tend to have white sand while those in the north and west have black sand. The beach town of Padangbai in the south east has both. Bali has no major waterways, although the Ho River is navigable by small sampan boats. Black sand beaches between Pasut and Klatingdukuh are being developed for tourism, but apart from the seaside temple of Tanah Lot, they are not yet used for significant tourism.To the east, the Lombok Strait separates Bali from Lombok and marks the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia. The transition is known as the Wallace Line, named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who first proposed transition zone between these two major biomes. When sea levels dropped during the Pleistocene ice age, Bali was connected to Java and Sumatra and to the mainland of Asia and shared the Asian fauna, but the deep water of the Lombok Strait continued to keep Lombok and the Lesser Sunda archipelago isolated.

Bali has around 280 species of birds, including the critically endangered Bali Starling. The only endemic high-level predator of the island, the Bali tiger, became extinct in the 1930s.The Bali Barat National Park, located on the north western side of the island, is a refuge for wildlife such as the Sunda Pangolin, Indian Muntjac, Mouse-deer, Leopard Cat, Black Giant Squirrel, and several species of macaque and leaf monkey.

Top Sites
  • Bali Barat National Park

    InformationSatellite View
    The home of the Bali Starling, this park also hosts a good selection of other sundaic lowland species. There are several habitats in the national park, a savanna, mangroves, montane and mixed-monsoon forests, and coral islands.[3] The center of the park is dominated by remnants of four volcanic mountains…
  • Bedugul

    InformationSatellite View
    Birding in the hills of central Bali. A good range of species can be found here, including one or two things that are not so easy elsewhere. Bedugul is a mountain lake resort area in Bali, Indonesia, located in the centre-north region of the island near Lake Bratan on the road between Denpasar and Singaraja. Bedugul is located at 48 kilometres (30 mi) north of the city of Denpasar. Other nearby lakes are Lake Buyan, and Lake Tamblingan.
  • Kuta Environs

    Satellite View
    More famous for its bars and beaches, its also not a bad spot to find Java Sparrow!
  • Pulau Serangan & Benoa

    InformationSatellite View
    The best spot for migrant waders on Bali. Always worth a look for Indonesian rarities.
  • Sanur Environs

    Satellite View
    Good migrant wader action in season, this site has also turned up several Indonesian vagrant rarities.
  • Ulu Watu

    Satellite View
    Cliff top location is great for breeding White-tailed Tropicbirds and passing seabirds.
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 429

    (As at February 2019)
  • Number of endemics: 1

    Bali Myna Leucopsar rothschildi
  • iGoTerra Checklist

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Useful Reading

  • Birds of Java, Sumatra and Bali

    | By Tony Tilford & Alain Compost | Bloomsbury Publishing | 2017 | Paperback | 136 pages, 250 colour photos, 1 colour map | ISBN: 9781472938183 Buy this book from
  • Birds of the Philippines, Sumatra, Java, Bali, Borneo, Sulawesi, the Lesser Sundas and the Moluccas

    | By Norman Arlott | William Collins (Harper Collins imprint) | 2018 | Hardback | 416 pages, 179 plates with colour illustrations; colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9780008102395 Buy this book from

Abbreviations Key

  • NP Bali Barat

    InformationSatellite View
    The home of the Bali Starling, this park also hosts a good selection of other sundaic lowland species. There are several habitats in the national park, a savanna, mangroves, montane and mixed-monsoon forests, and coral islands. The center of the park is dominated by remnants of four volcanic mountains. Some 160 species can be found inside the park, including the banteng, barn swallow, black-naped oriole, black racket-tailed treepie, crested serpent-eagle, crested treeswift, dollarbird, hawksbill turtle, Indian muntjac, Java sparrow, Javan lutung, large flying fox, leopard cat, lesser adjutant, long-tailed shrike, milky stork, Pacific swallow, red-rumped swallow, rusa deer, sacred kingfisher, savanna nightjar, stork-billed kingfisher, water monitor, wild boar, yellow-vented bulbul and the critically endangered Bali myna.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Rockjumper Birding Tours

    Tour Operator
    The magical island of Bali has much to offer the birder and naturalist, providing superb birding and wildlife viewing, with the island’s most iconic bird, the beautiful and very rare Bali Myna or Bali Starling, being top of our hit list…
  • Vacation Indonesia Tours

    Tour Operator
    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
Trip Reports
  • 20-19 [09 September] - Sara Frost

    PDF Report certainly would have been almost impossible to see so many species during the wet season when the trees were in leaf. Some highlights from group’s morning birding walks included Olive-backed Sunbird, Green Bali to Komodo – In Search of the Dragon! Tour Report 2 © Naturetrek November 19 Junglefowl, Helmeted Friarbird, Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker, noisy flocks of beautiful Small Minivets, Blackwinged Starlings and Coppersmith Barbets...
  • 2014 [10 October] - David Hoddinott

    PDF Report
    ...Some of the highlights included a good number of Sunda Teal, Little Pied and Little Black Cormorants, Australian Pelican – a nice surprise, sneaky Ruddy-breasted Crake,a plethora of waders including splendid Beach Stonecurlewand Javan and the very sought-after Oriental Plover, smashing Little Tern in full breeding plumage, Island Collared Dove, Savanna Nightjar, Cave Swiftlet hawking insects over the ponds, and cracking Cerulean Kingfisher....
  • 2015 [02 February] - Jorgen Bech - Bali & East Java

    PDF Report
    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.
  • 2018 [12 December] - Gilles Delforge - Bali & East Java

    PDF Report
    This was an independent, non-exclusive birding trip as I was travelling (for the first time!) with my non-birding partner. I will not write a complete trip report but give a few information abound Bali Barat and Kawah Ijen that could be useful for others.
  • 2019 [08 August] - Anita Bastian

    PDF Report
    ... in the secondary forests and settlements Blacknapped Fruit-Dove, Island Collared-Dove, Orangebreasted Green Pigeon, Grey-cheeked Green Pigeon, Pink-necked Green Pigeon, Banded Bay Cuckoo, Javan Banded-Pitta, Black-thighed Falconet, Blue-eared, Coppersmith and Lineated Barbet, Sunda Scops-Owl, Rufous-backed DwarfKingfisher, Olive-backed Tailorbird, Scarlet-headed Flowerpecker, Horsfield's Wren Babbler and Racket-tailed Treepie...
  • 2019 [08 August] - Sin Yong Chee Keita

    ...Birding in Bali was entirely managed by Hery. Black-winged Starlings were in the National Park and we had better views of Bali Mynas at a random wooded patch behind someone’s house rather than in the National Park itself. At the saltpans there were Javan Plovers among other assorted Asian waders, but Beach Thick-knees were missing because the tide was high. We later went to the slopes of Mount Batakaru (roadside birding about 200 metres before “Pura Pengubengan Batukaru” on Google Maps) and heard several Javan Owlets but did not see any...
  • 2022 [02 February] - Andy Walker

    PDF Report
    ...We soaked in close looks at Collared Kingfisher and prolonged views of the pretty Blue-eared Kingfisher. Blue-tailed Bee-eaters also provided a flash of color, as did Striated Swallow, Barn Swallow, and Pacific Swallow as they fed overhead, with the less colorful House Swift, Cave Swiftlet and Edible-nest Swiftlet also flying around above us...
  • 2023 [01 January] - Oka Dwipo

    This is a trip with one guest from Spain, Federico, who took 2 days of his vacation for birding in Bali after having his job done in Jakarta. Even though not many places we visit and not really deep into the forest, but we got more than 60 species in just 2 days of birding. Within those species, lots of Indonesian endemics were seen.
Other Links
  • Birding in Java & Bali

    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
  • Birding on Bali

    The Bali Barat National Park is located on the north west tip of Bali. This reserve is the last site for the endangered Bali Myna. At Tegal Bunder it is possible to visit the Bali Myna project release centre. Pulau Menjangan is a small island that belongs to the reserve. Here are very beautiful coral reefs and it is a good spot for Lemon-bellied White-eye. The park is pretty much left alone by the thousands of tourists that visit Bali each year.

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