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Perpetuating the “Vogelkop Bowerbird” Trail in Udohotma
06 June 2023 - by Admin

Perpetuating the “Vogelkop Bowerbird” Trail in Udohotma



Smart Bird's Nest on Kobrey Hill, Udohotma Village

One of the attractions of ecotourism in the Arfak Mountains region is the existence of the Vogelkop Bowerbird (Amblyornis inornate) or better known as the Smart Bird. In Sougb it is known as Bendirhia.


Smart birds are also called "Flying Architects" (Flying Architects / Flying Engineers). Because of the skills of building nests while collecting colorful objects that are neatly grouped, such as fruits including plastic waste. This beautiful nest is for the sake of attracting the female to stop by and be willing to be her lover. In addition, this bird is known to be good at imitating the sounds of other living things it hears in the forest.


The Indonesia Expat site tells that the nests that are built are usually one meter high and wide. The nest consists of three parts: a dome wide enough for the bird to climb through; main areas with large leaves laid upside down or tiled with stones; and a column that uses a sapling as a central tower, with an assortment of vegetation packed around the base. A male smart bird may need a week to two months to set up his nest, depending on the weather.


At the end of 2022, Bentara Papua began recording traces of this bird around the outskirts of Lake Anggi Giji.


Indonesia Expat link:



The plan to perpetuate the activities of smart birds has actually been discussed by Bentara Papua organizers since 2019. Then the first survey was carried out in late 2020, in November to be precise. At that time the survey was only limited to physical observations on the Kobrey hill, Udohotma.


This first survey has found nothing. Most only heard stories from the village community. Maikel Saiba, a young farmer in Umangka, for example, said that this bird often crosses the Bamaha, Testega, and Umangka areas. But there is no documentation that records the activity of this bird, which has a body length of around 25-31 cm.


Entering 2021, Bentara Papua is bringing documentation equipment in the form of a camera. Currently, only two nests have been found on the Kobrey hill and on the Udohotma hill.


Then, in 2022, in November, start installing two camera traps on Udohotma hill and Kobrey hill. One each. In this third phase, the activity of smart birds around the nest that has been built is recorded.


The video shows a smart male bird collecting fruit, flowers, leaves and plastic waste in the form of biscuit packets, mineral water bottles and zinc battery covers and charcoal.


The activity of these males was recorded from 06.00 WIT until midday. Then it was recorded again in the afternoon, around 15.30 to 18.00 WIT.


The discovery of nests and recordings of smart bird activity is in line with Bentara Papua's plan to develop birdwatching ecotourism destinations.


As many know, in the Arfak Mountains area, this special interest tour is one of its attractions, as has been carried out by Mr. Hans Mandacan in Kwau Village, Warmare District, Manokwari Regency.


In the 2021 Tanah Papua Expedition report, for example, Kompas tells that Hans Mandacan has succeeded in managing bird watching tours by involving residents in Kampung Kwau. There are residents who work as cooks, porters and tour guides (guide). Hans Mandacan also shared that this ecotourism managed to generate Rp. 350 million in 2019. Hans Mandacan's story is a success lesson that can be replicated.


A more complete story about Hans Mandacan can be read in the link:,dalamnya%2C%20tetapi%20juga%20meningkatkan%20perekonomian%20masyarakat%20di%20kampungnya.



Therefore, the story of the discovery of a smart bird in Udohotma can provide an opportunity to encourage awareness of forest area conservation by involving the wider community. Which can be started by raising awareness together in maintaining the condition of the forest while reducing the production of plastic waste. Shared awareness which of course is integrated with sustainable agricultural practices that have been developed so far.


In other languages, the discovery of smart birds is a momentum to strengthen collaborative efforts in preserving the remaining forest areas and maintaining sustainable livelihood management practices. Apart from indigenous peoples, Bentara Papua, regional governments also need to be encouraged to take on a more affirmative role.

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Rumah Bentara Papua
Jalan Asrama Jayapura, Manggoapi Dalam, Angkasa Mulyono-Amban Manokwari - Papua Barat Indonesia, 98314

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