Indonesia: Sulawesi and Halmahera, 08-26 August 2022

Published by Catherine McFadden (mcfadden AT hmc.edu)

Participants: Cathy McFadden, Paul Clarke

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After an enjoyable birding trip to the Philippines in 2019 we had decided to continue south into Indonesia and had scheduled a trip to Sulawesi and Halmahera to take place in August 2020. In the spring of 2020 the world shut down in the face of the covid-19 pandemic and Indonesia closed its borders to international travel. Having already paid a sizable, non-refundable deposit to Sultan Birding Tours Indonesia, we decided to postpone rather than cancel the trip. When Indonesia reopened to tourism two years later, Sultan immediately contacted us to ask if we could reschedule for August 2022, which we were happy to finally be able to do. Indonesia is a country that boasts a bird list of approximately 1400 species, about 600 of which are endemic to the archipelago, with more species being described every year as the genetic and vocal distinctions among populations on the many different islands become better known. Having birded the largest islands of Borneo and New Guinea previously, we opted to visit Sulawesi and Halmahera. These two smaller islands straddle Wallace’s line, the biogeographic transition zone between the predominately Asian fauna of Borneo and western Indonesia and the Australasian fauna of New Guinea. Both Sulawesi and Halmahera support large numbers of endemic species, and despite their proximity to one another have almost entirely non-overlapping avifaunas.

As in other countries in this part of the world, lax environmental laws and a huge human population are putting extreme pressure on the natural environment, making Indonesia a destination worth visiting sooner rather than later. Although both Sulawesi and Halmahera have some large national parks and protected areas, they are protected on paper only. There is little enforcement to prevent illegal logging, mining and hunting in the parks (we saw evidence of all of these activities), little investment in staff, and no maintenance of infrastructure. At several of the parks we visited, beautiful old buildings have been left to fall into disrepair as former research facilities have been abandoned. On Halmahera, the Weda Resort, formerly one of the most popular and productive birding sites, has recently closed for good following destruction of the surrounding forest by a Chinese-owned nickel mine. Our guides shared their fears that other sites we visited may suffer the same fate in the near future.

The logistics of birding Sulawesi and Halmahera are not particularly easy, requiring numerous internal flights to move from one birding area to another. Moreover, with the exception of Tangkoko NP in North Sulawesi, most of the birding sites do not have accommodations close by. As a result it is necessary to drive an hour or more to reach most sites, daily commutes that require many very early morning starts in order to begin birding by sunrise. It would be very difficult to bird these islands without local assistance, and we were happy with our decision to travel with Sultan Birding (https://www.sultan-birding.com/), a small Manado-based company that specializes in birding tours to North Sulawesi and West Papua. They organized a 19-day private tour that included visiting Halmahera, several sites in North Sulawesi, Lore Lindu NP in Central Sulawesi and finished up in Makassar, South Sulawesi. This itinerary offered chances to see almost all of the birds endemic to Halmahera and Sulawesi with the exception of a few very localized species (e.g., Moluccan Scrubfowl, Lompobattang Flycatcher) that each require an additional day we didn’t have time to squeeze in. Our accommodations ranged from luxury hotels with all the amenities in the larger cities to very basic guesthouses in the smaller villages (usually without hot water or internet). The fluidity of domestic flight schedules was the most significant logistical challenge, but Sultan kept an eye on that and notified us promptly each time one of our flights was canceled and rescheduled (the airlines themselves do not always extend that same courtesy to passengers…). Nonetheless, we ended up losing several half-days of birding to last-minute flight changes.

The pandemic added some additional challenges to finding all of the endemic species we hoped to see. We were among the first birding groups to visit either island following the re-opening of Indonesia’s borders to tourism. During the two years of the pandemic, known territories and roosts for some species had changed, and new locations had not yet been discovered. This was particularly a problem at the remote Lore Lindu NP. Our local guides had only visited the park twice post-pandemic and not since May, so when species could not be found at the usual pre-pandemic locations they had few alternative sites to fall back upon. As visitation rates increase once more, reliable new sites will undoubtedly be found for some of the species we were disappointed to miss.

One final challenge to birding in this part of the world is the taxonomy, which is in a state of considerable flux. There have been many recent splits of species, not all of them accepted yet by all authorities. Moreover, one of the most recently published field guides (Eaton et al.’s 2016 Birds of the Indonesian Archipelago) has also introduced many new common names in an apparent attempt to standardize the English names of genera. Each of the three sources we relied on most for identification and record-keeping (eBird, Eaton et al., and Arlott’s 2018 illustrated checklist Birds of the Greater Sundas, the Philippines, and Wallacea) offered three different common names and sometimes completely different species concepts for some birds. As just one example, the Halmahera population of the geographically widespread Spectacled Monarch (Symposiachrus trivirgatus) is split as Wallacean Monarch (S. trivirgatus) by Eaton and as Moluccan Monarch (S. bimaculatus) by Arlott, while eBird retains the broader species concept and the name Spectacled Monarch. To add to the confusion, Eaton uses the name Moluccan Monarch for a different species, the Moluccan Flycatcher (Myiagra galeata). All of these alternative names and concepts often made communication with local guides difficult as we each used different names for the same bird. Throughout this report we use the common names and taxonomy currently used by eBird, with occasional reference to alternative names that are in widespread use.

Daily diary:

08 August: Ternate
We had arrived into Jakarta at around midnight on a flight from Los Angeles via Tokyo. The covid-19 vaccine documents that we had submitted to Indonesia’s mandatory PeduliLidungi contact-tracing app a week in advance had not yet been (and would never be) approved, but after reassuring an official that we had received all possible boosters we were waved through to clear immigration and customs. The skytrain that connects the widely spaced terminals of Soekarna-Hatta airport had shut down for the night, but a 10-minute taxi ride got us to the domestic terminal in plenty of time for our 2:30 a.m. connection to Ternate. After flying two time zones back to the east, we arrived into Ternate at about 8 a.m. Sultan’s Halmahera-based guide, Illham, was there to meet us and take us to our hotel, where we breakfasted and then crashed for a few hours of much-needed sleep. Illham picked us up in the late afternoon for some local birding. The nearby lake we would normally have visited was closed following a fatal crocodile attack earlier in the week, so we went instead to Kastela Beach. A pair of Beach Kingfishers was easy to find there, and we also picked up the only Blue-capped Fruit-Dove of the trip.

09 August: Ternate to Subaim (Halmahera)
A private water taxi took about 45 minutes to get us across the strait to the town of Sofifi on Halmahera where we were met by a car and driver and set off on the 3-hr trip to the village of Subaim. A couple of brief stops for birding along the way got us a Common Paradise-Kingfisher, as well as two common Halmahera endemics, Rufous-bellied Triller and Halmahera Cuckooshrike. We arrived at the simple guesthouse in Subaim in time for a late lunch and a short nap and then headed out for some late afternoon birding along the road from Subaim to Buli. Most of our time in Halmahera was spent along this road, particularly the area around the pass over Uni-Uni Mountain. Apart from a quick stop in the lowlands to photograph a pair of Blue-and-white Kingfishers perched on powerlines, the rest of this afternoon and early evening was spent at the pass. Parrots and pigeons comprised most of the late afternoon activity here, and we ticked Scarlet-breasted and Gray-headed Fruit-Doves, White Cockatoo, Chattering Lory and Red-cheeked Parrots. Other conspicuous birds included Blyth’s Hornbill, Long-billed Crow and Paradise-Crow, but there was little roadside activity of smaller species. A Halmahera Boobook that called at dusk couldn’t be enticed out to play, but on our way back down the road towards Subaim we found a pair of Moluccan Scops-Owls willing to give us good views.

10 August: Foli (Halmahera)
Today was the first of many very early starts we would have throughout the trip. A 3:00 a.m. departure from Subaim got us to the village of Foli by 4:30 a.m. Here, the village headman has preserved land to protect a Standardwing Bird-of-Paradise lek site, and a viewing platform has been built to facilitate photographing the displaying birds. To get to the lek site from the village required transferring to a 4x4 for an E-ticket ride up an extremely muddy track whose condition had not been improved by heavy rain that had fallen throughout the night. But we got there, stopping about a hundred meters short of the trail to the lek to try for Halmahera Boobook while it was still dark. A bird responded, but teased us for quite some time, shuttling back and forth between several well-spaced trees before finally staying put for long enough to give us a brief look. We then proceeded to the lek site which required negotiating a very steep and muddy path with the crucial aid of stout walking sticks that were thoughtfully provided. When we reached the viewing platform at dawn we could hear BoPs calling from the surrounding forest, but the lek has apparently moved away from the trees directly in front of the platform (the platform also hadn’t weathered the pandemic well and none of us dared test it with our full weight!). From the adjacent path only one male Standardwing Bird-of-Paradise was visible, and he displayed for only about 5 minutes before disappearing. We continued to hear others calling nearby but eventually they, too, fell silent and we hiked back up to a hot breakfast prepared for us in a trailside shelter.

The night’s heavy rain had apparently put a damper on early morning activity, and Illham remarked that he was not hearing a number of species that should have been calling. But activity began to pick up a bit as the sun broke through after breakfast, and we spent the morning walking an overgrown logging track along the forest edge. A large, bare tree held a mixed flock that included Halmahera Golden-Bulbul, Cream-throated White-eye, Moluccan Hanging-Parrot, and more Rufous-bellied Trillers. During the morning we also picked up Cinnamon-bellied Imperial-Pigeon, Goliath Coucal, Violet-necked Lory, the Halmahera race of Spectacled Monarch (split by some authorities as Wallacean or Moluccan Monarch), and Halmahera Oriole. We drove back to Subaim for lunch and then repeated yesterday’s routine, driving to the pass over Uni-Uni Mountain for late afternoon and evening birding. This time we scored great views of a Sombre Kingfisher on the way up and Moluccan Owlet-Nightjar on the way back down, but once again activity at the pass itself was a bit slow and consisted mostly of pigeons and parrots. Today we added Sultan’s and Great Cuckoo-Doves, and a fly-by Spectacled Imperial-Pigeon. A foray off the road and into the forest got us an Ivory-breasted Pitta.

11 August: Subaim to Ternate
Had we not seen the Moluccan Owlet-Nightjar last evening it would have been another very early morning start, but we’d been lucky so could sleep in a bit and have breakfast before leaving the guesthouse. We arrived back at Uni-Uni at 6:30 a.m., hoping for more activity than we’d seen so far in the late afternoons. This was our final day on Halmahera, and we still had a wish-list of more than 15 island endemics we hoped to see. The morning brought us a half-dozen of those—White-streaked Friarbird, Halmahera Flowerpecker, Moluccan Flycatcher, Black-chinned Whistler, Moluccan Goshawk, and an elusive Moluccan King-Parrot—but activity died down with a dozen species still to go. Our most desired targets were Azure Roller, North Moluccan Pitta, North Moluccan Dwarf-Kingfisher and Great-billed Parrot, and Illham had possible sites for all of those at or on the way to Sidangoli. So we left to drive in that direction, stopping for lunch along the way. Upon reaching Sidangoli, he enlisted the assistance of another local guide who knew that area well. But vigils in a sweltering hide that had been newly constructed for viewing pittas, along a creek where the kingfisher occurs, and at overlooks where parrots and rollers might be seen all proved fruitless. At dusk we finally left Sidangoli for the water taxi journey back to Ternate, with a Common Cicadabird the only new species to show for the afternoon.

12 August: Ternate to Tangkoko NP (North Sulawesi)
Upon arriving back to Ternate and an internet connection last evening, we’d learned that our 8 a.m. flight to Manado had been canceled and we’d been rescheduled on a flight that was not leaving Ternate until 2:15 p.m. We’d lose half a day’s birding at Tangkoko as a result, but gained the opportunity to sleep in, have a late and leisurely breakfast at the hotel, and kick back for a few hours before diving into the birds of Sulawesi. Our flight arrived into Manado at about 3 p.m., and Monal—Sultan Birding’s owner and lead guide—was there to meet us along with two Tangkoko-based guides, Anes and Jamie. We hit the road for the 1.5 hr drive to Tangkoko but stopped a few km short of that destination for some late afternoon birding along the road overlooking the park. New birds came quickly here, with White-bellied Imperial-Pigeon, White-rumped Triller, and the only Sulawesi Mynas of the trip seen in the first few minutes. As we headed down the road towards Tangkoko at sunset, we passed a group of photographers on the roadside and somewhat belatedly realized they had their cameras pointed at a large white bird. We quickly jumped out of the van and ran back up the road to join them in photographing an immature Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle that was perched conspicuously in a distant, bare tree. From there we proceeded to a nearby palm plantation to wait for dusk. When a Sulawesi Scops-Owl began to call it did not take long to pin it down in the light. A calling Sulawesi Nightjar was, however, well hidden in dense shrubbery, and we quickly gave up looking for it in favor of finishing our journey to the Tangkoko Hill Cottages, where dinner was waiting for us.

13 August: Tangkoko NP
The proximity of the national park to our lodgings meant we didn’t have to get up particularly early (relatively speaking) to be on the trail by 5:30 a.m. Our first target for the morning was Knobbed Hornbill, and we set off in the dark to hike the 2 km to a nest site. By the time we reached the nest tree the sun had risen and we’d already had good looks at Sulawesi Babbler, Green-backed Kingfisher, and a pair of Ochre-bellied Boobooks flushed from a day roost. The male hornbill had apparently been visiting the nest hole every hour or so to feed the female who was imprisoned inside, so we settled in to wait for the next feeding. But Anes and Jamie wandered off to scout for other species in the forest, and Anes was soon calling that he had a Sulawesi Dwarf-Kingfisher perched nearby. We followed him to this extremely cooperative bird and were busy photographing it when we heard the male hornbill arrive at the nest tree. We ran back to the viewing point, but only managed to catch the last 10 seconds of his visit. So we sat back down to wait another hour for the next feeding, determined not to be distracted by anything else until we had seen it. Finally satisfied, we spent most of the rest of the day searching the forest for other target species, with a break to eat a hot picnic lunch (delivered by motorbike) and relax for an hour on one of Tangkoko’s black sand beaches. The day’s highlights included good views of a pair of Rusty-backed Thrushes feeding on the forest floor, an extremely confiding Lilac-cheeked Kingfisher, a pair of Ashy Woodpeckers, a group of Tabon Scrubfowl, and two Spectral Tarsiers sunbathing at the entrance to their hole. In the late afternoon we left the forest for the more open area around the park campground, where we found Tangkoko’s other marquee mammals—Black Macaque and Bear Cuscus—as well as Purple-winged Roller and both Green and Silver-tipped Imperial-Pigeons. We finished the evening exploring the area around the park entrance and nearby horticulture facility, where a group of six Isabelline Bush-hens came out into the open at sunset, and both Sulawesi and Great Eared Nightjars were feeding at dusk.

14 August: Tangkoko NP
This morning instead of going into the forest we drove back out to the stretch of road we’d birded on our first afternoon at Tangkoko. Here there are good views over the forest, and we spent our time watching the treetops from several different vantage points. In the course of the morning we managed to get good scope views of Gray-cheeked Green-Pigeons along with more Silver-tipped and Green Imperial-Pigeons; both White-necked and Finch-billed Mynas; fly-by Sulawesi Hanging-Parrots; another Purple-winged Roller and more White-rumped Trillers; and along the roadsides picked up Black-crowned White-eyes and Gray-sided Flowerpecker. After lunch back at the lodge we took a boat trip along the coast and went a short distance up a very shallow river in the mangroves. Our primary target was Great-billed Kingfisher which came easily. Bonus birds included an assortment of shorebirds and herons, a pair of White-bellied Sea-Eagles, Pied Imperial-Pigeons, and large numbers of Lesser Frigatebirds hanging over the water. Following an early dinner we went back over to the park entrance to try for Minahassa Masked-Owl but came away empty-handed.

15 August: Tangkoko NP to Gunung Mahawu (Tomohon)
We packed up and left the guesthouse after breakfast, but before leaving Tangkoko spent another few hours at one of the overlooks where we had been yesterday. Despite intermittent showers we succeeded in finding the morning’s target species—Sulawesi (Dwarf) Hornbill and White-faced Cuckoo-Dove—both of which we had either missed or gotten unsatisfactory views of yesterday. A large group of Knobbed Hornbills we’d seen here previously had grown in number and at one point we counted 46 adorning the branches of several distant trees like Christmas ornaments. Parrots were also more cooperative today, with a nice fly-by of Golden-mantled Racquet-tails and a long scope view of Azure-rumped Parrots. A Gray-headed Imperial Pigeon was a nice surprise. With the return of rain showers in the late morning we hit the road for the drive to Tomohon. Before reaching the town we turned off on the road to Gunung Mahawu and stopped at one of the first patches of forest on the way up to this mountain park. We were greeted by a mixed flock that included Sulphur-bellied Whistler, Citrine Canary-Flycatcher and a young Sulawesi Blue-Flycatcher, keeping us occupied for the 10 minutes it took Anes to locate a Scaly-breasted Kingfisher. Despite this species’ reputation for skittishness, the bird sat quietly for almost an hour as we slowly worked our way closer and closer, photographing it from every possible angle. Celebrations in order, we drove on to Tomohon and had lunch at a Pizza Hut before checking in to the Grand Master, a luxury hotel nestled beneath the cone of a volcano on the outskirts of the city. In the late afternoon we returned to Gunung Mahawu and drove up to the park’s main entrance, but a light, steady rain had descended for the day and the forest was very still. Three Red Junglefowl hens surprised us in the parking lot, but those and a wet Sulawesi Serpent-Eagle perched along the road were the only birds we saw all afternoon.

16 August: Gunung Mahawu to Kotamobagu
We were back in the Gunung Mahawu parking lot by 6 a.m. and were glad to find somewhat drier conditions and more activity than yesterday. A mixed flock of Warbling White-eyes, Yellow-sided Flowerpeckers, Turquoise Flycatcher and Sulawesi Myzomela as well as a pair of Sulawesi Blue-Flycatchers kept us occupied briefly. After a short break for a picnic breakfast we hiked to the summit of Gunung Mahawu for the views into the caldera of this volcano that last erupted in 1985. The same trio of Red Junglefowl hens preceded us up the trail, and a flock of Warbling White-eyes gathering nesting material around the observation platform entertained us for a while. Eventually we hiked back down and walked the road, turning off into the forest at a point above where we’d seen yesterday’s kingfisher. Here we spent much of the morning searching for Sulawesi Pitta, ultimately unsuccessfully. During breaks in the search we picked up a trio of Yellow-billed Malkohas (common at most sites we visited), a brief glimpse of a Bay Coucal, both the dark-eyed Sulawesi Drongo and the local white-eyed form of Hair-crested Drongo, and a Sulawesi Bush Warbler sneaking along the banks of a small stream. The long drive to Kotamobagu occupied most of the afternoon, broken only by a short stop at some rice fields whose ponds held Javan Pond-Herons, flocks of Pied Stilt and Wood Sandpiper, and a Buff-banded Rail.

17 August: Bogani Nani Wartabone NP, Ongkag Dumoga Maleo Sanctuary
We left Kotamobagu at 4 a.m. for the hour-long drive to the Maleo sanctuary, where we needed to be in the viewing hide before daybreak. The raised hide overlooks a sandy area along the banks of a river fed by geothermal hotsprings, where Maleo come to lay their eggs. A pair arrived shortly after sunrise to begin digging a nest hole in the warm sand. They were soon joined by additional birds, with as many as six pairs present throughout the morning. Some pairs hung idly around the edges of the nesting area while others industriously dug deep pits in the sand, and fights occasionally broke out as pairs jockeyed for the best sites. As thrilling as it was to see these unique birds in action, after 5 hrs in the hide we found ourselves in need of breakfast and a rest break. To avoid disturbing the birds, however, protocol dictates that watchers must stay in the hide until all of the birds have left—which they showed no signs of doing today. We finally had little choice but to sneak quietly out of the hide and back to the visitor’s center, which we apparently succeeded in doing without disrupting the egg-laying—they were still at it two hours after we had left! Eventually the birds were scared off by some village dogs (the primary predators on Maleo eggs), and we returned to the nest site with the man who runs the sanctuary’s assisted breeding program. After every nesting session (dawn and dusk on most days) he digs up whatever eggs have been laid and transfers them to a predator-free incubator facility (basically just a small cinderblock shed with a sand floor). After 90 days the chicks hatch and dig their way out of the sand, fully independent and ready to embark on life in the wild. We accompanied him on his rounds as he collected today’s eggs, transferred them to the incubator, and released two newly hatched chicks, one of whom popped out of the sand as we watched. This simple conservation program has been quite effective at increasing the population of Maleo in the area to sustainable numbers.

We drove to a nearby village for lunch and then returned to the Maleo sanctuary for the afternoon, hoping to find pigeons, parrots and perhaps a pitta on the premises. It was, however, hot and sunny and the adjacent forest was very quiet. Eventually we moved to the road above the sanctuary where we salvaged the afternoon with good views of a Black-naped Fruit-Dove and an elusive Sulawesi Brush Cuckoo.

18 August: Bogani Nani Wartabone NP, Toraut Forest
We had another full day to go at Bogani Nani Wartabone, scheduled as insurance in case we hadn’t seen any Maleo yesterday. The other North Sulawesi endemics we still needed and might expect to find here were Maroon-chinned Fruit-Dove and Pied Cuckooshrike, neither of which had performed as hoped yesterday. Today they were our primary targets at Toraut, a forest fragment on the edge of the vast and mostly inaccessible national park. We started the morning along a road adjacent to the park HQ where we could scope the forest edge over the encroaching cornfields. White-rumped Trillers and Sulawesi Cicadabirds distracted us, but eventually we tracked down and managed to get the scope on several very active Pied Cuckooshrikes. Next, we crossed the river on a simple bamboo raft and entered the forest. Pale-blue Monarch was a welcome addition to our list here, as were the closest looks we’d had so far at Sulawesi Hanging-Parrot and Sulawesi Hornbill. Rain interrupted our search for Fruit-Doves and we retreated back across the river to eat our picnic lunch under the shelter of the (largely abandoned) forestry research buildings. After lunch our guides wandered around the buildings in search of Speckled Boobooks that formerly roosted here, but unfortunately could not find any. The weather had cleared while we ate, so we went back down through the cornfields to the river’s edge to continue the search for Maroon-chinned Fruit-Doves. We hadn’t been there long when it began to rain again, and as the rain got progressively heavier we decided maybe we should head back to shelter. By the time we reached the park office the rain was coming down torrentially. We waited it out for about an hour but when the rain showed no signs of letting up we called play for the day and drove back to Kotamobagu, thereby forfeiting any opportunity to look for Speckled Boobooks at dusk.

19 August: Gunung Ambang to Manado
We were out of the hotel by 5 a.m. and on our way to the Gunung Ambang Forest Reserve, another fragment of montane forest not far from Kotamobagu. We drove the van as far in as we could and ate a picnic breakfast as the sun rose over the surrounding fields of onions, potatoes and other crops. To reach the still-forested slopes of the mountain reserve first requires a trek of about 1.5 miles through cultivated fields inhabited by Spotted Doves, Sooty-headed Bulbuls, Collared Kingfishers, and flocks of Black-crowned White-eyes. As we approached the forest edge we started to run across some different species including Fiery-browed Mynas, Golden-bellied Gerygone, and a pair of Sulawesi Pygmy-Woodpeckers squabbling over whose turn it was to work on a nest hole. After entering the dense forest we climbed for another mile or so before stopping to look for Matinan Flycatcher, a very localized endemic that can be found only at this site. After a few invitations one responded to tape and came close, but our attempts to see it were interrupted first by a Dark-eared Myza that crashed the party, and then by the discovery of a Sombre Pigeon sitting quietly above the trail. This was an exciting find—not only is this species difficult to see, but this was the first time Monal and the local ranger who accompanied us had ever seen it at this location. Amid the excitement we did eventually manage to get some good views of the Matinan Flycatcher before heading back down to lower elevations. Unfortunately, we were unable to find Purple-bearded Bee-eater, a species that used to breed along the trail but apparently has not been seen here since before the pandemic. On the way down we did hit a mixed flock that held Sulawesi Fantail, Sulphur-bellied Whistler and several Sulawesi Leaf Warblers. A Spotted Kestrel in a field not far from where the van was parked completed the day’s take. North Sulawesi leg over, we spent the afternoon driving back to Manado.

20 August: Manado to Lore Lindu NP (Central Sulawesi)
We were supposed to fly directly from Manado to Palu in Central Sulawesi, but last week had learned that that flight, too, had been canceled. We would now have to fly to Makassar in South Sulawesi to catch a flight back north to Palu, and the connection required a 6-hour layover in Makassar. Another half-day’s birding lost to flight changes. We said goodbye to Monal and the N. Sulawesi team in Manado, and upon our arrival in Palu were met by Sultan’s Makassar-based guide, Meriba, and Harrison, a local Palu-based guide. It was 4 p.m. by the time we made it out of the airport, but a 30-minute drive got us to the Olobogu River in time for some late afternoon birding. Meriba referred to this as the “Rainbow site” for the mixed flock of Blue-tailed and Rainbow Bee-eaters that was present. Savannah Nightjars were common here, and we flushed several from the grassy riverbanks before they took to the air of their own accord at sunset. We were also pleased to find Lemon-bellied White-eyes and a Little Bronze Cuckoo. As dusk fell, we hit the road for Lore Lindu, a bit dismayed to learn that it could take another 4-5 hrs to get there over roads that in places are in very poor condition. Fortunately, the drive did not take much longer than 3 hrs, and we made it to Mama Sendi’s guesthouse in Wuasa by about 9 p.m. Over a late dinner Meriba broke the news we had feared—we would climb the Anaso Track the next day, which would mean leaving Wuasa in about 4 hrs. We hurried off to unpack and organize our gear while still hoping to get a few hours of sleep.

21 August: Lore Lindu NP
A 2:30 a.m. departure from Wuasa got us to the Anaso Track by 3:30 a.m., and we started up this infamous trail by headlamp. Although not as steep as we had imagined from our advance reading, the climb is nonetheless relentless for the first mile or so, finally leveling off a bit above 2000 m elevation. Our destination was a spot at 2300 m (about 3 miles in) where we paused and waited for daybreak. Once we could put the headlamps away, we began to walk very slowly back down the trail, watching for any movements on the track ahead of us. We had not gone very far when out onto the trail hopped the hoped-for Geomalia, immediately followed by two others! This little group worked its way down the trail ahead of us for a few minutes before disappearing back into the surrounding forest. Elated to have seen not just one but three of these enigmatic thrushes, we continued down to the open meadow referred to as Helipad 2 to look for our next target. It did not take Harrison long to locate a pair of Diabolical Nightjars snuggling together in a hollow on a rocky slope. One of this pair flushed when we got close, but a bit further down the trail we located a second pair that sat tight and didn’t appear to mind having their photos taken. Two key target species seen, we slowly worked our way down to lower elevations where we hoped to find the third, Purple-bearded Bee-eater. Along the way we picked up Mountain Tailorbird, Pygmy Cuckooshrike, Maroon-backed Whistler, and another Sombre Pigeon. But we found no evidence of Purple-bearded Bee-eaters at the site where we were told they have usually nested, and eventually gave up looking and hiked down to the road for a rendezvous with our picnic lunch.

After lunch we checked a couple of other spots along the road for bee-eaters, but came up empty at those, too. Deciding it was worth checking the Anaso Track again for late afternoon activity, we hiked the grueling mile back up to the bee-eater site and spent another hour there. Still no sign of that species. We did, however, encounter a small flock of Streak-headed White-eyes, and scored a pair of Cerulean Cuckooshrikes and a Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker along the trail. Back down at the road we waited for dusk and then called in a responsive Cinnabar Boobook. Although the bird came quite close we waited too long to try to put a light on it, and it slipped away unseen. Disappointed, we returned to Mama Sendi’s for another late dinner, now facing the prospect of another very early morning.

22 August: Lore Lindu NP
We were back at the Cinnabar Owl site by not long after 4 a.m., but there was now no sign of last evening’s owl. We drove up the road a short distance to a place where Sulawesi Thrushes had been rumored to come out onto the edges of the road to feed at dawn, offering the best chance of seeing this elusive species. Unfortunately, the thrushes didn’t stick to the plan today, so at about 6 a.m. we moved on to have our picnic breakfast and check the grounds at nearby Lake Tambling. New species here included Yellow-cheeked Lorikeets, Blue-fronted Flycatcher and Superb Fruit-Dove, as well as very welcome upgraded views of White-bellied Imperial-Pigeon. Working the nearby roadsides in hopes of finding Malia or Hylocitrea instead got us another Maroon-backed Whistler and a Sulawesi Goshawk perched quietly at the forest’s edge.

We returned to Mama Sendi’s for lunch and then drove south through small villages and cultivated land to an area of extensive rice fields. We made a stop along the way at another site for Purple-bearded Bee-eater, but once again found no sign of that species amid ample evidence of a recent disturbance to their territory (removal of large trees). The rice fields hosted huge flocks of Chestnut (mostly) and Scaly-breasted Munias, as well as wetland species such as Glossy Ibis, Wood Sandpiper, Purple Heron and Dusky Moorhen. As the sun set, both Sulawesi Masked-Owls and Australasian Grass-Owls began flying low over the fields. As the twilight deepened, they were joined by numerous Great Eared Nightjars.

23 August: Lore Lindu to Palu
We had regretfully concluded that our best chance of finding several key species we were still missing—namely Hylocitrea and Great Shortwing—was to make yet another early-morning trek back up the Anaso Track. So once more we left Mama Sendi’s at 3 a.m. (this time for the last time), and were on the trail by shortly after 4 a.m. A Cinnabar Owl called nearby but didn’t accept our invitation to come closer. Today we only hiked as far as Helipad 2 before stopping to wait for the dawn chorus and for any signs that our target species might be nearby. We spent the morning slowly working our way back down the trail. Highlights included a photogenic Red-eared Fruit-Dove, some acceptable views (finally!) of the wily and hyperactive Malia, and a very confiding Accipiter that we eventually concluded was most likely a Small Sparrowhawk. One pair of Diabolical Nightjars was still in the same place where they’d been two days ago. Although we weren’t hopeful by this stage, we nonetheless felt obliged to spend more time at the site for Purple-bearded Bee-eater but were not surprised when the outcome was no different than on our previous visits. And we made it to the bottom of the trail without finding either Hylocitrea or Great Shortwing. A bit disappointed, we left Lore Lindu for the long drive back to Palu, stopping to eat a picnic lunch at an improvised roadside rest stop along the way. Another late afternoon visit to the Olobogu River turned up lots of Pale-headed Munias—a species we had not expected to see until Makassar—as well as our first Black-faced Munias, a species we had been surprised not to have seen before now. With an hour still to go through rush-hour traffic, we tore ourselves away from this productive site in order to arrive at the Swiss-Belhotel in Palu by 6 p.m. This luxury hotel sits right on the waterfront, surrounded by the ruins of other hotels and apartment buildings that were destroyed by a tsunami in 2018. As we ate dinner on a pleasant patio that hangs a few feet over the water, it was hard to imagine how the Swiss-Belhotel had escaped that same fate!

24 August: Palu to Rammang Rammang (South Sulawesi)
Our morning flight from Palu to Makassar was the only one of our many flight legs that had not been canceled or rescheduled at some point during the preceding months! Meriba accompanied us to Makassar, where we were met by a new driver and transported to our hotel. Our original itinerary had had us staying at a large luxury hotel in Makassar, but at some point Monal had casually mentioned that he hoped we didn’t mind that he’d rebooked us to stay at a different hotel that was closer to the airport and birding areas. No problem. So we were pleasantly surprised to be driven to a remote village, where we pulled up to a dock and were loaded into an outrigger canoe for a short trip up a river. Disembarking, we discovered we were at the Rammang Rammang Ecolodge, which consists of about six simple cabins and an open-air restaurant perched on stilts over a fishpond. Rammang Rammang is an area of small villages set among spectacular karst formations on the outskirts of Makassar, and the lodge is sandwiched between the river and rice fields that abut the forested and mostly very steep limestone slopes. After a pleasant lunch we met up with a local guide and walked through those rice fields and into the adjacent forest. We got some better looks at Black-faced Munias and Sulawesi Serpent-Eagle here, and also met the local troop of Moor Macaques. We then took a 15-minute boat ride down the river through mangrove forest and palm nut plantations to the picturesque little village of Berua. Here a boardwalk encircles a large area of rice fields and fishponds, with trails leading to caves in the surrounding forest. We had very nice views of White-rumped Cuckooshrikes here, a species we had seen only very distantly at Tangkoko. A number of Black Kites were circling over one of the karst outcrops. At dusk we discovered why, as thousands of bats streamed out of caves in the cliff face, some of them right into the talons of the waiting kites.

We had learned from the locals that a Speckled Boobook was often active on the hillside across the river from the lodge, and after dinner went down to the dock to look for it. Sure enough, one responded consistently to tape, but we were unable to locate it among the dense trees on the far shore. Sulawesi Masked-Owls were also calling from the nearby rice fields.

25 August: Karaenta Forest
We left the lodge before sunrise, on foot this time rather than by boat, following a narrow path downstream to the road where our driver was waiting to take us to the Karaenta Forest. We arrived there at about 6 a.m. for a rendezvous with a local ranger. He led us a short distance into the forest and in less than 10 minutes had located a Black-headed Kingfisher, the local race of Green-backed Kingfisher that has been split by some authorities. Next on the morning’s agenda was a continuation of our search for a Sulawesi Pitta. In the course of the morning we tried three different territories with no luck, taking a break at one point to quickly pull in a couple of the locally endemic Black-ringed White-eyes. We were so focused on looking for pittas that we didn’t react quickly enough when some Piping Crows landed in the canopy overhead and missed getting the bins on them. Unfortunately, we failed to refind them over the course of the morning. We returned to Rammang Rammang for lunch and in the afternoon drove to an area of extensive fishponds along the coast. In addition to a number of different shorebirds and herons here, we also picked up White-shouldered Triller, Clamorous Reed Warblers and a colony of Streaked Weavers. After dinner we tried once more for the Speckled Boobook. Tonight there was no response, although in the morning Meriba reported that he’d heard it calling at about 3 a.m.

26 August: Makassar to Jakarta
Our flight from Makassar to Jakarta had been rescheduled twice since we made the reservation, predictably in a direction that would cost rather than gain us time birding. As a result, we had very little time for some final birding this morning, and just revisited the adjacent rice fields and forest for about 2 hrs before breakfast. We were still holding out hope for a Sulawesi Pitta but came up empty on that front once again. Barred Buttonquail was new for the tour—a pair with a chick in tow—and additional sightings of Black-ringed White-eyes, Ashy Woodpecker and White-rumped Cuckooshrike were very welcome. By 9 a.m. we were on our way to the airport and a noon flight to Jakarta where we spent the night in an airport hotel before catching a very early morning flight to Tokyo and then home to Los Angeles.

In the course of our trip we tallied 191 species—148 on Sulawesi and 52 on Halmahera, with only 9 species seen on both islands. Of these, 104 were Indonesian endemics. We also recorded four species that were heard only. We had great success with some species, especially kingfishers, Sombre Pigeon and Geomalia, but Hylocitrea and Purple-bearded Bee-eater were painful misses. In retrospect, we could have used an additional day or two on Halmahera to catch up with the dozen or so endemic species we missed in the 2-1/2 days we had on that island. And we could probably have spent less time at Bogani Nani Wartabone NP in North Sulawesi; although our experience there with Maleo was fantastic, it was not an overly productive site for other species. An additional day at Lore Lindu NP would also have been welcome, although I’m not sure how many additional treks up the Anaso Track we would have survived! Many thanks to Monal and all of the Sultan guides and drivers for an enjoyable and productive trip!
Sultan Birding Tours

Species Lists

Complete species list (taxonomy and common names follow eBird)
(asterisk = Indonesian endemics)

DB: Bogani Nani Wartabone (aka Dumoga-Bone) NP
FO: Foli (Halmahera)
GA: Gunung Ambang
GM: Gunung Mahawu
KA: Kaerenta Forest
LL: Lore Lindu NP
OL: Olobogu River (Palu)
RR: Rammang Rammang
TK: Tangkoko NP
UN: Halmahera, Uni-Uni Mountain

*Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo) DB (12)
Tabon Scrubfowl (Megapodius cumingii) TK (4)
Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) GM (3), RR (1)
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) seen in towns and some agricultural areas
Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) GA (4), OL (1)
*Sultan's Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia doreya) UN (1), TK (5), GM (1), DB (1), GA (5), LL (2)
Great Cuckoo-Dove (Reinwardtoena reinwardti) UN (3)
*White-faced Cuckoo-Dove (Turacoena manadensis) TK (2)
Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata) TK (1), OL (14)
*Gray-cheeked Green-Pigeon (Treron griseicauda) TK (7), DB (12), OL (5), RR (1)
*Red-eared Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus fischeri) GA (1), LL (3)
*Scarlet-breasted Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus bernsteinii) UN (1)
Superb Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) LL (4)
*Blue-capped Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus monacha) Ternate (1)
*Gray-headed Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus hyogastrus) UN (5), FO (4)
Black-naped Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus melanospilus) DB (3)
*White-bellied Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula forsteni) TK (1), LL (2)
*Gray-headed Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula radiata) TK (1)
Green Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula aenea) TK (7)
*Spectacled Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula perspicillata) UN (1)
*Cinnamon-bellied Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula basilica) FO (5)
Pied Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula bicolor) FO (3), TK (15)
*Silver-tipped Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula luctuosa) TK (33)
*Sombre Pigeon (Cryptophaps poecilorrhoa) GA (1), LL (1)
*Black-billed Koel (Eudynamis melanorhynchus) heard often but not seen
*Bay Coucal (Centropus celebensis) GM (1), heard often
*Goliath Coucal (Centropus goliath) FO (1)
Lesser Coucal (Centropus bengalensis) a few seen along roadsides and in rice fields
*Yellow-billed Malkoha (Rhamphococcyx calyorhynchus) TK (6), GM (3), OL (1), RR (7), KA (1)
Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) TK (2)
Little Bronze-Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx minutillus) OL (1)
Brush Cuckoo (Cacomantis variolosus) DB (1), LL (1)
*Diabolical Nightjar (Eurostopodus diabolicus) LL (4)
Great Eared-Nightjar (Lyncornis macrotis) TK (2), rice fields near Wuasa (5)
Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus) UN (1) heard only
*Sulawesi Nightjar (Caprimulgus celebensis) TK (1)
Savanna Nightjar (Caprimulgus affinis) OL (11)
*Moluccan Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles crinifrons) UN (1)
Glossy Swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta) common everywhere
Uniform Swiftlet (Aerodramus vanikorensis) common on Sulawesi
House Swift (Apus nipalensis) LL (3)
Gray-rumped Treeswift (Hemiprocne longipennis) TK (23), DB (3), LL (9)
Moustached Treeswift (Hemiprocne mystacea) near Sofifi (4)
Buff-banded Rail (Gallirallus philippensis) rice fields outside Kotamobagu (1)
Barred Rail (Gallirallus torquatus) rice fields outside Tondano (1); heard frequently elsewhere
Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa) rice fields near Wuasa (2)
*Isabelline Bush-hen (Amaurornis isabellina) TK (7)
Pied Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus) rice fields near Wuasa (20); RR fishponds (15)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) RR fishponds (2)
Long-toed Stint (Calidris subminuta) RR fishponds (17)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) TK (3), RR fishponds (1)
Gray-tailed Tattler (Tringa brevipes) TK (1)
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) rice fields outside Kotamobagu (25), Wuasa (25), RR fishponds (3)
Barred Buttonquail (Turnix suscitator) RR (3)
Little Tern (Sternula albifrons) RR fishponds (5)
Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida) RR fishponds (1)
Black-naped Tern (Sterna sumatrana) TK (10)
Lesser Frigatebird (Fregata ariel) TK (40)
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) rice fields outside Kotamobagu (1), Wuasa (2), RR fishponds (2)
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) RR (5)
Pacific Reef-Heron (Egretta sacra) TK (20)
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) common in rice fields and fish ponds
Javan Pond-Heron (Ardeola speciosa) common in rice fields and fish ponds
Striated Heron (Butorides striata) TK (1), RR (7)
Nankeen Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus) rice fields near Wuasa (2)
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) rice fields near Wuasa (60), RR fishponds (40)
*Sulawesi Serpent-Eagle (Spilornis rufipectus) GM (1), LL (4), RR (1)
*Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle (Nisaetus lanceolatus) TK (1)
Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malaiensis) DB (1)
*Sulawesi Goshawk (Accipiter griseiceps) LL (1)
*Moluccan Goshawk (Accipiter henicogrammus) UN (1)
*Small Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nanus) LL (1)
Black Kite (Milvus migrans) DB (6), RR (19)
Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) UN (5), TK (2), DB (1)
White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) TK (2)
*Sulawesi Masked-Owl (Tyto rosenbergii) LL (2)
Australasian Grass-Owl (Tyto longimembris) LL (2)
*Moluccan Scops-Owl (Otus magicus) UN (3)
*Sulawesi Scops-Owl (Otus manadensis) TK (1)
*Ochre-bellied Boobook (Ninox ochracea) TK (2)
*Cinnabar Boobook (Ninox ios) LL (2), heard only
*Halmahera Boobook (Ninox hypogramma) FO (1)
*Speckled Boobook (Ninox punctulata) RR (1), heard only
*Knobbed Hornbill (Rhyticeros cassidix) TK (48), DB (6)
Blyth's Hornbill (Rhyticeros plicatus) UN (10), FO (6)
*Sulawesi Hornbill (Rhabdotorrhinus exarhatus) TK (6), DB (1), KA (1)
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) RR (1)
*Sulawesi Dwarf-Kingfisher (Ceyx fallax) TK (1)
*Lilac-cheeked Kingfisher (Cittura cyanotis) TK (1)
*Great-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis melanorhyncha) TK (1)
*Blue-and-white Kingfisher (Todiramphus diops) UN (2)
Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus) TK (1), RR (1)
Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris) TK (1), DB (1), GA (5), OL (2), RR (6)
*Beach Kingfisher (Todiramphus saurophagus) Ternate (2)
*Sombre Kingfisher (Todiramphus funebris) UN (1)
*Green-backed Kingfisher (Actenoides monachus) TK (1), DB (1)
*Black-headed Kingfisher (Actenoides monachus capucinus) KA (1)
*Scaly-breasted Kingfisher (Actenoides princeps) GM (1)
Common Paradise-Kingfisher (Tanysiptera galatea) outside Sofifi (1)
Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus) OL (19)
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) FO (1), Sidangoli (15), OL (13), RR (5)
*Purple-winged Roller (Coracias temminckii) TK (3)
*Sulawesi Pygmy Woodpecker (Yungipicus temminckii) GA (3), LL (2)
*Ashy Woodpecker (Mulleripicus fulvus) TK (2), RR (1)
*Spotted Kestrel (Falco moluccensis) GA (1), OL (3)
*White Cockatoo (Cacatua alba) UN (6), FO (4)
*Moluccan King-Parrot (Alisterus amboinensis) UN (1)
*Golden-mantled Racquet-tail (Prioniturus platurus) TK (2)
Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus) near Sofifi (1)
Red-cheeked Parrot (Geoffroyus geoffroyi) UN (8), FO (4)
Azure-rumped Parrot (Tanygnathus sumatranus) TK (2)
*Chattering Lory (Lorius garrulus) UN (8)
*Yellow-cheeked Lorikeet (Saudareos meyeri) LL (10)
*Violet-necked Lory (Eos squamata) FO (10)
*Sulawesi Hanging-Parrot (Loriculus stigmatus) TK (3), DB (4), OL (8), RR (4), KA (2)
*Moluccan Hanging-Parrot (Loriculus amabilis) FO (1)
*Ivory-breasted Pitta (Pitta maxima) UN (1)
*Dark-eared Myza (Myza celebensis) GA (1), LL (6)
*Sulawesi Myzomela (Myzomela chloroptera) GM (1), LL (2)
*White-streaked Friarbird (Melitograis gilolensis) UN (2)
Golden-bellied Gerygone (Gerygone sulphurea) GA (1), LL (1)
*Pied Cuckooshrike (Coracina bicolor) DB (3)
*Cerulean Cuckooshrike (Coracina temminckii) LL (4)
*White-rumped Cuckooshrike (Coracina leucopygia) TK (2), RR (3)
*White-shouldered Triller (Lalage sueurii) RR (2)
*White-rumped Triller (Lalage leucopygialis) TK (3), DB (3)
*Rufous-bellied Triller (Lalage aurea) near Sofifi (3), FO (4)
*Pygmy Cuckooshrike (Celebesia abbotti) LL (3)
*Halmahera Cuckooshrike (Celebesia parvula) near Sofifi (1), UN (3), FO (2)
*Sulawesi Cicadabird (Edolisoma morio) DB (2), LL (1)
Common Cicadabird (Edolisoma tenuirostre) near Sidangoli (1)
*Maroon-backed Whistler (Coracornis raveni) LL (2)
*Black-chinned Whistler (Pachycephala mentalis) UN (1)
*Sulphur-bellied Whistler (Pachycephala sulfuriventer) GM (3), GA (1), LL (12)
*Halmahera Oriole (Oriolus phaeochromus) FO (2)
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) TK (5), DB (4), LL (1), RR (2)
White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus) TK (7), GA (1), OL (3), LL (1), RR (2)
Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) Ternate (4), near Sidangoli (3)
*Sulawesi Fantail (Rhipidura teysmanni) GA (1), LL (9)
Hair-crested Drongo (Dicrurus hottentottus) TK (4), GM (1), DB (4), RR (3), KA (1)
*Sulawesi Drongo (Dicrurus montanus) GM (1), LL (1)
Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus) UN (4), FO (1), near Sidangoli (1)
*Paradise-crow (Lycocorax pyrrhopterus) UN (5)
*Standardwing Bird-of-Paradise (Semioptera wallacii) FO (1)
*Pale-blue Monarch (Hypothymis puella) DB (2), LL (1), KA (1)
Spectacled Monarch (Symposiachrus trivirgatus) UN (1), FO (2)
*Moluccan Flycatcher (Myiagra galeata) UN (1)
Shining Flycatcher (Myiagra alecto) FO (1)
Slender-billed Crow (Corvus enca) TK (15), DB (1)
*Long-billed Crow (Corvus validus) UN (12)
Citrine Canary-Flycatcher (Culicicapa helianthea) GM (2), LL (3)
Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis) rice fields near Wuasa (1)
Clamorous Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus stentoreus) RR (5)
*Sulawesi Bush Warbler (Locustella castanea) GM (1)
*Malia (Malia grata) LL (3)
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) rice fields near Wuasa (5)
Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica) common, most locations on Sulawesi
Sooty-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus aurigaster) TK (7), GA (10), OL (8), LL (2), RR (11)
Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) Ternate (2), OL (5), RR fishponds (3)
*Halmahera Golden-Bulbul (Alophoixus chloris) UN (3), FO (1), Sidangoli (2)
*Sulawesi Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus sarasinorum) GA (3), LL (10)
Mountain Tailorbird (Phyllergates cucullatus) LL (3)
*Streak-headed White-eye (Heleia squamiceps) LL (7)
Warbling White-eye (Zosterops japonicus) GM (7)
Lemon-bellied White-eye (Zosterops chloris) OL (15), RR fishponds (2)
*Black-crowned White-eye (Zosterops atrifrons) TK (8), DB (2), GA (25), LL (1)
*Black-ringed White-eye (Zosterops anomalus) KA (2), RR (3)
*Cream-throated White-eye (Zosterops atriceps) FO (1)
*Sulawesi Babbler (Pellorneum celebense) TK (1), GM (3), DB (1), GA (1)
*Fiery-browed Myna (Enodes erythrophris) GA (3), LL (19)
*Finch-billed Myna (Scissirostrum dubium) TK (45)
Metallic Starling (Aplonis metallica) Ternate (1), near Sidangoli (12)
Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis) LL (1)
*Sulawesi Myna (Basilornis celebensis) TK (2)
*White-necked Myna (Streptocitta albicollis) TK (7), DB (4)
*Geomalia (Zoothera heinrichi) LL (3)
*Rusty-backed Thrush (Geokichla erythronota) TK (2), KA (1)
*Matinan Flycatcher (Cyornis sanfordi) GA (1)
*Blue-fronted Flycatcher (Cyornis hoevelli) LL (2)
*Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis omissus) GM (3)
Turquoise Flycatcher (Eumyias panayensis) GM (3), LL (5)
Snowy-browed Flycatcher (Ficedula hyperythra) LL (2)
Little Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula westermanni) LL (1)
Pied Bushchat (Saxicola caprata) rice fields near Wuasa (1)
*Yellow-sided Flowerpecker (Dicaeum aureolimbatum) GM (5), DB (2), OL (1), LL (1), KA (1), RR (2)
*Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker (Dicaeum nehrkorni) LL (2)
*Halmahera Flowerpecker (Dicaeum schistaceiceps) UN (1)
*Gray-sided Flowerpecker (Dicaeum celebicum) TK (3), DB (3), OL (3), RR (3)
Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) DB (1), ricefields near Kotamabagu (1)
Black Sunbird (Leptocoma aspasia) UN (5), FO (5), near Sidangoli (3), OL (2), RR (3)
Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) common on both Halmahera and Sulawesi
Streaked Weaver (Ploceus manyar) RR (20)
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata) TK (25), ricefields near Wuasa (100)
*Black-faced Munia (Lonchura molucca) OL (10), RR (20)
Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla) common in rice fields and open areas
*Pale-headed Munia (Lonchura pallida) OL (21)
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) Ternate (8), TK (2), DB (1), RR (25)