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Victoria Crowned Pigeon Goura victoria is the world's largest pigeon and a flag-ship species for the conservation of lowland forest in the northern watershed of New Guinea. While hunted out or trapped to near-extinction in many accessible still forested localities, this majestic species usually is still readily seen around our secluded Muaib jungle camp near Jayapura. Copyright © Ashley Banwell

Northern lowlands of New Guinea

Birding hotspot

The vast flat alluvial lowland forests just west of the Cyclops Mountains near Jayapura are an excellent place to secure a great selection of New Guinea's northern lowlands specialties, including the world's largest pigeon, the Victoria Crowned Pigeon Goura victoria, and the little-known Pale-billed Sicklebill Drepanornis bruijnii with its peculiar, remarkably far-carrying advertising calls.

These magnificent forests are part of a currently still relatively untouched, 180,000 sq km tract of continuous swamp, floodplain and dryland lowland rainforests, extending roughly from Nabire in West Papua's Geelvink Bay to the Markham and Watut Rivers on the Huon Peninsula of Papua New Guinea, and forming the northern drainage of New Guinea's central dividing mountains. Much of this area remains essentially unexplored for any purpose, and although bird distribution patterns are only very imperfectly known, many species appear to occupy very circumscribed ranges within seemingly continuous habitat.

Northern lowlands endemic birds (3 species)

Salvadori's Fig Parrot Psittaculirostris salvadorii
Brass's Friarbird Philemon brassi
Rand's Sunbird Cinnyris idenburgi

Restricted-range species (5 species)

Brown Lory Chalcopsitta duivenbodei
Edward's Fig Parrot Psittaculirostris edwardsii
White-bellied Whistler Pachycephala leucogastra
Brown-headed Crow Corvus fuscicapillus
Pale-billed Sicklebill Drepanornis bruijnii

Widespread goodies

Northern Cassowary Casuarius unappendiculatus
Collared Brushturkey Talegalla jobiensis
New Guinea Megapode Megapodius decollatus
Forest Bittern Zonerodius heliosylus
New Guinea Eagle Harpyopsis novaeguineae
New Guinea Flightless Rail Megacrex inepta
New Guinea Bronzewing Henicophaps albifrons
Cinnamon Ground Dove Gallicolumba rufigula
Victoria Crowned Pigeon Goura victoria
Collared Imperial Pigeon Ducula mullerii
Papuan Boobook Ninox theomacha
Papuan Hawk-Owl Uroglaux dimorpha
Marbled Frogmouth Podargus ocellatus
Papuan Frogmouth Podargus papuensis
Papuan Nightjar Eurostopodus papuensis
Barred Owlet-nightjar Aegotheles bennettii
Three-toed Swiftlet Aerodramus papuensis
Papuan Spine-tailed Swift Mearnsia novaeguineae
Hook-billed Kingfisher Melidora macrorrhina
Common Paradise Kingfisher Tanysiptera galatea
Shovel-billed Kookaburra Clytoceyx rex
Blue-black Kingfisher Todiramphus nigrocyaneus
Pesquet’s Parrot Psittrichas fulgidus
Buff-faced Pygmy Parrot Micropsitta pusio
Papuan King Parrot Alisterus chloropterus
Red-bellied Pitta Erythropitta erythrogaster
White-eared Catbird Ailuroedus buccoides
Fawn-breasted Bowerbird Chlamydera cerviniventris
Meyer’s Friarbird Philemon meyeri
Yellow-gaped Honeyeater Meliphaga flavirictus
Papuan Babbler Garritornis isidorei
Blue Jewel-babbler Ptilorrhoa caerulescens
Golden Cuckooshrike Campochaera sloetii
Northern Variable Pitohui Pitohui kirhocephalus
Hooded Monarch Symposiachrus manadensis
Rufous Monarch Monarcha rubiensis
Ochre-collared Monarch Arses insularis
Jobi Manucode Manucodia jobiensis
Magnificent Riflebird Ptiloris magnificus
Magnificent Bird-of-paradise Diphyllodes magnificus
King Bird-of-paradise Cicinnurus regius
Twelve-wired Bird-of-paradise Seleucidis melanoleuca
Lesser Bird-of-paradise Paradisaea minor
Golden Myna Mino anais
Grand Munia Lonchura grandis
Hooded Munia Lonchura spectabilis

Related links

Read on about our short birding break to the northern lowlands of New Guinea.

Read on about our Best of West Papua birding expedition visiting the northern lowlands of New Guinea.

Read on about our other prolonged birding expeditions visiting the northern lowlands of New Guinea.

Browse our check-list of the birds of West Papua.

Recommended itineraries

Northern lowlands specialties

The adult male Twelve-wired Bird-of-paradise Seleucidis melanoleucus could be one of the highlights around our secluded Muaib jungle camp near Jayapura. Copyright © Roland Hilgartner

6 days/5 nights
This birding break carries us to pristine alluvial lowland forests just west of the Cyclops Mountains near Jayapura, home to a rich and colorful lowland forest avifauna that includes a man-sized cassowary, two megapodes, seven dazzling forest kingfishers, a profusion of parrots, the world's largest pigeon, and a whopping six species of bird-of-paradise.

Read more...

    Northern lowlands
    birding facts
  • Harbor three endemic plus five restricted-range birds.
  • Homeland of avian delights as Northern Cassowary, Victoria Crowned Pigeon, Pale-billed Sicklebill, and Magnificent, King, Twelve-wired and Lesser Bird-of-paradise.