Birding in Tangkoko


Tangkoko is a National Park in the north-east of Sulawesi, conveniently located near Manado, that consists of lowland and hill forest boasting with wildlife. The level of biodiversity en endemic species is one of the highest in the world and Tangkoko is simply a must visit if you travel to Indonesia. It’s relatively easy to walk through and you’re practically guaranteed to see Celebes Crested Monkey, Gursky’s Spectral Tarsier, several beautiful endemic Kingfishers and a wealth of other endemic species of birds and other animals and plants.

Key Bird Species

Sulawesi Lilac Kingfisher:  Unique forest Kingfisher, not easy to find, but if done (by our local guides) quite good to approach and often rewarding the clients with perfect views and photos. Male and female often sitting near each other, making it possible to see the subtle differences.

Sulawesi Dwarf-Kingfisher:  Tiny but splashy colored forest kingfisher. It has the size of a Tit, but once in sight the bright orange, purple and blue colors make it a favorite for many bird watchers. 

Green-backed Kingfisher: Endemic large and spectacular forest Kingfisher. Pairs often together resting on horizontal branches in the forest and with a bit of luck giving you perfect views and wonderful pictues.

White-necked Myna: Peculiar endemic Myna with a very long tail and a big white breast-band. In the canopy of the forest and nearly impossible to see if you’re inside the forest. That’s why we go to a special place near the road with views of the forest edge, to scope these birds while they are gathering in dead branches in the early morning or late afternoon.

Knobbed Hornbill: Absolutely spectacular huge Hornbill with black wings, a huge red-and-yellow casqued bill and bright blue throat colors. It’s endemic to the whole of Sulawesi, but Tangkoko is for sure one of the best places to see it. 


Other special bird species are: Philippine Megapode, White-faced Cuckoo-Dove, Black-naped Fruit-Dove, Silver-tipped Imperial-Pigeon, Bay Coucal, Sulawesi Nightjar, Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle, Spot-tailed Goshawk, Sulawesi Scops-Owl, Ochre-bellied Boobook, Sulawesi Hornbill, Great-billed Kingfisher, Ruddy Kingfisher, Purple-winged Roller, Ashy Woodpecker, Ornate Lorikeet, Sulawesi Hanging-Parrot, Pale-Blue Monarch, Sulawesi Babbler and Finch-billed Myna.

More nature

Biodiversity is very high in Tangkoko and birds are only a small part of what you can see. Of course it’s nearly impossible to miss Celebes Crested Macaque or Gursky’s Spectral Tarsier, but you’ve also got a good chance to see the marsupial Sulawesi Bear Cuscus. One of the most beautiful creatures is Blanchard’s Ghost, an enormous butterfly that flies through the forest like a ghost indeed. And if you don’t rush you will find more and more beautiful creatures hidden in the shadows of the deep forest.


Minimum amount of days: 3 (2 nights).

Advised amount of days: 5 (4 nights).

Maximum amount of days: 6 (there is only one real entrance to the forest, so you walk in the same part every day).

Price Tangkoko 5 days 4 nights: US$ 1.000 per person

Needed level of fitness: Average, there is some hiking involved to see the Kingfishers, accommodation is comfortable.


Nearest airport: Manado, connections to all Indonesian cities and Singapore.

Transport: From Manado to Tangkoko 1.5 hours with a private car and during the stay we walk, drive short distances with a private car and use a boat for a mangrove trip.


Tangkoko Hill Cottages:

Cozy lodge with comfortable rooms, located on the edge of the park with a nice jungle garden and nice bird species.

Combinations and extensions:

Good destinations to combine with Tangkoko: Manado, Tomohon, Dumago Bone, Lore Lindu and Waigeo.

Typical itinerary:

Day Activity Remarks
1 Transport Manado to Tangoko, afternoon birding 1.5 hours
2 Birding in National Park
3 Roadside birding in morning, afternoon birding trip by boat in mangroves
4 Birding in National Park
5 Morning roadside birding, transport back to Manado


Bird List

Bird Chance of seeing (%) Remarks
Spotted Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna guttata) <10
Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata) <10
Sunda Teal (Anas gibberifrons) <10
Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo) <10
Philippine Megapode (Megapodius cumingii) >50
Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) <10
Blue-breasted Quail (Synoicus chinensis) <10
Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) <10
Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis) <50
Sultan’s Cuckoo-Dove (Macropygia doreya) >50
White-faced Cuckoo-Dove (Turacoena manadensis) >90
Asian Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica) <50
Stephan’s Dove (Chalcophaps stephani) <50
Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata) <50
Pink-necked Green-Pigeon (Treron vernans) >50
Gray-cheeked Green-Pigeon (Treron griseicauda) >50
Red-eared Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus fischeri) <10
Maroon-chinned Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus epius) <10
Superb Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus superbus) <50
Black-naped Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus melanospilus) >50
White-bellied Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula forsteni) <50
Gray-headed Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula radiata) <10
Green Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula aenea) >90
Elegant Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula concinna) <10
Pied Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula bicolor) >50 Coastal
Silver-tipped Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula luctuosa) >90
Bay Coucal (Centropus celebensis) >50
Lesser Coucal (Centropus bengalensis) >50
Yellow-billed Malkoha (Rhamphococcyx calyorhynchus) <90
Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) <10
Black-billed Koel (Eudynamys melanorhynchus) >50
Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) <50
Plaintive Cuckoo (Cacomantis merulinus) <10
Brush Cuckoo (Cacomantis variolosus) <10
Oriental Cuckoo (Cuculus optatus) <10
Great Eared-Nightjar (Lyncornis macrotis) <50
Sulawesi Nightjar (Caprimulgus celebensis) >50
Savanna Nightjar (Caprimulgus affinis) <10
Purple Needletail (Hirundapus celebensis) <10
Glossy Swiftlet (Collocalia esculenta) >90
Sulawesi Swiftlet (Aerodramus sororum) >50
Uniform Swiftlet (Aerodramus vanikorensis) <50
White-nest Swiftlet (Aerodramus fuciphagus) <10
Pacific Swift (Apus pacificus) <10
House Swift (Apus nipalensis) <10
Asian Palm Swift (Cypsiurus balasiensis) <10
Gray-rumped Treeswift (Hemiprocne longipennis) >50
Blue-faced Rail (Gymnocrex rosenbergii) <10
Buff-banded Rail (Gallirallus philippensis) <50
Barred Rail (Gallirallus torquatus) >50
Isabelline Bush-hen (Amaurornis isabellina) >50
White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) <10
Slaty-legged Crake (Rallina eurizonoides) <10
Pacific Golden-Plover (Pluvialis fulva) <10
Greater Sand-Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii) <10
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) <10
Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) <10
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) <50 seasonal
Gray-tailed Tattler (Tringa brevipes) <50 seasonal
Red-backed Buttonquail (Turnix maculosus) <10
Barred Buttonquail (Turnix suscitator) <10
Parasitic Jaeger (Stercorarius parasiticus) <10
Bridled Tern (Onychoprion anaethetus) <10
Little Tern (Sternula albifrons) <10
Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) <10
White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) <10
Black-naped Tern (Sterna sumatrana) <10
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) <10
Great Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii) <10
Lesser Frigatebird (Fregata ariel) <50
Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor) <10
Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) <10
Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos) <10
Black Bittern (Ixobrychus flavicollis) <10
Great-billed Heron (Ardea sumatrana) <50
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) <50 seasonal
Great Egret (Ardea alba) <10
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) <10
Pacific Reef-Heron (Egretta sacra) >50
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) <50
Striated Heron (Butorides striata) >50
Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) <10
Nankeen Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus) <10
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) <10
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) <50
Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhynchus) <10
Sulawesi Serpent-Eagle (Spilornis rufipectus) <50
Sulawesi Hawk-Eagle (Nisaetus lanceolatus) >50
Rufous-bellied Eagle (Lophotriorchis kienerii) <10
Black Eagle (Ictinaetus malaiensis) <10
Gray-faced Buzzard (Butastur indicus) <10
Spotted Harrier (Circus assimilis) <10
Sulawesi Goshawk (Accipiter griseiceps) <10
Chinese Sparrowhawk (Accipiter soloensis) <50
Spot-tailed Goshawk (Accipiter trinotatus) >50
Vinous-breasted Sparrowhawk (Accipiter rhodogaster) <50
Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) >50
White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) >50
Minahasa Masked-Owl (Tyto inexspectata) <10
Sulawesi Masked-Owl (Tyto rosenbergii) <50
Sulawesi Scops-Owl (Otus manadensis) >50
Northern Boobook (Ninox japonica) <10
Ochre-bellied Boobook (Ninox ochracea) >50
Speckled Boobook (Ninox punctulata) <10
Knobbed Hornbill (Rhyticeros cassidix) >90
Sulawesi Hornbill (Rhabdotorrhinus exarhatus) >50
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) <50
Blue-eared Kingfisher (Alcedo meninting) <10 seasonal
Sulawesi Dwarf-Kingfisher (Ceyx fallax) <50
Sulawesi Lilac Kingfisher (Cittura cyanotis) >90
Great-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis melanorhyncha) >50
Ruddy Kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda) >50
Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus) <50
Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris) >50
Green-backed Kingfisher (Actenoides monachus) >90
Scaly-breasted Kingfisher (Actenoides princeps) <10
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) <10
Purple-winged Roller (Coracias temminckii) >50
Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis) <50
Sulawesi Pygmy Woodpecker (Yungipicus temminckii) <10
Ashy Woodpecker (Mulleripicus fulvus) >50
Spotted Kestrel (Falco moluccensis) <10
Oriental Hobby (Falco severus) <10
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) <10
Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus) <10
Ornate Lorikeet (Saudareos ornatus) <50
Sulawesi Hanging-Parrot (Loriculus stigmatus) >50
Pygmy Hanging-Parrot (Loriculus exilis) <50
Blue-breasted Pitta (Erythropitta erythrogaster) <10
Sulawesi Pitta (Erythropitta celebensis) <50
Hooded Pitta (Pitta sordida) <10
Elegant Pitta (Pitta elegans) <10
Dark-eared Myza (Myza celebensis) <10
Sulawesi Myzomela (Myzomela chloroptera) <10
Golden-bellied Gerygone (Gerygone sulphurea) <10
Pied Cuckooshrike (Coracina bicolor) <50
White-rumped Cuckooshrike (Coracina leucopygia) >50
White-shouldered Triller (Lalage sueurii) <10
White-rumped Triller (Lalage leucopygialis) <50
Sulawesi Cicadabird (Edolisoma morio) <50
Common Cicadabird (Edolisoma tenuirostre) <10
Sulphur-bellied Whistler (Pachycephala sulfuriventer) <10
Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) >90
Ivory-backed Woodswallow (Artamus monachus) <50
White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus) <50
Hair-crested Drongo (Dicrurus hottentottus) >90
Sulawesi Drongo (Dicrurus montanus) <10
Pale-blue Monarch (Hypothymis puella) >50
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) <10
Slender-billed Crow (Corvus enca) >90
Citrine Canary-Flycatcher (Culicicapa helianthea) <10
Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis) <10
Golden-headed Cisticola (Cisticola exilis) <10
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) <50
Pacific Swallow (Hirundo tahitica) >50
Arctic Warbler (Phylloscopus borealis) <10
Black-crowned White-eye (Zosterops atrifrons) <50
Sulawesi Babbler (Pellorneum celebense) >90
Fiery-browed Myna (Enodes erythrophris) <10
Finch-billed Myna (Scissirostrum dubium) >50
Sulawesi Myna (Basilornis celebensis) <50
White-necked Myna (Streptocitta albicollis) >50
Gray-streaked Flycatcher (Muscicapa griseisticta) <50
Sulawesi Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis omissus) <10
Turquoise Flycatcher (Eumyias panayensis) <10
Blue Rock-Thrush (Monticola solitarius) <50
Yellow-sided Flowerpecker (Dicaeum aureolimbatum) >50
Crimson-crowned Flowerpecker (Dicaeum nehrkorni) <10
Gray-sided Flowerpecker (Dicaeum celebicum) >50
Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) <50
Black Sunbird (Leptocoma aspasia) >50
Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) >50
Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) <50
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata) <10
Black-faced Munia (Lonchura molucca) <10
Chestnut Munia (Lonchura atricapilla) <50
Pale-headed Munia (Lonchura pallida) <10
Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) >50
Gray Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) <10
Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla tschutschensis) <10
Pechora Pipit (Anthus gustavi) <10


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