Indonesian Birds

7 Birds You Might Encounter While Exploring Bukit Lawang’s Jungle

Bukit Lawang is a haven for a wide variety of bird species. From tiny sunbirds and flowerpeckers to majestic eagles and colorful parrots, the diversity of birdlife in this region is simply astounding. Birdwatchers can explore the trails and canopy walkways in the national park, keeping their eyes and ears open for the sight and sound of feathered creatures perched on branches or flying through the treetops. 

The early morning and late afternoon are prime times for birdwatching, as many species are most active during these hours, making for an unforgettable experience in Bukit Lawang. With its breathtaking scenery and incredible biodiversity, Bukit Lawang is a birdwatcher’s paradise. 

Whether you’re a seasoned ornithologist or a nature enthusiast, the chance to observe rare and beautiful birds in their natural habitat is an awe-inspiring experience. Bukit Lawang offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the splendor of the avian world, making it a must-visit destination for bird lovers and nature enthusiasts alike.

7 Unique Bird Species in Bukit Lawang

Bukit Lawang is a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. This dense and lush rainforest is home to a diverse array of bird species, including some rare and endangered ones. Let’s take a closer look at these seven unique birds species that make the jungle of Bukit Lawang their home.

1. Rangkong Badak (Rhinoceros Hornbill, Buceros rhinoceros)

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The Rangkong Badak, also known as the Rhinoceros Hornbill, is a magnificent bird with a striking appearance. Its large size, impressive curved bill, and prominent casque on its head make it one of the most iconic species of the jungle. With its loud calls that echo through the forest, the Rangkong Badak is often seen flying high above the canopy, making it a sight to behold.

2. Tokhtor Sumatera (Sumatran Trogon, Harpactes mackloti)

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The Tokhtor Sumatera, or Sumatran Trogon, is a rare bird species that is found in the rainforests of Sumatra, including Bukit Lawang. It has a stunning appearance, with a combination of bright red, green, and yellow plumage. It is known for its elusive nature, often hiding among the dense foliage of the jungle, and it is a sought-after species for birdwatchers who visit the area.

Also read : Bukit Lawang is an Orangutan Sanctuary In Indonesia

3. Elang Bido (Crested Serpent Eagle, Spilornis cheela)

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The Elang Bido, or Crested Serpent Eagle, is a powerful bird of prey that can be found soaring above the jungle of Bukit Lawang. It has a distinctive appearance, with a crest on its head, a dark plumage, and a piercing gaze. It feeds on snakes, lizards, and other small animals, and is known for its exceptional hunting skills.

4. Sempidan Merah (Red-naped Trogon, Harpactes kasumba)

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The Sempidan Merah, or Red-naped Trogon, is a beautiful bird with vibrant colors. Its deep red belly, emerald green back, and golden eyes make it a true gem of the jungle. Known for its unique call resembling a series of low-pitched hoots, the Sempidan Merah can often be spotted perched on tree branches, scanning the forest for prey.

5. Kerak Kerbau (Great-billed Heron, Ardea sumatrana)

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The Kerak Kerbau, or Great-billed Heron, is a large wading bird that can be found in the rivers and swamps of Bukit Lawang. It has a distinctive long neck, a greyish-black plumage, and a massive bill, which it uses to catch fish and other aquatic prey. It is known for its solitary nature and its patient stalking behavior as it waits for its next meal.

6. Murai Batu (White-rumped Shama, Copsychus malabaricus)

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The Murai Batu, or White-rumped Shama, is a melodious bird with a glossy black plumage and a distinctive white patch on its lower back. It is known for its beautiful song, which has made it a popular bird among birdwatchers. Often seen hopping on the forest floor in search of insects and berries, the Murai Batu adds a musical touch to the jungle of Bukit Lawang.

7. Bangau Storm (Storm’s Stork, Ciconia stormi)

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The Bangau Storm, also known as Storm’s Stork, is a large and impressive bird with a unique appearance. It has a black and white plumage, a distinctive pink bill, and a striking red patch around its eyes. The Bangau Storm is considered a rare and endangered species, with a limited range that includes Sumatra. Spotting this majestic bird soaring above the jungle canopy is truly a sight to behold.

The reasons why Bukit Lawang has a high diversity of birds

Bukit Lawang is known for its diverse wildlife, including a variety of unique birds. While many factors contribute to the abundance of bird species in the area, there are several key reasons why Bukit Lawang stands out as a hotspot for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

One of the primary factors contributing to the high diversity of birds in Bukit Lawang is its location within the Gunung Leuser National Park. This vast park, which spans over 7,927 square kilometers, is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. The park encompasses a range of ecosystems, from lowland rainforests to montane forests, which provide habitats for a diverse range of bird species.

In addition to its rich habitat, Bukit Lawang’s location within the park places it along the banks of the Bohorok River. The river and its surrounding forests provide a crucial habitat for a variety of water birds, including kingfishers, herons, and egrets.

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The conservation efforts of the local community and the Indonesian government have also played a critical role in the preservation of bird species in Bukit Lawang. The national park is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is subject to strict conservation regulations aimed at protecting the park’s biodiversity. Local communities also play a crucial role in conservation efforts, with programs in place to combat poaching and illegal logging, which can threaten the survival of bird species.

Also read : Exploring the Wild Heart of Sumatra with Jungle Trek

The unique flora and fauna of Bukit Lawang have made it a popular destination for ecotourists and birdwatchers from around the world. The ecotourism industry in the village has grown in recent years, with a range of activities on offer, including guided tours, jungle treks, and birdwatching expeditions. This has provided economic benefits for the local community and has helped to raise awareness of the importance of preserving the unique ecosystem of the region.

Bukit Lawang’s unique location, diverse habitat, conservation efforts, and ecotourism industry have all contributed to the high abundance of bird species in the area. The village and the Gunung Leuser National Park are home to a range of unique and endangered bird species, making it an important destination for those interested in birdwatching and conservation.


Exploring the jungle of Bukit Lawang in Sumatra, Indonesia, is a truly remarkable experience for bird lovers. With its pristine rainforest and protected national park, Bukit Lawang offers a haven for a diverse array of bird species, including some that are critically endangered. 

As you venture through the trails and canopy walkways of Gunung Leuser National Park, you might have the chance to encounter some of the seven unique bird species that call this region home. The Rangkong Badak and the Tokhtor Sumatera are just a couple of the endangered birds that make their home in Bukit Lawang, offering a rare and awe-inspiring sight for birdwatchers.

But it’s not just the endangered species that make Bukit Lawang a birdwatcher’s paradise. The sheer diversity of birdlife in this region is astonishing, with tiny sunbirds, colorful parrots, majestic eagles, and many other species gracing the skies and trees. The early morning and late afternoon are prime times for birdwatching, when the jungle comes alive with the sight and sound of these beautiful creatures.

As you immerse yourself in the wonders of Bukit Lawang’s avian world, it’s important to remember the importance of conservation and protecting the fragile ecosystem that these birds call home. Responsible ecotourism practices, such as respecting park regulations and supporting local conservation efforts, can help preserve the natural beauty and biodiversity of Bukit Lawang for future generations of birdwatchers to enjoy.

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Alfath Dewantara (Alde) is a passionate advocate for Bukit Lawang and Indonesian travel. As a manager of Jungle Inn & Restaurant, Alde is dedicated to providing guests with an unforgettable experience.

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