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Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

Yellow-crested Cockatoo Cacatua sulphurea ©Creative Commons

Birding Timor Leste

East Timor, also known as Timor-Leste (officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste) is a country in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecussi-Ambeno, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor. The small country of 15,410 km² (5,400 sq mi) is located about 640 km (400 mi) northwest of Darwin, Australia.

Located in southeast Asia, the island of Timor is part of the Malay archipelago, and is the largest and easternmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands. To the north of the mountainous island are the Ombai Strait, Wetar Strait and the greater Banda Sea, to the south the Timor Sea separates the island from Australia, while to the west lies the Indonesian Province of East Nusa Tenggara. The highest point of East Timor is Mount Ramelau (also known as Mount Tatamailau) at 2,963 meters (9,721 ft).

The local climate is tropical and generally hot and humid, characterised by distinct rainy and dry seasons. The capital, largest city and main port is Dili, and the second-largest city is the eastern town of Baucau.

The easternmost area of Timor-Leste consists of the Paitchau Range and Iralalaro area. This area has been proposed as to be the first conservation area in Timor-Leste as it contains the last remaining Tropical Dry forested area within the country as well as hosts a number of unique plant and animal species and is sparsely populated. The Northern coast is characterized by a number of important coral reef systems that have been determined as being at risk.



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Number of Species

Number of bird species: 278

(As at January 2019)


There are no birds endemic to Timore-Leste. However, according to BirdLife 13 species are endemic to the island of Timor as a whole: Timor Green-pigeon Treron psittaceus, Flame-eared Honeyeater Lichmera flavicans, Timor Friarbird Philemon inornatus, Black-breasted Myzomela Myzomela vulnerata, Streak-breasted Honeyeater Microptilotis reticulatus, Timor Figbird Sphecotheres viridis, Timor Oriole Oriolus melanotis, Buff-banded Bushbird Buettikoferella bivittate, Spot-breasted White-eye Heleia muelleri, Black-banded Flycatcher Ficedula timorensis, White-bellied Bushchat Saxicola gutturalis, Timor Flowerpecker Dicaeum hanieli, Timor Sparrow Lonchura fuscata,


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Useful Reading

Important Bird Areas in Timor-Leste

(Key Sites for Conservation) | by Michael J Crosby | BirdLife International | 2007 | Paperback | 86 pages, tabs, col photos, maps |

ISBN: 9780946888597

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Birds of Timor-Leste

(As Aves de Timor-Leste / Burung-Burung di Timor-Leste) By Colin R Trainor, Brian J Coates & K David Bishop | Dove Publications | 2007 | Paperback | 113 pages, 43 colour plates. colour photos, map |

ISBN: 9780946888580

Buy this book from NHBS.com


Abbreviations Key

NP IBA WII Tasitolu Peace Park


Satellite View

Timor Leste's Peace Park is their first designated National Park and an Important Bird Area [IBA] that accommodates several near-threatened species. . Tasitolu translates as 'three waters' and is a protected area on the coast of East Timor, 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) west of the capital Dili. The Tasitolu wetlands include three saline lakes, an esplanade, and a beach; it has been designated a Wetland of National Significance.

NP Nino Konis Santana


Satellite View

The Nino Konis Santana National Park was East Timor's first national park. It covers 1,236 square kilometres (477 square miles). It links important bird areas such as Lore, Mount Paitchau, Lake Ira Lalaro, and Jaco Island. The park also includes 556 square kilometres (215 square miles) of the Coral Triangle, an underwater area which supposedly contains the world's greatest diversity of both coral and coral reef fish. Some of the rare birds protected by this park are the critically endangered yellow-crested cockatoo, the endemic Timor green-pigeon, the endangered Timor imperial-pigeon, and the vulnerable Timor sparrow.

Trip Reports

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Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2013 [07 July] - Petri Hottola

PDF Report

I did my birdwatching along the north coast road, east of Los Palos (Muapitine, Malahara) and in Ossu (Mundo Perdido). Here are the details of the sites…

2013 [11 November] - James Eaton

PDF Report

…A short stop in the heat of the day at a beautiful roadside pond revealed plenty of breeding and feeding activity – several pairs of Australian Grebes were busy feeding their well-grown young, Dusky Moorhen lurked in the shadows while Green Pygmy Geese (a tarts tick for James!) lounged out on the floating logs with several Pied Cormorants and a single Australian Darter…