With a backdrop of the unspoilt West Bali National Park, NusaBay Menjangen is blessed with an abundance of wildlife, most of which you hear, but do not see; birds high in the trees singing their songs, the rustle of lizards and other small reptiles. I love watching the gentle deer who meander through the resort, the black monkeys who hang around in the trees or scamper across the balconies, but my favourite are the beautiful and rare Bali Starlings which NusaBay Menjangan by WHM are helping to preserve.
The Bali Starling
When I think of starlings, a picture of the brown, rather drab, nondescript birds we get in the UK springs to mind. However, the Jalak Bali or Bali Starling which are native to Bali and can only be seen wild in Nusa Penida and the West Bali National Park is stunning.
Noted for its singing voice, and with sleek white plumage tipped with black, blue skin rimming their eyes and a crest of feathers which pops up on their foreheads, the Bali Starling is quite beautiful and a million miles from their less ornate relatives. Sadly though their beauty also means that they are a target for poachers who capture the birds to sell on to rare breed collectors. There are very few Bali Starlings left in the wild, but as many as 1,000 are legally in zoos around the world, and who knows how many are illegally held in private collections.
I must admit I do not normally approve of caged birds and was surprised to see the large enclosures next to the Spa at NusaBay Menjangan. A quick chat with Gede Rudiasa, the Operations Manager of the resort, put my mind at rest and the two pairs are actually part of a breeding programme in conjunction with the National Park.
The pairs arrived in May 2017, and the staff have been fully trained by the National Park, so 2018 will be the first full breeding season.
During the months of January and April, the ‘wet’ season in Bali, the Bali Starlings lay two to four blue/green eggs. The chicks hatch after 13 to 16 days, and only 2 to 4 weeks later they are ready to fly the nest and a new generation is started.
I fully support NusaBay Menjangan in their efforts to replenish the stocks of birds in the wild and look forward to updating you on this year’s successes.
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