We are here for the Bali Starlings and other endangered Indonesian birds.
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Hello from the Breeding and Release Site!

Begawan Diary

APRIL Vol.04/2016

Education across the Archipelago
"For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them." - Artistotle
Back in December, Begawan Foundation was approached to be a part of Yayasan Pendidikan Jayawijaya (YPJ) extended studies during their trip to Bali. This month, 150 grade 5 students from YPJ, a National school from Papua, are visiting our centre over 8 visits to participate in our education program. We have been eagerly awaiting their arrival and preparations made to make their visit both educational but also enjoyable. At Begawan Foundation, we believe in ‘Learning by Doing’ as we advocate if the students are involved in the learning process, they will retain the information more readily from their studies and be able to educate others.
First arrival ...
The first arrival of students was on the 11th of April with a group of 17 students and 2 teachers chaperoning. After a brief introduction by our Breeding and Release Manager, Mehd Halaouate, the students were invited to watch a short video made by the Begawan Foundation called “The Bali Starling: The Icon” as well as our segment on Bumi Hijau TV which features our breeding and release centre and raises awareness with young audiences of the reality of the threat of extinction for the Bali Starling. Following these introductory activities, the students were divided into 4 groups and rotated through activity stations organized by each staff member.
Students were taken on a tour of the centre by current volunteers, Amy and Andres, and introduced to our other critically endangered species such as the Mitchell’s lorikeets, and birds of interest such as our ever-entertaining Tatty, the African Grey, who loves to whistle and mimic voices for visitors. Andres encouraged students to assist him changing the birds’ water troughs and spoke about wildlife’s need for clean water sources.
Our veterinarian, Deva, gave students the opportunity to experience our laboratory and compare a human hair to a bird feather under our microscope. Students also looked at the foundation’s incubator, not currently in use, where staff are able to look after and hand raise chicks rejected by their parents. Our Senior Bird Keeper, Ngurah, encouraged students to assist with the Bali Starling food preparation and feeding. Students helped to chop different fruits and then distributed food in our socialization cage. The students enjoyed being hands-on to prepare the food and enjoyeded interacting with Tatty who supervises food preparation. Feeding the birds gave the students a unique opportunity to see the Bali Starlings up close. A few students were a little repelled by the crickets and mealworms and didn’t want to touch them!
Finally Mehd took groups of students around the centre and parts of Green School where our released Bali Starling have been seen building nests. The boys especially loved using the binoculars to try to spot our elusive released birds. Sadly, they were not able to see any of our 6 wild birds flying around - some days they are there, some days they are not. These birds are currently nesting close by as 3 pairs. A few boys were not deterred and enjoyed using the binoculars to watch the Bali Starlings up close in our socialization cage. Our session ended with the students gathering on bamboo mats to write in their extended studies journals to record their experiences to share with their family and friends back home.
Second arrival ...
Our second group of 16 students arrived on the 12th of April and participated in the same group activities. We were much luckier that day as three out of the four small groups were able to see our wild Bali Starlings flying around Green School. One group saw three birds which is a great achievement. Our resident male hornbill was very interactive with the students today, coming down from the trees in the aviary to have a good look at the students. Students took it in turns to prepare the food for the Bali Starlings and again there were a few students who found handling the mealworms and crickets as a little too off-putting. Lucky we had a pair of gloves so they could experience the insects without actually touching them. We again finished our session with students sitting on the bamboo mats to write in their extended studies journals.
This group of students have already visited a Batik workshop and watched a traditional Balinese dance. They still have a packed schedule of trekking through the rice fields and shopping in Ubud market tomorrow.
Third arrival ...
The third group of 16 students with their teachers and tour guide arrived on Wednesday. Fortunately, the third group was also able to see two flying Bali Starlings during the observation time.
We were pleased when members of this group felt encouraged to donate some of their pocket money towards the survival of endangered birds.
We hope the students have taken away the message of the importance of preserving Bali’s unique icon, the Bali Starling. Papua is also home to hundreds of native bird species which are endemic only to Papua. Several of the reasons for extinction that the bird species such as the Bali Starling face, including the booming pet bird trade and loss of habitat, are issues shared by bird species in Papua. We hope to have cultivated a love and appreciation of Indonesia’s native bird species to the students to they can educate and encourage others to protect them.

We eagerly await the students on the remaining visits this month and we hope to give you further updates on their visits through our social media and next month’s newsletter.

- Amy Dunstone -

*Amy originally came to Bali as an Australian Volunteer for International Development (AVID) in May 2013 to assist an Ubud based NGO, Bali (Dog) Adoption and Rehabilitation Centre (BARC), for two and a half years. Last November she transferred to Begawan Foundation to assist with our environment education program. She enjoys going to schools or hosting school visits to the centre. She hopes we can encourage more local students here to become enlightened environmental protection leaders of tomorrow.
Socialisation meetings
Our community outreach work has been successful this month with two presentations conducted at Banjar Tengah and Banjar Sintrig, both in Sibangkaja village, where Begawan Foundation is based.
The foundation’s veterinarian, Deva, gave a presentation to 40 interested members of Banjar Sintrig’s Young Banjar Community members and 19 members of the Young Banjar community at Banjar Tengah. These young leaders become members of their communities at the age of 17 and we hope that engaging with these future leaders of tomorrow will mean positive action for the future of their critically endangered mascot, the Bali Starling.
These community members were given a PowerPoint presentation outlining the history and mission of our foundation and our current release program at Green School complex in Sibang. It is of upmost importance to educate and gain the support of the community of Sibang who we need to play a role in the protection of our wild birds. Four of our current wild birds are nesting very close to local homes, so the more eyes and ears we have looking out for them, the greater these birds’ security. We also invited the Young Banjar members to visit our centre and welcome them to ask us if they need any help or advice about their own pet birds. There are seven Banjars in Sibangkaja,so we hope to complete presentations with the other five very soon.

The socialisation meeting was also held at PT Bamboo Pure, a company who has supported us with bamboo offcuts that were used in our education programme at SDN1 Sibangkaja. A presentation was delivered to give the team at PT Bamboo Pure a better understanding of our work and activities protecting the Bali Starling, and the importance of preserving this bird in the wild.
Ensuring the safety of a highly endangered species is not an easy task but we look forward to more banjars, community and companies assisting in this task.

All photos courtesy of Begawan Foundation


F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R
F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M
D R O P an E M A I L
R E A D the S T O R Y
W A T C H on Y O U T U B E


Contribute some of your time to us and the Bali Starlings. We have opportunities open for you! Stop by at our Sibang site or drop us an email.


Donate Rp 150.000 and you will receive a limited edition Bali Starling T-shirt for your child.

Click here for further details.


You can assist us by a donation, no matter how small, that will help us in our task to breed healthy, happy indigenous birds here in Bali.


Look out for our next newsletter in May, we will feature a close look at the birds species for sale in bird markets.
Gaining a better understanding of the foundation's activities by watching a short video of Begawan Foundation and Bali Starlings.
Comparing a human hair to a bird feather under microscope supervised by Deva, the foundation's veterinarian.
The second group of 16 students from YPJ Papua national school.
Calling the young banjar together with the kul-kul to start the meeting.
This is the Eclectus parrot chick we have been waiting to meet for some time now.
A surprise visit by students from SDN 2 Sibangkaja
Our Breeding and Release Manager, Mehd Halaouate, welcomed Gavin Harrison, Senior Aviculturist from Waddesdon Manor Aviary, to the Sibang site.
Andres Bickel, our new volunteer from Switzerland who loves birds, is in charge of monitoring and documenting the released Bali Starlings at Sibang and surrounds.

Sibang Breeding and Release Centre

Green School Complex, Banjar Saren, Desa Sibangkaja,
Abiansemal, Badung Bali Indonesia 80352
Copyright © 2016 Begawan Foundation, All rights reserved.

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