a publication of Sungei Buloh Nature Park

Vol 8 No 1
Apr 2001

Breathing organs
in mangroves

Bird watching techniques

A place in space:

Bird ringing
in 2000

Gems of the park: volunteers

Our long

Public talks
at the park

of a nature warden
Bird watching

Birds are enchanting creatures to watch and can be seen in your own backyard, on the way to work or to school. Bird watching can develop into an enjoyable hobby for those who are curious about these feathered neighbours of ours.

Birds are the most easily seen among the wild creatures in our urban city and watching them can be an enjoyable activity that lasts a lifetime. Each bird watching session can be an uplifting experience that takes you away from your ordinary, everyday cares and worries.
by halilah ahmad
education officer

shares some insights
into the art of bird watching

tiger shrike

peaceful dove
It requires no huge investment in optical equipment, just a keen eye for observation and lots of patience. You too can pursue this hobby both indoors and outdoors at your own leisure time. Practising good bird watching techniques can add value and enhance your experiences with these wild creatures.

Just follow these simple steps and an exciting and rewarding hobby awaits you. What you will need to start this hobby:

A pair of binoculars for a magnified view with viewing power described as 8x30, 10x50. The first number indicates the magnification. For example in the 8x30 binoculars, things will look 8 times larger than its normal size. The second number refers to the width of the lens in millimetres. The bigger the lens, the brighter the view. A pair with magnification between 7 to 10 would be adequate for beginners.
In order to see birds,
it is necessary to
become a part
of the silence

Robert Lynd
Irish journalist

A telescope of at least 20x magnification would be useful to identify birds at a distance. Just a word of caution, the more powerful the magnification, the harder it is to spot the bird as the viewing area gets smaller. You will also need to invest in a good tripod or clamp to hold the telescope steady.
Birdwatcher's code
1. Be as quiet as possible.
2. Do not disturb the birds.
3. Leave nesting birds alone.
4. Stay on established trails.

A notebook and a pen or pencil to record your observations. You could include in your notebook some sketches of the birds spotted, their behaviour and the location or habitat in which they were seen.
Best time to see birds:
The best time to watch birds is during dawn to early rnorning and late afternoon to dusk when they are out foraging for food.

A good field guide is essential for proper identification of birds. Choose one that has good colour illustrations, a short description on its habitat and seasonal changes that describe the bird's migratory pattern or residential status during certain seasons.

If you are outdoors, be prepared.

  • Wear comfortable clothes and a pair of good walking shoes.
  • Gear up for weather change. Bring along a hat or cap and an umbrella or a raincoat. Bring along some drinks and a light snack, which will come in handy when you get hungry and thirsty during your walk. A word of caution, be aware of the surrounding wild creatures and do keep your food safely tucked in your bag. It is not wise to display your food or feed the wild animals.
  • Do some research on the place you intend to visit. At Sungei Buloh Nature Park, the walking trails are marked out clearly and there are many signposts to refer to for directions. If you are on a wild trail, it is best to go with a friend and never on your own. We want to be safe and comfortable to enjoy this hobby!

  • And lastly, why not join a group or society and get to know more birds and buddies. The fun never ends.

rusty-breasted cuckoo
Besides, you will never know what awaits you...
© Sungei Buloh Nature Park