International Day of Biological Diversity 2022: A celebration of birds seen in Singapore

22 May is the International Day for Biological Diversity.

I was inspired to do a video as a preview to some of the common and less common wildlife seen in Singapore in the past couple of years.

Some of the videos were shot during my solo recces, while others were taken during group hikes (thanks to my hiking buddies).

Almost all the shots feature birds, except for one featuring a butterfly, which shows I am biased towards our feathered friends.

The video features:

  • Common kingfisher (uncommon migrant)
  • Hill mynah (forest-dependent indicator species)
  • Asian koel (common resident)
  • Red jungle fowl (endangered)
  • Common Caerulean Butterfly
  • Greater racket-tailed drongo (forest-dependent)
  • Blue-tailed bee-eater
  • Pacific reef heron (uncommon resident, dark morph)
  • Grey heron
  • Intermediate egret

The common kingfisher is actually not so common, compared to the collared kingfisher and white-throated kingfisher in Singapore.

It was spotted in Woodleigh park forest, where it was filmed after catching a fish from a canal that leads to Kallang River flowing through Potong Pasir.

The hill mynah was heard before it was seen near Springleaf nature park and Sembawang Woods, which was being partially cleared for the North-South Corridor viaduct to be built.

This forest-dependent bird is one of the six indicator species, in NParks’ ongoing nationwide ecological profiling survey to study how best to connect existing fragmented forests.

The Asian koel is a modern version of our local “alarm clock” that helps to wake us up from our sleep in the morning, or sometimes from our nap in the afternoon too.

The red jungle fowl is the traditional version of our natural alarm clock, whose crowing reminds us of good old kampong days.

The greater racket-tailed drongo has striking features, such as iridescent dark feathers and a conspicuous fork-like tail.

It is also a forest-dependent bird, and has been spotted in secondary rainforests, like Bukit Brown heritage park and Bukit Batok hillside park area.

The blue-tailed bee-eater was spotted in a vacant land in Jurong industrial estate, which possibly flew over from Jurong Lake Gardens across Ayer Rajah Expressway.

The Pacific reef heron was dressed smartly in sooty grey plumage, matched with its yellow bill, eyes and legs.

It was a pleasant surprise to see this uncommon bird in Jurong River, where few surviving mangrove strands lay forgotten and hidden from public consciousness, after mass destruction of the mangrove and freshwater swamp forests took place in the 1960s-1970s to make way for industrial development.

The grey heron is one of the largest birds in Singapore, found in various waterways and estuaries.

The intermediate egret has a yellow bill and black feet (which differentiates it from the little egret who has a black bill and yellow feet).

To support forest conservation, may I invite you to sign the petitions to conserve at least 30-50% of Tengah forest and the rest of Bukit Batok hillside park area?


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