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Bird Photography in Singapore

Striated Heron in Singapore

Bird photography is popular throughout Singapore with local residents. Additionally, many people travel from around the world to visit Singapore with hope of seeing and photographing some of the rarer and endemic birds of the region.

Singapore has an impressive number of birds that are either residents, or migrate there at particular times of year. This makes it all the more important to carefully plan the timing of your Singapore bird photography adventure: some species just can’t be found there all year round.

Striated Heron in Singapore

Striated Heron

In total there’s a little over 400 birds on the overall Singapore bird list.

Some are very rare, while the more common species like Javan Mynah, Asian Glossy Starling, Pine-necked Green Pigeon and the Black-naped Oriole provide spectacular viewing for people who have never seen or photographed these species before.

At the much more rare and elusive end of the scale are the stunning Black-naped Monarch, the mystical Barred Eagle-Owl and the interesting Yellow-vented Flowerpecker.

If you’re wanting to visit Singapore for bird and wildlife photography and have some specific species in mind that you really want to find; then the Singapore Bird Group is a good place to start. Their website contains monthly sightings, as well as regular blog updates about what’s being seen and where. Of course, if time is limited or you don’t feel confident in tracking certain birds down yourself, hiring an experienced birding guide is the way to go.

For such a small country, Singapore has an impressive number of parks and nature reserves.

These are however relatively small in size.

Like almost everywhere else, habitat loss and degradation has been and still continues to be a major problem. Sadly, the majority of Singapore’s wondrous natural environment has been destroyed, and much of it in the past 30 years.

In short, Singapore does not have a positive past environmental record overall.

“Singapore has lost 90 percent of its forest, 67 per cent of its birds, about 40 per cent of its mammals and 5 per cent of its amphibians and reptiles. Of the original mangroves, less than 5% is left. 39% of all native coastal plants are extinct”.
Source: Biodiversity.sg

On the positive side, the alarm of such destruction led to increased efforts to “green” up the urban and city areas, and to increase the number of gardens and natural areas overall: all of these locations are of course potential habitat for birds and provide bird photographers with many choices of places to visit.

Besides small parks and gardens, there are 5 official Nature Reserves in Singapore ranging from only 10 hectares in size, to one over 3000 hectares. For bird enthusiasts, these places are where you are likely to want to spend much of your time.

Besides birds, Singapore’s nature reserves are home to an impressive array of other wildlife as well and you’re not likely to want to overlook them while scoping out birds.

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