Vol 9 No 1
a new beginning
for sungei buloh wetland
young naturalists of sungei buloh
a new take on art
bird ringing in 2001
the journey of
a volunteer guide
shorebird monitoring 2001
the day a hornbill flew over
in sungei buloh wetland reserve
overview | tables
Bird ringing has been conducted in the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve since 1990. In 2001, a total of
1,007 birds from 71 species were ringed.
The ringing field work was conducted regularly at the fresh and brackish
water ponds at the reserve both during the day and night throughout the
course of the year.
summary of the number of birds ringed in 2001 is provided in Table 1. The
most commonly ringed bird species were (numbers in brackets): Javan Munia (124), Common
Redshank (117), Mongolian Plover (95), Pacific Golden Plover (85) and Marsh
Compared to last year's ringing effort, the number of Javan
Munia had increased by 55%. This is attributed to
the replanting of Panicum maximum
whose seeds form the bulk of food for the Munias. A
number of the replanted grasses was in the vicinity
of the netting sites.
Juvenile Tiger Shrike
numbers of Marsh Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Mongolian
Plover, Pacific Golden Plover and Whimbrel ringed
have increased. Generally the recapture numbers for these shorebird species
have also increased over the previous year reflecting the increased ringing
effort. The number of Common Redshanks ringed, however, has decreased
dramatically from 263 to 117 although recapture numbers have remained
steady. Significantly fewer Terek Sandpipers were
also ringed. Ringing and shorebird census efforts over the next few years
may help to establish if this is of concern.
Ruddy Kingfisher, believed to be of the migrant race was netted in Dec.
This is the second consecutive year that the species has occurred in the
reserve since it was first recorded. Other interesting birds ringed were
the Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Forest Wagtail, Grey-tailed Tattler, Pallas'
Warbler, Pintail Snipe, Ruddy Turnstone and Rufous
The mist netting effort has borne fruit with an increase of 134% in the
recapture rate over the previqus year despite
netting fewer individual birds. There were 124 recaptures of birds from 31
species for birds that were ringed before 2001 as compared to 54 recaptures
from 18 species in 2000. As was the case the previous year, the Common
Redshank leads with 21 recaptures, followed by the Brown-throated Sunbird
with 14 recaptures and the Collared Kingfisher with 12 recaptures.
One use for the data obtained from recaptured birds is the enabling of
longevity records and the active survival of bird species to be determined.
These records are provided in Table 2. Of interest, a Marsh Sandpiper ringed
on 31 Oct 90 and recaptured in the reserve on 23 Jan 01, an interval of just
under 123 months, beat the previous record held by a Common Redshank by 2
months. However the record was wrested back by another Common Redshank later
in the year. This individual was ringed in the Park on 30 Oct 01 and
recaptured on 29 Nov 01. The interval Of 133 months (11 years) is believed to
be the longest recorded for the species. The oldest recapture of a
non-migrant was a Collared Kingfisher ringed in Jul 94 and recaptured in Jun
01, an interval of almost 84 months (7 years). This is the same individual
that held the previous record of 73 months (6 years) as was reported in the
bird ringing report for 2000.
One Black-capped Kingfisher exhibited high site fidelity. The individual that
was reported mist netted at the same net after an absence of one season in
the bird ringing report for 2000 returned (in the same net F6 even in the
same section of net) on 10 and 23 Oct 01. It is possible that the reserve
locality is its ultimate wintering site.
A Black Bittern was recaptured at the same wintering area 11 months after it
was ringed at the freshwater ponds. Similarly, a Yellow Bittern was also
recovered 94 months after it was first ringed. This is the first direct
evidence that the reserve is a wintering area for these two species.
Some movements of birds were noted within the reserve. Notably, a Collared Scops Owl that was ringed at the western end of the park
was netted in the Visitor Centre area at the eastern end. Similar movements
were also noted for a Stork-billed Kingfisher.
birds were also known to move throughout the reserve. Evidence of this was
found in the movement of an Ashy Tailorbird ringed at the Visitor Centre
and found two weeks later at the freshwater pond area about 1.5km away.
Other interesting facts
Heaviest Bird Ringed:
A Whimbrel weighing in at 546g.
Lightest Bird Ringed:
A Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker which weighed in at
a minuscule 4g.
were colour-marked with yellow dye and their movements within the reserve and
throughout Singapore were recorded based on ad hoc observations by the
reserve's network of volunteers and friends. Some interesting sightings of colour-marked
shorebirds around Singapore are listed in Table 3.
In summary, bird ringing in 2001 has, for example, continued to reveal
surprises in bird Movement, abundance and survival rates. Data collected are
invaluable for the long term conservation management of the Park.
This article is possible because of the field studies supported by NParks. Thanks to fellow ringers Ramakrishnan,
Linda Goh, Cheryl Chia, Benjamin Lee, Genevie Chua,
Charles Lim, Patricia Phua, Ali lbrahim, Joseph Lai
and Chan Su Hooi for contributing to the ringing work. Many others assisted
with the ringing including staff, volunteers and friends especially, Kunasegaran and Halilah Ahmad. In addition I am grateful
for the voluntary help from Nick Baker, Lua Wai Heng and Zeehan/ Kenneth Kee, R. Subaraj, Richard Ollington and
Alan Owyong gave expert advice and contributed some
sighting and observation records.
McClure, H. E. 1998. Migration and Survival of the Birds of
Asia. White Lotus Co., Ltd, Bangkok.
Medway, Lord & Wells, D.R. 1976. The Birds of the Malay Peninsula, Vol 5. Penerbit Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.
Wells, D. R. 1999. The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Vol
1. Academic Press, San Diego.
Wetlands Vol 8, No. 1, Bird Ringing in Sungei Buloh Nature Park in
2000, Pp 7-10, Publication of SBNP, National Parks Board, Singapore