Ever wondered what the identity of that bird was? Are you interested in learning more about the garden birds of Singapore? Join us for Garden Bird Watch November 2020 as part of the NParks Community in Nature Biodiversity Watch series to help us gather valuable information about our birds.
Learn more about our common birds through our interactive e-learning module, accessible via Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox browser.
The Garden Bird Watch will be held from 6 November (Fri) to 15 November (Sun) 2020.
Register at go.gov.sg/gbwn2020reg
Registration will close on 1 October 2020 (Thu).
What is Garden Bird Watch?
The Garden Bird Watch is a citizen science initiative led by NParks to get Singaporeans and residents involved in collecting valuable information about birds in our parks, gardens and nature reserves. With the data collected from the various parks around Singapore, we can start piecing together information about where our birds are found and in what numbers! This information will contribute towards better park management and conservation measures.
Garden Bird Watch runs for 10 days in April and November, with training sessions scheduled beforehand in March and October.
e-book: A Review of Garden Bird Watch (2015–2019) (PDF, 6.6MB)
If you would like to sign up for our mailing list please click on this link: go.gov.sg/cinmailinglist
How can I participate?
Registration for the Garden Bird Watch is currently open, and will be closed on 1 October 2020 (Thu). The training sessions will be split into two parts,
Online session and
Practical session/guided walk
New volunteers are required to attend both the online session and practical session to familiarise themselves with the various garden bird species and the survey protocol. Returning volunteers should not attend these sessions due to social distancing measures.
The online session will be held on 10 October 2020, 11am to 1pm or 3pm to 5pm.
The invite link to the online session will be emailed to you nearer to the actual date. You will only need to attend one online session.
The practical sessions will be held on 11, 17 and 18 October 2020, 8:30am to 9:30am or 10am to 11am.
Practical sessions will be held in groups of 5 volunteers to 1 guide, and the location of the session will be in Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Further details of the session will be emailed to you nearer to the actual date. You will only need to attend one practical session.
What happens after I have signed up?
We will email you the details about the training (for beginner or intermediate bird-watchers), or to confirm your sign up (for advanced bird-watchers).
Attend both the online and practical training sessions on your chosen date. The online session is about 2 hours long and the practical session is about 1 hour long. Both sessions will cover basic survey and bird-watching techniques. You will also learn how to identify 34 common birds in Singapore.
One week before the Garden Bird Watch, we will send you information about your designated site and the point locations for your survey.
Head down to your site on any morning (from 7.00am to 9.00am) during the Garden Bird Watch week and do your point counts at the designated points.
Send the recorded information to us via an online submission form (which will be shared at a later date).
If you have any questions, please email us at CIN@NParks.gov.sg with "[GBW N2020]" in the email subject.
Frequently Asked Questions
I don’t have any bird-watching experience. Can I still participate?
Yes! You may once you sign up for our mandatory Beginner Training Sessions. The training sessions are targeted at people who are totally new to our native birds. These sessions are on a registration basis, and details will be shared at a later date. Please do keep in contact via our mailing list: go.gov.sg/cinmailinglist.
Is it compulsory for me to attend the training sessions?
You will be required to attend the training session if you are a beginner volunteer or entirely new to the Garden Bird Watch. The training sessions will also teach you how to do the point counts properly and give relevant instructions for the Bird Watch itself.
If you are a return volunteer, you do not have to attend the training sessions, but if you would like a refresher for the survey protocols and bird identification, please feel free to sign up for the training sessions!
When are the Beginner Training Sessions held?
Our Beginner Training Sessions will be held a month before the Garden Bird Watch survey week. There would be both an online session and a practical session on-site, and each session would take up around half a day on weekends.
Where are the training sessions held at?
For this round of Garden Bird Watch, there would be 2 training sessions to attend, which are an online session and a practical session.
Due to COVID-19: The online session will be held over Zoom on a weekend, with a morning and afternoon time slot. You only need to attend one online session.
The practical session will be held in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, where volunteers will be able to try out techniques taught in the class with the help of a guide. Practical sessions will be held over the weekend after the online session, and it will be kept to a group size of 1 guide to 5 volunteers. You only need to attend one practical session. The dates for training sessions will differ every time, so do check this page for updates!
When is Garden Bird Watch held?
Garden Bird Watch is a biannual citizen science survey that is held in April and November.
What should I expect?
Volunteers will learn to identify 30 common native bird species, 4 migratory bird species, and learn basic survey and bird-watching techniques so that they will be able to independently conduct their survey. Many of our return volunteers say that it’s a lot of fun and easier than expected.
Do I need any special equipment?
The survey was designed to accommodate surveyors without any binoculars or cameras; however, having additional equipment is definitely helpful. If not, all you need is a datasheet and a pen!
What are the common species that you will be covering in the training? Would I still need to attend the training if I can identify them?
The 34 common species are:
| Common Myna
|| Large-billed Crow
|| Yellow-vented Bulbul
| Javan Myna
| Asian Glossy Starling
|Eurasian Tree Sparrow
|Pink-necked Green Pigeon
||Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker
||Oriental Pied Hornbill
| *Amur Paradise Flycatcher
Even if you can identify these species easily, you should join the training session if you are unfamiliar with the point-count technique. Expert bird-watchers who are familiar with the techniques and are confident of conducting the counts independently with minimal instructions can opt out of the training.
4 additional species (indicated by *) will be introduced during the Garden Bird Watch in November (migratory season). If you have attended previous training workshops, and can identify these 30 to 34 bird species, you can also opt out of the training.
I’m an advanced birdwatcher, how can I contribute?
If you are familiar with the techniques and are confident of conducting the counts independently with minimal instructions, you can opt out of the training sessions. You can sign up as per normal on our registration form. The form would have a portion that asks of your birdwatching abilities. When you submit the results to us, you can also indicate bird species that you have surveyed, but are not in the list of 34 bird species, under “Other species sighted”.
Will this Garden Bird Watch be very time consuming?
The training sessions will take approximately two hours for the online session and one hour for the practical session. The Garden Bird Watch survey itself will only take one morning (from 7.00am to 9.00am) during the week of the Garden Bird Watch. If you volunteer to do counts at more than one site, you may be required to spend more than one morning within the stipulated week.
I don’t want to travel so far from my home, can you give me a closer location?
When you sign up for Garden Bird Watch, the registration form will require you to fill up a portion that indicates your preferred location to carry out the survey at. Our team will then assign you to a location that is within your preferred choices.
Alternatively, if you would like to have a location that is further from your home, please either indicate the zone that you would prefer to conduct the survey at, or no preference in the registration form.
My young children are interested to join, how should I do so?
Children below 13 years old are required to register with an accompanying adult and are not allowed to participate without a parent/guardian; you may register for them in a group though training is targeted at an older age group. Children aged 13 and above are allowed to register independently as volunteers.
How will the data I collect help in NParks’ park management and conservation efforts?
The data on the bird species and their distribution collected during the Garden Bird Watch will help establish a baseline from which we can monitor the patterns in bird populations in Singapore. With the Garden Bird Watch held biannually, we can track changes over time and develop management strategies or even enhance these populations.
I would like to arrange a private session for my group or school, how should I do so?
Please contact CIN@NParks.gov.sg with the title “[Enquiry: Garden Bird Watch Collaboration]”.