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NParks Garden Bird Watch

Do you love to bird-watch, or have you always wanted to learn how? Join us for Garden Bird Watch April 2019 (Migratory Season), 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 13 (Sat) to 21 (Sun) April 2019.

Registration for this round has closed. Join us for the next round of Garden Bird Watch!



What is the Garden Bird Watch all about?

The Garden Bird Watch is a citizen science initiative to get Singaporeans involved in collecting valuable information about the birds in our parks, gardens and reserves.

The Garden Bird Watch will be done using the point-count technique, which is a method that is commonly used by researchers to survey birds. It is a simple process. All you have to do is stay in the same spot for a short period of time and record the different birds that you see around you.

With the data collected from many survey points 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.


How can I participate?

Registration for the Garden Bird Watch is now open, and will run from 13 to 21 April 2019. The training sessions (beginner or intermediate bird-watchers) will be held on 9 March (Sat) and 16 March (Sat) 2019 at 9am. You will only need to attend one session. 

If you volunteer for the Garden bird watch, we will contact you with instructions about your designated survey site. If you are a beginner or intermediate bird-watcher, you can also sign up for a training workshop that will teach you all about bird-watching before you embark on your survey.

Community and school groups of more than 25 people may contact us at to schedule a private training session.


What happens after I have signed up?

  1. 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).
  2. Attend the training on your chosen date.  Each training session is about three hours long and covers basic survey and bird-watching techniques. You will also learn how to identify 34 common birds in Singapore. The session will include a hands-on session at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
  3. One week before the Garden Bird Watch, we will send you information about your designated site and the point locations for your survey.
  4. 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.
  5. Send the recorded information to us via an online submission form (will be shared at a later date)! 


If you have any questions, please email us at with “Garden Bird Watch April 2019” in the email subject.


Results from April 2018 NParks Garden Bird Watch



Frequently Asked Questions

1.       I don’t have any bird-watching experience. Can I still participate?

Yes! We will provide training at our workshops, which will cover basic survey and bird-watching techniques, well as the identification of 34 common birds in Singapore. This will enable you to carry out the basic point-counts at community parks. With practice, you will be able to identify more species and become a true-blue bird-watcher!


2.       Do I need any special equipment?

The survey was designed to accommodate surveyors without any binoculars or telescopes. All you need is a datasheet and a pen!


3.       Is it compulsory for me to attend the training workshops?

You will be required to attend the trainings to familiarise yourself with the common species if you have limited experience with bird-watching. Even if you are an experienced bird-watcher, you are also welcome to join us. The trainings will also teach you how to do the point counts properly and instructions for the Bird Watch itself. 


4.       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 koel

White-breasted waterhen

Asian glossy starling

Scarlet-backed flowerpecker

Common iora

Oriental white-eye

Collared kingfisher

Jungle fowl

Eurasian tree sparrow

White-throated kingfisher

Common tailorbird

Rock pigeon

Olive-backed sunbird

Magpie robin

Spotted dove

Brown-throated sunbird

Blue-tailed bee-eater

Zebra dove

Black-naped oriole

Blue-throated bee-eater

Pick-necked green pigeon

Sunda pygmy woodpecker

Oriental pied hornbill

House crow

Common flameback

Scaly-breasted munia

*Amur paradise flycatcher *Brown shrike *Tiger shrike
*Daurian starling  

Even if you can identify these species easily, you should join us 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.


5.       When and where are training sessions?

The training sessions for beginners and intermediate bird-watchers will be held on the 9 March (Sat) and 16 March (Sat) 2019 at 9am. You will only need to attend one session. Training is not required for experienced volunteers and birders.  All training sessions will be held in the Singapore Botanic Gardens and will include a short field session in the Gardens to try out the techniques taught in the class.


6.       Will this Garden Bird Watch be very time consuming?

The training will take approximately three hours and 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.


7.       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 to sustain or even enhance these populations.


8.       Can my school/community group participate in this event together?

Yes! If you have more than 25 participants in your group, we can hold a private training session at a location convenient for you. We will try to assign everyone to a single site so that the survey can be done as a group. However, as there is a limited number of large sites, we cannot guarantee this. Please contact us at for more information.

Last updated on 25 April 2019

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