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NParks Heron Watch

Do you enjoy bird watching? Would you like to learn about our herons, egrets, bitterns and contribute to a citizen science study? Join us for the Heron Watch, as part of the NParks Community in Nature Biodiversity Watch series, to help us to learn more about these charismatic birds!

Heron Watch will take place between 16 July (Sat) and 24 July (Sun) 2022.

Anyone aged 12 and above can sign up and volunteer with us. Registration has CLOSED. 

Learn more about our herons, egrets and bitterns through our interactive e-learning module, accessible via Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox on desktops or laptops.


What is the Heron Watch all about?

Heron Watch is a citizen science initiative by NParks to get Singaporeans involved in collecting valuable information about the herons, egrets and bitterns across Singapore.

With the data collected from many survey transects across various areas in Singapore, we can start piecing together information about where these birds are found and in what numbers! This information will contribute towards better park management and conservation measures.

Results from July 2020 Heron Watch



Results from past Heron Watch surveys

 Migratory Non-migratory 
 Jan 2020   
 Jan 2019  Jul 2019 
 Jan 2018 Jul 2018

How can I participate?

Anyone aged 12 and above can sign up and volunteer with us.

A training workshop on bird identification and survey techniques will be organised for beginners. You will be assigned a survey site closer to the date of the survey.

What happens after I have signed up?

  1. We will email you the details to confirm your sign up.
  2. You may view theory training video and/or attend a practical training if you wish to have a refresher. The theory training session is about 2 hours long and the practical session is about 1 hour long. Both sessions cover basic survey and bird-watching techniques. You will also learn how to identify the 19 species for Heron Watch. 
  3. Few days before the Heron Watch, we will send you information about your designated site and transect locations for your survey.
  4. Head down to your site on any morning (from 7am to 10am) or afternoon (from 3pm to 6pm) during the survey period and conduct the surveys at your designated transects.
  5. Send the results of your survey to through the SGBioAtlas app (preferred option).
    • Download SGBioAtlas from Play Store or App Store
    • You will be prompted to sign up for an account in order to contribute sightings to our database.
    • Join Heron Watch – July 2022 survey under Surveys --> Public Surveys
    • Choose your survey location and submit the results
    • For any issues with the app, please email,
  6. Otherwise, you may complete the survey form ONLINE to help us log in your data or Send us a scanned copy of your datasheet to with the email subject “HW2022”. 


If you have any questions, please email us at with “Heron Watch Jul 2022" in the email subject.


Frequently Asked Questions

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

Yes! You may still participate by signing up for the mandatory 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 with registered volunteers.


2.       Do I need any special equipment?

The survey was designed to accommodate surveyors without any binoculars. All you need is a datasheet and a pen, or a smart-phone with the SGBioAtlas app.


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

You will be required to attend the training session if you are a beginner volunteer or entirely new to Heron Watch. The training sessions will also teach you how to do a transect survey and give relevant instructions for Heron Watch.

It is not compulsory for returning volunteers to attend the training. However, you may wish to attend the training workshop as a refresher. 


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 19 species are:




Grey Heron

Pacific Reef Heron

Yellow Bittern

Black-crowned Night Heron

Eastern Cattle Egret

Cinnamon Bittern

Purple Heron

Great Egret

Von Schrenck's Bittern

Great-billed Heron

Intermediate Egret

Black Bittern

Striated Heron

Little Egret


Chinese Pond Heron

Chinese Egret


Javan Pond Heron



Indian Pond Heron



Malayan Night Heron




Even if you can identify these species easily, do join us if you are unfamiliar with the survey 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.


5.       When and where are training sessions?

For this round of Heron Watch, there would be 2 training sessions to attend - a theory session and a practical session.

The video link for the theory session will be sent to registered participants. Volunteers are required to watch the session at their convenience prior to attending the practical session. Those who have attended the previous training sessions are not required to attend.

The practical session will be held at Yishun Pond Park, on 2 July, 3 July (8 am to 11 am). You may register for a 1-hr slot on any one of the two days. Volunteers will be able to try out techniques taught in theory session with the help of a guide. Do note that slots will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis due to limited availability. 


6.       Will this Heron Watch be very time consuming?

The training sessions will take approximately two hours for the theory component and one hour for the practical component. The Heron Watch itself will only take one morning (from 7am to 10am) or afternoon (from 3pm to 6pm) during the survey period. If you volunteer to survey at more than one site, you may be required to conduct more than one survey within the stipulated week.


7.       How will the data I collect help in NParks' park management and conservation efforts?

The data on the heron, egrets and bittern species and their distribution collected during the Heron Watch will help establish a baseline from which we can monitor the patterns in these bird populations in Singapore. With the counts held bi-annually, we can track changes over time and develop management strategies to sustain or even enhance these populations.


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

Yes, you may join our public training sessions and conduct the surveys together. Please contact us at for large group registrations.



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Last updated on 12 July 2022

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