Vol 10 No 4
Reforestation and Reach Out
Bird Ringing in Sungei Buloh
Wetland Reserve in 2004
The Amazing Chase: a creative environmental statement
Practical Work Attachment
Kubah National Park
in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in 2004
Main article | Table 1 (summary part 1 | part
2) | Table 2 (longevity)
No new species of birds were ringed at SBWR in 2004.
Although the absolute number of birds trapped had decreased, the year still
saw some interesting species ringed. They are the Asian Paradise Flycatcher,
Blue-eared Kingfisher, Eastern Crowned Warbler and Grey-tailed Tattler.
Notably, it is the second time in 2 years that a Blue-eared Kingfisher has
been mist netted and ringed at SBWR. Other birds ringed include the Pintail
Snipe, Chestnut Munia and Striped Tit Babbler.
Bird ringing has been conducted at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve (SBWR) since 1990. This article
gives an overview of some of the results of the bird ringing effort at Sungei Buloh over the past
year. In 2004, a total of 373 birds from 50 species were ringed. The ringing
field work was carried out on scheduled days and nights throughout the year.
A summary of the number of birds ringed in 2004 (and the previous four years)
is provided in Table 1.
The most commonly ringed bird species were (numbers ringed in brackets) : Pacific Golden Plover (103), Common Redshank (32),
Yellow-vented Bulbul (28), Plainthroated Sunbird
(18) and Scaly-breasted Munia (13). Compared to the
previous year (2003 ringing results), the number of birds ringed has
decreased from 517 to 373. The decrease is attributed to fewer hours of mist
netting. As was the case in 2003, no Curlew Sandpipers were ringed but
numbers of Common Redshank ringed have bucked a 3-year downward trend to
register a slight increase.
Regular bird counts in SBWR have revealed no decrease in shorebird numbers.
In fact, numbers have increased in 2004 and the Curlew Sandpipers and
Mongolian Plovers that were noted to have avoided the wetland in 2003 had
returned with peak counts of 206 and 175 birds respectively. Several habitat
management measures to increase the attractiveness of the wetland for
shorebirds over the past year looks to have been
successful. These measures will continue. Ringing work and shorebird counts
over the next few years will help to determine if the measures continue to be
No new species of birds were ringed at SBWR in 2004. Although the absolute
number of birds trapped had decreased, the year still saw some interesting
species ringed. They are the Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Blue-eared
Kingfisher, Eastern Crowned Warbler and Grey-tailed Tattler. Notably, it is
the second time in two years that a Blue-eared Kingfisher has been mist
netted and ringed at SBWR. Other birds ringed include the Pintail Snipe,
Chestnut Munia and Striped Tit Babbler.
The ringing work has continued to bear fruit with retrap
rates of over 10% of all individual birds trapped for each of the past three
years. The retrap rate has ranged from 4.5% (2000)
to 15.3% (2003). In 2004, the retrap rate was 13.9%
(2004). There were 60 retraps from 20 species that
had been ringed before 2004. The Pacific Golden Pintail Snipe Plover had 14 retraps followed by the Collared Kingfisher with 11 and
the Plainthroated Sunbird with 6. One use for the
data obtained from retrap birds is the enabling of
longevity records and the survival of different bird species in the wild to
be determined. These records are provided in Table 2. Of special mention, a
Pacific Golden Plover was recaptured after an interval of 169 months (14
years 1 month) breaking the previous record set in 2003 of 146 months (12
years 2 months). This bird from Sungei Buloh is currently believed to be the world record holder
for the title of the oldest ringed Pacific Golden Plover. Other retraps include the Black Bittern, Common Kingfisher and
Japanese Sparrowhawk. The sparrowhawk
is the first raptor to have been recaptured at SBWR and is believed to be the
first evidence of site fidelity exhibited by a migratory sparrowhawk
to its wintering grounds. In summary, bird ringing in 2004 has continued to
reveal surprises in the presence of bird species, their movements, abundance
and survival in Sungei Buloh.
Data collected are invaluable for the long-term conservation and management
of the wetland reserve.
This article is possible thanks to fellow ringers Ramakrishnan,
Linda Goh, Charles Lim, Ray Knock, Mustaffa Hajar, Abdul Khalid
and Chan Su Hooi for contributing to the ringing
work. Many others assisted with the ringing including staff, volunteers and
friends especially Halilah Ahmad, Ong Hai Chwee, Supardi
Mohd Shariff, Jack Wong, Loke Wai Leng and Jeanne Tan. Jeremy Ang,
Tay Soon Lian and Ramakrishnan
took a number of photographs and catalogued them for documentation. I am
grateful for the voluntary help from Nick Baker, Ray Knock, Lua Wai Heng and R. Subaraj who
provided expert advice, sighting records or helped out during the ringing
T. & Wiersma, P., (1996). Family Charadriidae (Plovers). Pp. 384-442 in: del Hoyo,J.,Elliot, A. & Sargatal, J. eds (1996).
Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 3. Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona
- Wells, D. R. 1999. The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula,
Vol 1. Academic Press, San Diego
- Wetlands Vol 8, No.1, April
2001, Bird Ringing in Sungei Buloh Nature Park in 2000,.
Pp 7 –10, Publication of SBNP, National Parks Board, Singapore
- Wetlands Vol 9, No.1, April
2002, Bird Ringing in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in 2001,.
Pp 8 –11, Publication of SBWR, National Parks Board, Singapore
- Wetlands Vol 10, No.1,
April 2004, Bird Ringing in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in 2002,.
Pp 6 – 8, Publication of SBWR, National Parks Board, Singapore
- Wetlands Vol 10, No.2, Nov
2004, Bird Ringing in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in 2003,.
Pp 8 – 11, Publication of SBWR, National Parks Board, Singapore
Comments or feedback? E-mail at