Monday, 1 January 2007

What is Birding?

What is Bird Watching?

This activity just simply involves watching and observing BIRDS.
The challenge that one faces is to view birds in different localities and identify them as accurately as possible according to various features. You can bird watch anywhere, anytime, by yourself or with a group of Bird enthusiasts. The science of studying birds is called Ornithology.

In general most Bird Watchers are commonly known as Birders and engage in Birding activities.

The Bird Group Committee of the Malaysian Nature Society organizes many activities for it’s members, whether they are novice birders or well seasoned ones. Beginners Courses are held to help get the novice start off on the right foot and regular Day Trips and Overnight trips are presented to members to put into practice what they’ve learnt. High on the priority list is the Conservation of Birds comes into play for the Committee. Conservation Activities such as the Raptor Watch are organised for members and public alike. The more serious birder can also contribute to Asian Raptor Research Conservation Network (ARRCN) via studies and observations. You can be involved too!

To educate members further on aspects of Birds there are indoor talks held and various workshops too.

WHY would anyone want to watch Birds?

There are a lot of birds in Malaysian gardens and forests, which are stunningly beautiful. When viewed through a pair of binoculars or telescope, it is here that the magic begins.

Imagine driving along the highway when you spot a majestic bird soaring with outstretched wings gliding gracefully to a destination unknown to you. You probably have seen your first Brahminy Kite!

Whilst sitting at home and looking out in your garden you can spot a variety of birds where a flash of yellow flying pass could reveal to you the cheeky Black-naped Oriole or the bubbly gurgling of the Yellow-Vented Bulbul with their noted broad white supercilium.

What’s the Challenge?

There are big birds, little birds, colourful and dull birds! The challenge is to identify the bird spotted. Half the fun of Bird Watching is discussing with other birdwatchers about what they’ve seen. But once a bird has been identified the birdwatcher feels a sense of satisfaction. People who bird watch in effect, identify birds, just as others may collect stamps, coins or orchids. In fact it becomes a sort of treasure hunt to spot rare species.

Most birders tend to keep lists, sometimes on paper or just in their heads. The challenge is to add to the lists and especially to find the real treasure: a new bird that they’ve never seen before which is called a ‘Lifer’.

YOU can be a Birder !

If you like any sort of wildlife there is plenty of Birds and other fauna for you to see and study. Visits to local parks, coastal habitats, lowland jungles and montane forests all offer a wide variety of avi-fauna. Favourite haunts of Birders include the Kuala Selangor Nature Park, Fraser’s Hill, the Cameron Highlands and the Lake Gardens in KL to name a few. You can even observe birds in your own garden!

All you need is a pair of suitable binoculars, a field guide, a notebook, pen or pencil and plenty of enthusiasm and you will be richly rewarded.

How do I join ?

If you are interested in Bird Watching and playing a part in the Conservation of Birds in Malaysia why not join up as a Malaysian Nature Society member and play an active role in the Bird Group. At the same time you can also participate in other interest groups within the society such as Caving, Astronomy, Photography, Marine, Pathfinders (trekking) etc.

If you would like to know more about the activities of the Bird Group please send an email to for enquiries.