The Bird Society of Singapore is a science-based collective promoting research and conservation of our avifauna. Our approach focuses on widening interest in bird watching, deepening ties with like-minded organisations, and drawing on the collective expertise of our community. We are committed to advancing local and regional ornithological knowledge and promoting transparent record-sharing across the community. At the same time, we aim to build capacity in the community, empowering Singapore’s birdwatchers to contribute to research and conservation.
We are committed to transparency regarding data availability and upholding their accuracy. Global biodiversity is in peril, and real-time sharing of data is a key pillar of any effective conservation strategy. By improving data access across our community, we give everyone the opportunity to use the data to deepen their own understanding, ultimately empowering them to contribute more meaningfully to research and conservation.
We strongly believe in engaging the community to connect to nature, cherish it, and eventually become its guardian. Diversity makes us stronger and drawing on our collective knowledge multiplies the impact of our individual efforts. Community participation is a cornerstone of each of our projects.
We take great pride in our commitment to scientific principles. Our database and checklist are up-to-date, accurate, and always based on the latest information, to maintain the relevance of bird conservation and research today. At the same time, by staying strongly grounded in the local birdwatching and nature scene, we ensure our initiatives are in touch with the community’s goals and needs.
The Council is comprised of the Executive Committee (ExCo), as well as the chairs of the four other Bird Society of Singapore Committees.
President; Chair, Records Committee
Keita has been chasing feathered animals since 2014. Conducting research at the National University of Singapore, he mainly focuses on exploring various evolutionary questions. Assembling a rapidly-growing, dynamic team, he has played a central role in guiding the Bird Society of Singapore through its first steps.
Currently a PhD student in National University of Singapore, Movin is working on better understanding regional bird diversity and how it relates to earth history and conservation. An avid regional birder, he gains energy from the people around him, and is always happy to chat about birds and birding.
Goh Cheng Teng
Cheng Teng started photographing birds and wildlife in 2009 and honed his birding fieldcraft chasing garden birds and rarities all over Singapore. He spends his birding time photographing animal behaviour, capturing fleeting moments not easily observed, with environmental cues and eye contact to draw the viewer into the photograph.
Adrian Silas Tay
Silas is primarily a weekend birder who started off as an enthusiast bird photographer more than a decade ago, although his interest in wildlife stretches back even further. He has actively contributed to the local birding scene by being an advocate of open and timely sharing of sightings to benefit the community.
Kee Jing Ying
Jing Ying is currently a Strategy Consultant and casually birding. Her interest in birds started with a Collared Kingfisher. She finds it really interesting how migratory birds land in the most random places, and loves hearing the stories of people she meets when (occasionally) twitching birds.
Zachary is an undergraduate student at the Nanyang Technological University’s Asian School of the Environment. When he’s not birding, he can be observed running across campus in search for beautiful little critters hiding in (seemingly) plain sight. His interests lie in learning more about avian ecology and the creation of micro-habitats for birds.
Lim Hong Yao
Hong Yao’s journey as a birdwatcher began when he first laid eyes on a beautiful Blue-throated Bee-eater on a bird walk at Kranji Marshes. Several years later, he has developed an appreciation for the diversity of birds and other taxa around the region, and hopes that others can also experience the joys of being a naturalist.
Chair, Research Committee
Dillen has been searching high and low for birds since 2016 and likes to keep lists of everything that he sees. He is constantly filled with questions on things that he doesn’t understand about birds and hopes to be part of the bridge translating knowledge gained from research into practical applications around us.
Chair, Media Committee
Sandra is an excitable birdwatcher who started watching birds in 2015. All birds are great to her and she has an interest in developing dynamic communities around common interests, birdwatching being one of them. An avid regional birder, it will not be unusual for one to find Sandra in a forest patch in a remote part of the world.
Chair, Data and Tech Committee
Raghav started birdwatching in 2012 and is grateful for the birds encountered and memories made through the journey. Currently an undergraduate at NTU studying Computer Science, he is always looking out for the hidden patterns and trends in our local bird records.
The Bird Society of Singapore was officially recognised on 28 March 2023.
Our journey began in January 2016 as the Singapore Birds Project. The first aim of the project, then led by Francis Yap and See Toh Yew Wai, was to compile information and quality photos of each of Singapore’s birds: a free ‘guidebook’ for the web. It would answer the new birder’s first natural questions: Which birds are common, and which are rare? How do I tell a Japanese Sparrowhawk from a Chinese Sparrowhawk? Where can I find an Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher? Articles to aid birders, featuring content such as birdwatching tips, were also published to supplement these species accounts. The website, at singaporebirds.com, gradually grew in the following years as more information was added to the site.
The popularity of birdwatching in Singapore grew, too, and the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it new highs in the number of birdwatchers. Some of the remarkable avian discoveries of the pandemic years have not been matched in any other period of Singapore’s recorded history.
While continuing to update this resource, now named the Birds of Singapore, our focus has evolved into a deeper documentation of our birds. This includes studying their trends and seasonality, as well as maintaining a database of rare bird records. The Singapore Bird Database, which we started in 2021, is the only complete repository of rare birds in Singapore. The approach of transparent data-sharing is beneficial for birdwatchers who want to find these rare birds, but even more importantly, it is useful for research and conservation.
In tandem with our online work, we also ramped up our community outreach efforts through walks, talks and booths, organised both independently and in collaboration with partners. By attending conferences and publishing peer-reviewed scientific papers, we have made contributions to regional ornithological knowledge.
The combination of our evolving online resources and tangible work prompted our 17 founding members to officially register as a Society. This will enable us to widen our reach and impact both nationally and regionally.
The increasing awareness of nature, especially among youths, is an encouraging sign for the future. We aim to build on that curiosity to advance the conservation of Singapore’s birds for many years to come.
Behind BirdSoc SG – Blog
Behind the Bird Society of Singapore – Part 1
Our new series for the BirdSoc SG blog showcases our founding members' experiences of birds and birding, as well as our hopes for the new Society. In the first edition, we have our President and Vice-President sharing their hopes for BirdSoc SG.
Behind the Bird Society of Singapore – Part 2: Our Logo
Our new series for the BirdSoc SG blog showcases our founding members' experiences of birds and birding, as well as our hopes for the new Society. In this second edition, Hui Zhen shares with us how she conceptualised and designed our BirdSoc SG logo.
Behind the Bird Society of Singapore – Part 3
Our new series for the BirdSoc SG blog showcases our founding members' experiences of birds and birding, as well as our hopes for the new Society. In this edition, we hear from See Toh, one of the pioneers of the Singapore Birds Project.
The Bird Society of Singapore is officially launched!
The Bird Society of Singapore (BirdSoc SG) held its official Launch Event on 27 August 2023 at the Central Public Library. Featuring opening remarks from Dr. Shawn Lum, Senior Lecturer at the NTU Asian School of the Environment, as well as a series of talks from our founding members, our event was well-attended not only by senior figures from Singapore’s leading nature groups and representatives from government agencies, but also by members of our local birding community.
Please find the Constitution of the Bird Society of Singapore here.
Photo credits for this page:
Francis Yap (Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, White-throated Needletail)