Introduction to bird watching

 Birding sites Bird List Nesting Birds Bird Calls Home Raptor Watch Bird Race Trip Reports

In this segment, to give an impression and give meaning about birds that could be easily sighted, I have started with birds that we could see everyday and every where, included insides are pages like:-

Guide -garden common birds

Guide - more garden birds

Bird list for my backyard

Bird List for Rimba Kiara

Like many new comers that have started the hobby of watching birds and so are the first time visitors to this country, they all are not conversant with the birds life in Malaysia. Where to start?

 I found a starting point, the back yard!

An understanding about local birds and the style of bird watching without even having to leave the house

  Having gone through the bird list on garden birds and perhaps acquainted with the birds that you are bound to meet up with. You are at the start, familiar with the common birds of Malaysia. You can start your birding. Wherever you are going to on the lowlands especially, you are bound to see these same birds again and again.

Hoping you have mastered enough skills to weed the trees away from the forest. Give you better chances to direct your attention to "new" birds.

With a few nearby Forest Recreation Parks, it is easy to accumulate a bird List of more than 150 birds. That's how good this land is. By then being hooked into Bird Watching, I am sure you will find excuse to travel. Seek out isolate forest sanctuaries to look for quality birds. That will be the time that the Birds Lists I posted for the many popular birding spots plus pictures of the area becoming of value. Your need for this birding pages will be diminishing.

Now I move on to another topic that relates to another activity which also involve searching for birds. This is about those doing bird photography. With advancement in technology and buyers affordability, a new followings of self-proclaimed bird photographers started roaming the country sides an forest edge..

Recently, many birders in Malaysia have taken a hard look at this hobby called "Bird Watching" or "Birding". What's bugging these birders? All of a sudden, the internet was filled with beautiful pictures of "hard-to-spot" birds and with the situation unchanged among the traditional birders, they were to continued venturing into the jungle hoping for a glimpse of these rarely sighted birds.

The Photographers moving in groups were better organized. There were more of them out there seeking, increasing their chances through higher frequencies of being there in the jungle and greater numbers of spotters in different places. Then the information exchanged swiftly through their own forum, ending with them staying better informed through their networks. They used callers to bring the birds out to the open. Birders went into the field alone or in pairs. Being a long term hobby are only out there on weekends.

Lucky for birders, those photographers are out there in the field for a limited time only. After getting those colorful birds they desired, they will leave the field and the birds alone. After a couple of years of harassing the birds, I see much less of the photographers now. Hopefully the distasteful acts that they brought upon the birds would take time for the birds to forget and returning to normal, if the birds are still coming back to their usual haunts. vanish.

Beside the momentary set back brought about the photographers, there is a more pressing issue that is bringing about the diminishing bird life in the area. This concern is also man-made. With rapid urbanization and the opening up of more spots for housing and tourism, many original forested edges are are no longer conducive as before. The jungles edges in forest areas and resorts were retracted inwards, tidied up and cleared of over hang. Insects coming to these edges for food stayed away.  Birds move on to better locations which are now remote spots. The hot spots of easy access which were Mecca for birding had all deteriorated to almost "zero". An overall trend, bird life every birding spots that we went to, is falling each year.

back 1998, I started watching birds in a serious manner. Using the birds nearer to my house, as tutorial. First learning how to differentiate the markings between them. Took me a while until I could recognize them instantly. On rare occasions, I would venture out to meet up with the more experienced hobbyists to see something "not so common". With very limited knowledge, we prodded on. Then graduated into spending most of our time in the field. With each new encounter, we were getting to know the familiar birds better. Looking back, those were much better times, birds were readily available and each trip reassured of some progress.



Today with less and more people looking for birds, a new controversy kept cropping up. First there those "Twitcher" chasing after numbers. Now the second lot chasing after quality pictures.

When asked? These new breed of cameras lugging personals would claim themselves as "Birders". Not prepared to declare themselves as "Nature Photographers" yet. The controversies went on for a few years, I  look into myself  with that sensitive question as I am too was carrying a camera a small one though.

How much of a birder am I? I think in today's standard, unlike yesteryears, taking pictures of birds is very easy. What is wrong with the logical development! Watching and recording. No crime about that as long as our action do not infringe the lifestyle of our subjects. This is a downstream activity which enhance our love of chasing birds. maintain a good record of what we saw!

One more idea. I could to tap into those occasions where I encounter some unusual happenings, with birds involved. Write on topics featuring birds as theme. Document my observations and feelings then. Now I truly do record my experiences with birds rather than just doing plain talking.

Seeing a clearer direction about birding now, I was surprised that with a sudden switch in concept, immediately I see that there are so much I do not know about birding. Leave the posting in forums and mailing list alone, I could start my own contributions. As "What I can see". It can start with equipments, the way birding is done. Then it goes on with birds' life and lastly about how the public is treating birds.

OK -that is the concept behind the setting up of my own web site. A task that is never ending and very satisfying as I can trace the progress. Lastly, those visiting my pages with broken links and half written information - please bear by me.