bird ID training

Yesterday we went for bird ID training at Sungei Buloh Wetland Center. It was a great learning experience because I finally learnt the name of the bird which appears in every foodcourt and street in Singapore – Myna. The trainer was an experienced man with a great passion for birds, and he taught us a variety of ways to identify birds, including their size, bill length, habitat, calling, food etc. Another interesting thing was that even though there are so many species of birds on earth, they don’t have to compete for food because of their different bill lengths. The ones with shorter bills prey on food which could be found on the surface of the soil such as snails while the ones with longer bills get their food within the soil such as worms. After the presentation, the trainer brought us outdoor to observe some real birds – sunbirds, herons, kingfishers, dollar birds, eglet etc, which only appeared as the same creatures with wings and feathers to me before. Now I know that there is even a difference between the small heron and the great heron, and it was not just the size, but also the color of their bills and feet. It was akin to the feeling of first entering the kingdom of insects when we discovered grasshoppers with different colors again…

At last, the trainer taught us one way to identify the birds as a beginner – sketch them and send the sketch to him for identification~~

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Figure 1: important features for identification

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