“A Garden of Birds” – Community photography exhibition at Singapore Botanic Gardens

A new community photography exhibition has opened at the CDL Green Gallery in the Singapore Botanic Gardens – “A Garden of Birds” – Community photography exhibition at Singapore Botanic Gardens, put together by the National Parks Board (NParks), and made possible with the support of City Developments Limited (CDL). This is the first ever exhibition dedicated to the birds of Singapore Botanic Gardens – Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Image credit: NParks

Birds at Singapore Botanic Gardens

The Singapore Botanic Gardens has shown to be an important habitat for both resident and migratory birds. There are over 180 species of birds that have been recorded at the Botanic Gardens, almost half of over 400 species of birds that have been sighted in Singapore. Many of these sightings were contributed by community of bird watchers  that have provided sighting information as well as records of the activities of some of the birds and the duration they spent at the Botanic Gardens. 

The valuable source of information on the habitats and conditions preferred by the birds, as well as the observations help to inform NParks on their conservation strategies and plans, allowing them to better enhance the Botanic Gardens for both birds and visitors as Singapore is transformed into a City in Nature.

Image credit: NParks

Conservation of key habitats in the Singapore Botanic Gardens supports bird diversity 

The conservation of key habitats is one of the main thrusts of Singapore’s Nature Conservation Masterplan. Within Singapore Botanic Gardens, there are 5 locations identified as nature areas for habitat conservation and enhancement. They are the 

  • Primary Rain Forest
  • Southern Forest of the Learning Forest
  • Keppel Discovery Wetlands
  • Natural freshwater stream at the Gallop Extension
  • Eco-Lake

The diversity of habitats, both terrestrial and wetlands, and the long-term ecological research and horticultural works undertaken by the Gardens in conserving and restoring natural habitats and flora of Singapore have contributed to the diversity of bird species that have been sighted in the Botanic Gardens.

As for the birds, both resident and migratory, they in turn also contribute to the Gardens by enriching the habitats, playing their roles in the complex food web system that underpin our urban and forest ecosystems. 

Image credit: NParks

Community partnerships enhance monitoring and conservation efforts

The community plays an invaluable role in the efforts to conserve Singapore’s natural heritage. Under NParks Garden Bird Watch (GBW), a Community in Nature initiative, citizen scientists help to survey birds at various green spaces across Singapore. The Singapore Botanic Gardens has been one of the the GBW locations since the launch of GBW in 2015. 

The 5 year data collected from the GBW showed that the Botanic Gardens is one of the top 10 sites for species richness. The insights from such surveys, as well as information on sightings from bird photographers, help guide NParks conservation and management measures, ensuring that the Gardens is conducive not just for visitors, but to avifauna as well.

Dr Tan Puay Yok, Group Director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, said, “Interest in the bird life present in the Gardens is not new. As far back as 1898, the Gardens’ then-director H.N. Ridley wrote a paper on the birds of the Gardens published in the Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society in which he shared about the monitoring of a White-bellied Sea Eagle which had built a large nest on a big tree within the Gardens. It is heartening that our avian visitors and rich natural heritage continue to be appreciated and treasured by Singaporeans today, and they also contribute to our conservation efforts through their observations. Through this exhibition, we hope to share with our visitors the joy and pride of our bird watching community, the role of the Gardens in avian biodiversity conservation and the role of our avian friends in maintaining the ecology of our natural habitats, and to inspire more people to join us to transform Singapore into a City in Nature.” 

My birding and wildlife photography adventures in NParks GBW 

I am also playing my small part in NParks GBW through my birding and wildlife photography, helping out my friend Belinda who has been very active in NParks GBW Community in Nature initiative. 

My personal birding and wildlife photography adventures at Singapore Botanic Gardens over the years had been enriching and exciting, trying to spot and photograph the birds (both resident and migratory) in action, or somewhere inside the dense green nature areas or perched high up the tall trees at Singapore Botanic Gardens. Just part of my birding photography adventures (and playing small part in NParks GBW) across different locations in Singapore. 

Here are two photos of birds that I photographed at Singapore Botanic Gardens in 2023. I look forward to photographing and documenting many more different birds (residents and migratory) at Botanic Gardens. 

If you would like to find out more about NParks citizen science programmes and how you can get involved, please visit – https://www.nparks.gov.sg/biodiversity/community-in-nature-initiative/citizen-science-programmes 

“A Garden of Birds” – Community photography exhibition

The “A Garden of Birds” – Community photography exhibition received more than 830 community submissions, of which 160 photographs from 49 photographers have been selected for this community photography exhibition, made possible with the support of CDL.

This exhibition features numerous resident and migratory bird species, a curated selection of photographs shard by the enthusiastic birding community who come to Singapore Botanic Gardens to observe, admire, study and research the remarkable diversity of birds found in Singapore Botanic Gardens. 

Through the photographs, illustrations and interactive displays, this exhibition showcases the vibrant bird diversity of the Gardens, conservation and habitat enhancement efforts, and the role of green spaces like Botanic Gardens to support Singapore’s biodiversity conservation efforts. 

At the upcoming Festival of Biodiversity (https://fob.nparks.gov.sg) taking place on 25th and 26th May at One Punggol, visitors can find out more about Singapore’s rich natural heritage and how they can contribute.

Image Credit: NParks

Information on “A Garden of Birds” – Community photography exhibition

Venue: CDL Green Gallery, Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Photographs from the exhibition are also displayed at the People’s Gallery exhibition spaces near the Visitor Services Counters at Botany Centre, Nassim Gate, Tyersall Gate, Gallop Gate and Bukit Timah Gate (MRT Station Exit A).

Date: 7th May to 31st October 2024


CDL Green Gallery

  • Opening hours: 9am to 6pm daily
  • Closed every last Tuesday of the month, if the closure falls on a public holiday, the closure will be moved to the following working day

People’s Gallery exhibition spaces

  • Opening hours: 5am to 12am daily

Entry Fee: Free Admission

For more information on “A Garden of Birds” – Community photography exhibition, please visit https://www.nparks.gov.sg/sbg/whats-happening/calendar-of-events/exhibition-birds-of-sbg-2024 

* Information courtesy of NParks *

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