World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) 2023 falls on 13th May, this is an annual campaign raising awareness and highlighting the need for conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. While I don’t do as much bird photography as those hardcore bird photographers, I do enjoy combining my nature/trekking photography with bird photography, when the time and outdoor location allows.
On the other hand, I haven’t been writing about bird photography as much as I should, even though I have a strong interest in this field. Therefore, in conjunction with WMBD 2023, I am finally putting together my bird photography adventures and experiences over the years.
World Migratory Bird Day 2023 Theme: Water
The theme for WMBD 2023 is Water and the importance for migratory birds. Water is fundamental to all living on planet Earth. Water is a scarce natural resource, human beings are increasing demand for water, placing huge stress on our land and nature ecosystem. With our aquatic ecosystem under huge stress and threats, our flora and fauna are also affected as well.
To all bird photographers and bird watchers,, let’s celebrate World Migratory Bird Day 2023, as well as eBird Global Bird Day 13th May 2023, share the birds you spot on eBird, photograph the birds if you can, spread awareness on conservation – birds, water and nature spaces.
Singapore – A major migratory bird hub / stopover destination
Just like Singapore is a global air transit hub for the world with our iconic internationally famous Changi Airport, we are also a major migratory bird hub / stopover destination. Singapore is part of the East Asian-Australiasian Flyway, migratory birds making a pitstop in Singapore, giving bird photographers here in Singapore many opportunities to photograph them in action, the diversity and beauty of those migratory bird species.
Recent research findings have also indicated that Singapore’s status as a major migratory bird hub has grown in stature, Singapore now has become the intersection of 2 major flyways, adding the Central Asian-Indian Flyway to the East Asian-Australiasian Flyway.
Singapore, a small country by land size, now can play a bigger and wider international role in the migratory birds journey with those 2 major flyways, a transit hub for migratory birds.
- NParks article Feathered Global Ambassadors: https://www.nparks.gov.sg/nparksbuzz/issue-42-vol-3-2019/conservation/feathered-global-ambassadors
- Mothership https://mothership.sg/2020/12/migratory-bird-central-asian-flyway-singapore/
- Nature Portfolio Scientific Reports: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-77897-z
Bird Photography with Canon EOS cameras
Over the years, I have enjoyed my bird photography with various Canon EOS cameras and lenses, from my own camera equipment to review units. For WMBD 2023, I would like to share curated bird photography works from my more recent bird photography shoots.
West Coast Park / Sungei Ulu Pandan Kechil
Sungei Ulu Pandan (Clementi / Sunset Way)
Pasir Ris Park / Sungei Tampines
Windsor Nature Park
The above collection of bird photographs were shot with various Canon mirrorless cameras that I am currently using or tested/reviewed them most recently over the past 1-2 years. such as the EOS R3, EOS R7, EOS RP and EOS R50 cameras.
I have more bird photography shots curated inside this photo album, a small collection of Birds in Singapore (Flickr album), you can view them here – https://flic.kr/s/aHsjBnNjyL
Bird Photography Tips
Here are some handy and useful bird photography tips for those who are starting out on their bird photography journey.
Based on my Canon cameras usage, reviews and experiences, you can read more about my reviews on those Canon cameras listed below:
If you have the budget, go for the EOS R3 (FF mirrorless) or EOS-1D X Mark III (FF DSLR), the EOS R5 and EOS R6 are also very capable FF mirrorless cameras, well liked and received by bird photographers. The EOS R7 (APS-C mirrorless) has recently been added, becoming a popular mid level camera suitable for bird photography.
- Fast lens (big aperture lens if you own one e.g. 400mm f/2.8)
- Telephoto zoom lens: RF100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L | EF200-400mm f/4L with 1.4x Extender | RF100-300mm f/2.8L | EF or RF 70-200mm f/2.8L
- Telephoto prime lens: RF600mm f/4L or EF600mm f/4L | EF500mm f/4L | RF400mm f/2.8L or EF400mm f/2.8L | RF600mm f/11 | RF800mm f/11 |
- AI Servo (Canon) | AF-C (Nikon) | Continuous AF (Sony) |
- Subject tracking: Animal
- High FPS (e.g. 20fps)
- Fast shutter speed (1/1250s to 1/2500s depending on the action and activity)
- Tripod (for the big prime lens)
Beyond the technical specifics and hardware
- Read, learn, know and understand more of the birds that you are photographing.
- Observe the birds, their surroundings, actions, and patterns.
- Be patient, don’t make too much noise.
Bird Photography Locations in Singapore
While Singapore is a very small country in terms of land size, we do have our own nature reserves and outdoor nature areas that we can be proud of. For bird photography, there are a number of destinations that bird photographers like to visit for their bird photography action.
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is the most well-known bird photography location in Singapore, this wetland reserve tucked away in the north west corner of Singapore is the hub for migratory birds, taking a pitstop for rest break and refuelling their body for further flight down south.
Other popular bird photography locations in Singapore include Central Catchment (Bukit Timah to MacRitchie, Windsor Nature Park), Kranji Marshes, Pasir Ris Park, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Hampstead Wetlands Park, Lorong Halus / Coney Island, Pulau Ubin, Jurong Lake Gardens, Bishan-AMK Park, Marina Bay East/Gardens By The Bay.
West Coast Park, Labrador Park, Southern Ridges, Fort Canning Hill, Tampines Eco Green, are also bird photography locations that bird photographers would also visit and check out.
World Migratory Bird Day Information
If you like to know more about World Migratory Bird Day, please visit the links below for more information and updates.
- Website: https://www.worldmigratorybirdday.org/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/WMBD
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/worldmigratorybirdday/
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/WMBDcampaign
World Migratory Bird Day 2023 (May Edition)
To all fellow bird and wildlife photographers, nature and wildlife conservationists and supporters, we all can do a part in spreading the awareness for our birds, water and nature areas, not just on World Migratory Bird Day itself.
Let’s continue to spread the word, awareness, conservation and protection for our wildlife and nature areas.