Media Resouces
Singapore Bird Race revisits urban biodiversity, draws largest ever participation to date
09 Nov 2023
  •  The 39th Singapore Bird Race is supported by Mapletree Investments for the fifth year running under its corporate social responsibility pillar of support for the environment.
  • The Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, Black-naped Oriole and Collared Kingfisher, iconic species familiar to nature lovers in Singapore, headlines the theme of ’City in Nature’ in this year’s Race.
  • This year’s race brought together a new record of more than 360 birdwatchers and nature lovers, as well students participating under the Nature Society Singapore’s Every Citizen a Naturalist Programme.
  • Over 160 species of birds were observed, including more than 40 nationally threatened species.

SINGAPORE, 9 November 2023 – The 39th Singapore Bird Race, sponsored by Mapletree Investments (“Mapletree” or “the Group”) and jointly organised by the Nature Society Singapore and BirdLife International with support from the National Parks Board, revisits urban biodiversity this year, in line with Singapore’s ‘City in Nature’ slogan. This year’s race brought together more than 360 participants from seven categories, the largest ever number for any Singapore bird race to date and thereby fostering community stewardship as Singapore transforms into a City in Nature.

This year’s Race theme revisits the theme of ‘City in Nature’, and therefore identifies three species familiar to local birdwatchers and nature lovers in its logo: the Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, Collared Kingfisher and Black-naped Oriole. All three species are commonly found in Singapore’s urban greenery as well as in our woodland, and are an illustration that biodiversity can thrive in a city environment, if careful consideration is given to maintaining ecological features in a city. The Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot represents one of few forest species that today thrive in parkland. The Collared Kingfisher originates in Singapore’s mangrove environment, while the Oriole is among the most familiar native birds in the country.

Held over 4 and 5 November and coinciding with the peak migratory season for many bird species, this year’s race saw a steady growth in participation from schools under the Nature Society’s ‘Every Singaporean a Naturalist’ initiative, bringing in more than 17 teams from 7 schools. In addition, the race saw sustained participation in the Youth category, with 11 teams, and demonstrating a growing interest in nature and biodiversity from young people.

Continuing over the past two years is the sustained use of technology via eBird, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s (a part of Cornell University) increasingly popular and well-regarded web-based platform enabling users to submit observations and photographs of birds digitally. Before the race, teams also received training on logging their observations on eBird.

Mr. Edmund Cheng, Mapletree’s Chairman shared, "It is heartening to see more bird watchers and nature enthusiasts signing up for this signature event. We hope participation in the Singapore Bird Race, especially for first-time bird watchers, will encourage more people to embrace the nature around us. Mapletree looks forward to building on our commitment to enrich communities through meaningful environmental awareness initiatives and establishing Mapletree Business City (MBC) as the axis for Southern Corridor birdwatching.”

At the end of the race, the teams gathered for the Prize Presentation Ceremony at MBC graced by Mr. Kan Shik Lum, Non-Executive Director of Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust Management Ltd. Other guests included Mr. Wan Kwong Weng, Group Chief Corporate Officer for Mapletree, Dr. Yeo Seng Beng, President of the Nature Society Singapore, and Mr. Vinayagan Dharmarajah, Regional Director for BirdLife International. A mini-fair of booths representing the different sponsors and organisations offered a microcosm of the bird conservation community in Singapore. 

Team SSKY Birders was the winning team in the Family Category, recording a total of 69 species. In the categories for experienced birdwatchers, Team Dippers beat 9 other teams to win in the Marathon Race category. In the Sprint (5-hour) category, team Melodious Babblers triumphed with 70 species spotted.

Supporting the Singapore Bird Race is aligned with two of Mapletree’s key Corporate Social Responsibility pillars - environment and education. It is also a continuation of the partnership between Mapletree, the Nature Society Singapore and BirdLife International, which started with the “Straw-headed Bulbul Conservation Planning” Workshop held at Mapletree Business City in May 2019 and the sustained sponsorship of the Singapore Bird Race for the past four consecutive years.

Mr. Tan Gim Cheong, Chairman of the Nature Society Singapore Bird Group said, “We are delighted to see the sustained interest in the Bird Race from every segment of society and are grateful to Mapletree for their continued support. We are also encouraged to see the continued growth in participation, a more than 20% increase over last year!” Mr. Vinayagan Dharmarajah, Regional Director of BirdLife International agreed, and noted, “This year’s Race is an opportunity once again for us to reflect on the important role that birds play in engaging us physically and mentally and in enabling to engage socially in the celebration of natural beauty. Their role in fostering wellness in individuals and society is something we should cherish and promote..”

“The Singapore Bird Race has its origins in 1984 as a humble NSS event which attracted a small but enthusiastic number of people from the birdwatching community. But the annual Singapore Bird Race seems to continually expand in size, with 2023 being another record year, making the NSS very grateful for the support of many organisations in helping preserve this traditional event in the birding calendar of NSS and Singapore.” noted Dr. Yeo Seng Beng, President of the Nature Society Singapore.

The Singapore Bird Race is the longest-running nature appreciation and citizen science event organised by the Nature Society Singapore and spans three decades. The first bird race was organised in 1984 and has been held every subsequent year since then. Recognising that Singapore supports more than 400 species of wild birds in a diverse assemblage of habitats, a key objective of the race is to promote the appreciation of birds and biodiversity in general to the public.

Note to Editor

Winners of 39th Singapore Bird Race

Team name

Number of species observed


Team Dippers


The Watchers







Melodious Babblers


Chill Cuckoos Never Run


Great Argus





Meaningful Watching


Singapore Stringers


Cannot See Feet


Long-nailed Pair-o-feet



Bob the Birder


Xtinct Tweets


Uric Acid





SSKY Birders


The Fun Falconerds




3 Gen Drongoes



Thunder Ducks


Chunky Monkey


Bee-eaters 4


Bee-eaters 3


Students (Primary school)










Flag off at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve


A family spotting and taking pictures of birds during the race


Guest-of-honour Mr Kan Shik Lum, Independent Non-Executive Director of Mapletree Pan Asia Commercial Trust Management Ltd giving a speech at the prize presentation ceremony held at Mapletree Business City Town Hall





Xabryna Kek
Lee Ee Ling
Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications

Nature Society Singapore Bird Group
Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd
Tel: (65) 6377 4608

Linus Lui
Ding Li Yong PhD
Senior Executive, Corporate Social Responsibility Policy Manager & Regional Flyways Coordinator
Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd BirdLife International
Tel: (65) 9477 0198 Tel: (65) 9838 2675
Email: Email:



Headquartered in Singapore, Mapletree is a global real estate development, investment, capital and property management company committed to sustainability. Its strategic focus is to invest in markets and real estate sectors with good growth potential. By combining its key strengths, the Group has established a track record of award-winning projects, and delivers consistent and high returns across real estate asset classes.

The Group manages three Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) and eight private equity real estate funds, which hold a diverse portfolio of assets in Asia Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom (“UK”) and the United States (“US”). As at 31 March 2023, Mapletree owns and manages S$77.4 billion of office, retail, logistics, industrial, data centre, residential and student accommodation properties. 

The Group’s assets are located across 13 markets globally, namely Singapore, Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Hong Kong SAR, India, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, the UK, the US and Vietnam. To support its global operations, Mapletree has established an extensive network of offices in these countries.

For more information, please visit


The Nature Society Singapore is a non-government, non-profit organisation dedicated to the appreciation, conservation, study and enjoyment of the natural heritage of Singapore, Malaysia and the surrounding region. It is a registered society in Singapore under the Societies Act, Cap. 311, and has been accorded the status of an Institution of Public Character (IPC) since 1 September 2008.

The Nature Society Singapore has its beginnings as the Singapore branch of the Malayan Nature Society that was formed in 1954. In 1991, it split off to become the Nature Society Singapore. Among its notable achievements include the successful advocacy and engagement with government agencies that led to the establishment of the Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve and the Kranji Marshes. The Society has been awarded the Charity Transparency Award for three consecutive years from 2016 to 2018, and the Charity Governance Award in 2017.  

For more information, please visit


BirdLife International is a global partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards the sustainable use of natural resources. Altogether, there are over 115 BirdLife Partners worldwide – one per country or territory – and this continues to grow. Recognised as the global authority on bird conservation, BirdLife’ unique local-to-global approach delivers high impact and long-term conservation, benefitting both nature and people. In particular, BirdLife’s approach is guided by rigorous science and informed by practical feedback from projects on the ground. The Nature Society Singapore is the National Partner of BirdLife in Singapore. 

The BirdLife Partnership has six Regional BirdLife Coordination Offices throughout the world and a Global Office in Cambridge, the United Kingdom. Together, the regional officers form the BirdLife International Secretariat, which co-ordinates and facilitates the BirdLife International strategies, programmes and policies.

For more information, please visit