BESG 2015: The year in review

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Another year is coming to an end and time to reflect on what we have been doing during the past 12 months.

In 2015 we managed a total of 365 postings. For this we thank contributors who submitted their observations and images (see list below). There are still numerous aspects of bird behavior that remain unknown, even with the more common species. We thus need to keep encouraging citizen scientists to be observant in the field and not just look at birds but also to note their behavior.

Initially confined mainly to birds, the website is now posting other aspects of nature. In 2014 about 80% of our postings were on birds. For 2015 non-bird postings increased to 22% – made up of vertebrates 5% (bats, squirrels, snakes, lizards), invertebrates 12% (butterflies, dragonflies), plants 2% and miscellaneous 3%.

In January, our footage on Cave Nectar Bats harvesting nectar from banana flowers (above) caught the attention of filmmaker Andrew Scott. He was then actively involved in Channel News Asia’s production Singapore: Wild City. And this led to our contributing 13 seconds of the above footage to Episode 2, Urban Wild (at 43:30 min).

In July we completed updating our earlier lists on plant-bird relationship to cover a total of 349 species of plants that birds visit for food, shelter, nesting materials, nesting sites, etc. Visitors to these posts can easily check on the birds that visit each of the listed plants and also the plants that each bird species visit. The information comes mostly from our website with others from selected publications – see HERE. These lists will be regularly updated.

In April Dr Leong Tzi Ming managed to make a video of a pair of White-crested Laughingthrushes (Garrulax leucolophus) anting. This was followed in July by Kwong Wai Chong documenting a Javan Myna using a millipede instead of ants for the same purpose. These are indeed valuable contributions to the local knowledge of bird behavior – see HERE.

In August BESG entered into a formal arrangement with Facebook “Bird, Insects N Creatures of Asia” (BICA) that allowed us to tap images posted by their members for postings in our website after adding background information. In this way we help provide scientific background information to the images/videos.

Finally, we would like to extend our thanks to the following for their valuable contributions:

Amar-Singh HSS, Acierto Estela, Beez Beez, Butterfly & Insect Group (NSS). Chan Kumchun, Chan Melinda, Chan Yoke Meng, Chew Ping Ting, Chew Yen Fook, Chng Geam Liang, Chow Lena, Chua Tony, D’Rozario Vilma, Edgecombe Mike, GaoJian LiuJia, Gupta Tanvi Dutta, Ho Jean, K, Khew Sin Khoon, Kim KC, Kwong Wai Chong, Lau Amber, Lee Chiu San, Lee Jeremy, Lee Paul, Lee Shunda, Lee VH, Leong KF Paul, Leong Tzi Ming, Lim Geoff, Lim Francis, Lim Swee-Im, Lin,
Ling Kwee Chang, Loei Jeremiah, Loo Hin Chong, Luce Sam, Maniam Danaraj, Meulen Simon van der, Ng Angie, Ng Marcus, Ng Peter, O’Neill Daisy, Oschadleus Deiter, Peeters Hans, Phay SC, Ramasamy Ananth, Seng Alvin, SgBeachBum, Soe Hlaing, Stockdale Howard, Strange Mark Wen, Subaraj Rajathurai, Sun Chong Hong, Tan Dean, Tan Eng Boo, Tan Eric, Tan Ria, Tan Rosemary, Tao Jing-Yi, Tay Andrew, Teo Allan, Teo Lee Wei, Tong Chow Ngian, Tsang KC, Tze Fung Kwan, Wang Luan Keng, Wee Johnny, Wee YC, Wells David, White Richard, Wong Weng Fai, Woo Jia Wei, Xu Weiting, Yap KF, Yeo Amelia,

Should there are any omissions, our apologies. Please inform us and we will rectify the situation.

Last but not least, we wish to thank N Sivasothi and Kenneth Pinto for technical assistance.

With the continued cooperation of citizen scientists, we will continue providing information on bird behavior in our efforts to make watching and photographing birds more interesting and fruitful. We also hope to include more aspects of nature as we need to relate bird behavior with the other inhabitants of the wilderness. After all, birds do not exist alone but interact closely with the plants and animals around them. And to study bird behavior we need to also look at the plants and animals around them.

Note: Total number of visitors since the time we started blogging is 6,760,570 – as at noon 31st December 2015.

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