In my earlier post on the changing face of birding in Singapore, I lamented on the lack of bird behaviour observations made by local birders during the last few decades – a result of excessive twitching and listing. I also mentioned that bird photographers are currently at the forefront of behavioural studies.
I was thus pleasantly surprised when I found out about the latest publication on the brooding care of the Chestnut-bellied Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus sumatranus) by Alvin Lok and Lee Tiah Khee. Tiah Khee is an award-winning photographer who contributed all the spectacular images except one by Mark Chua – enter this LINK for a PDF copy of the paper.
The significance of this event is not so much the publication of a paper where a photographer is involved. This has been seen in a number of BESG’s publications (LINK). What is significant is the collaboration of a photographer with someone outside of BESG.
There are plenty of bird behaviour observations by bird photographers that need to be written up and published in scientific journals. More suitably qualified people should come forward to help photographers publish their observations. It is heartening to see a biologist working closely with a photographer to bring out this scientific paper.
Congratulations to Alvin and Tiah Khee.