BESG’s website has touched another milestone – half a million visitors in just over three years. This time, most of the credits must go to bird photographers. They are currently at the forefront of bird behaviour documentation, providing new records of feeding, courtship, nesting, etc.
Our alliance with NaturePixels, a photographic e-forum, has brought in numerous images taken by photographers affiliated to it. All the photographers approached have unstintingly allowed us to showcase their images. Thanks everyone!
Birders once dominated the local birding scene. Not anymore. They have lagged behind on bird behaviour observations, being too involved in twitching, listing and ticking. The following quote from Peter Bircham’s A History of Ornithology, Collins, London: 2007, who is referring to the second half of the 19th century Britain’s preoccupation on the “study of faunistics, the birds of this place or that, and the consequent systematics,” is very relevant to our local situation:
“This preoccupation seemed to choke the life out of field ornithology and there was little interest in ecological studies or studies of basic bird biology.”
Slim Sreedharn, the eminent ornithologist affiliated to the Sarawak Museum, in a talk to the Nature Society (Singapore) in the 1990s, hinted that birdwatchers had “the tendency to learn more and more about less and less.” Although he was invited to give the talk, the society declined his offer to publish his text in its magazine, Nature Watch. So the message did not filter down to the general membership, especially birdwatchers. Pity!
Now how come photographers are leading the field? For one, they are not bound by the rules of a formal grouping. The ability to operate independently allows the best to flourish and not dominated or suppressed by the leadership, especially when the leadership is less than spectacular.
Nature Blog Network ranks a total of 559 nature blogs that deal with ecosystems, flora and fauna and the outdoors. I am happy to announce that BESG ranks 23 (as of now). However, for blogs dealing mainly on birds, and there are currently 186, BESG ranks fourth.
Mike Bergin, creator of the Nature Blog Network as well as founder of 10,000 Birds, the top bird blog in the world, and I and the Bird has this to say about BESG on the occasion of our hosting the I and the Bird #89:
“The Bird Ecology Study Group has been an acting bird club extension of the Nature Society (Singapore) since September 2005. Since that time, they’ve produced the finest group birding blog on the planet, bar none. Much of that credit must go to Y C Wee, BESGroup Founder, Coordinator, and Administrator. He has forged a truly remarkable website from the raw material every bird club has in abundance yet takes for granted. Thanks to his commitment, the BESGroup blog has published the sightings, observations, photos, and comments of over 150 ornithologists, twitchers, and casual birders from Southeast Asia and beyond. And it’s all sensational! This week, Y C further establishes this site as the undisputed king of all bird club blogs on Earth by hosting a special Singapore symposium edition of I and the Bird.” (Thursday, 27 of November, 2008 at 5:30 am)
27th November 2008
(Images courtesy of Dr Jonathan Cheah Weng Kwong)