2005-2019: Fifteen years of postings on bird behaviour will have to come to an end

posted in: Reports | 7

At midnight of 31st December 2019 the website has recorded at total of 24,297,294 visits. This translates to 5,509,803 visits for the year under review – see 2018 report HERE. What this means is that visitorship has been increasing every year.

Pink-necked Green-pigeon: Female above, male below (Photo: YC Wee).

The website was started in July 2005 at a time when birdwatchers were only interested in the number of species spotted… in an area… an habitat… an overseas visit… etc. I distinctly remember googling “pink-necked green-pigeon” and got pages and pages of trip reports where these pigeons were seen. No information on behaviour could be found on the internet – if there were any, I could not locate then. Information on bird behaviour were only found in books written by mainly naturalists. And this was where I located information on male green-pigeons incubating eggs during the day and females during the night.

Vinous-breasted Starling with a beak-full of ants (Photo: Subaraj Rajathurai).

Another behaviour that local birdwatchers were made aware of by the BESG website was “anting”. Although the behaviour was seen, local birdwatchers did not know what it was until 17 years later LINK and LINK.

Pellet casting was another phenomenon that was widely publicised LINK such that photographic evidence slowly became available as photographers kept watch after birds fed instead of moving off to seek out other birds LINK and PDF.

By 2012 the impact of the BESG website was such that listing of bird species and ticking checklists became a thing of the past – see HERE. Most birdwatchers were then beginning to keep an eye (if not both eyes) on bird behaviour when out in the field.

For the year 2019 we had a fulfilling year with contributors (casuals as well as regulars) continuing to send in their encounters – thank you very much. We continue our close collaboration with Facebook: Bird, Insects N Creatures Of Asia (BICA) to the benefit of both (above).

After 15 years of running the BESG website with the help of many, especially those who contribute entire articles (special mention: Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS of Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia and Daisy O’Neill of Penang), it is with great regret that I have to discontinue running the BESG website as of now. The last 15 years had been a learning period as I moved from being a plant person to one dealing with birds. But everything has to come to an end.

It is regrettable that the website will have to discontinue and laid to rest with the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, National University of Singapore. I take this opportunity to thank Prof. Peter Ng Kee Lin, the Director, for backup support. Thanks also to Dr Yuchen Ang of the museum who came to our aid whenever there were technical problems with the website.

YC Wee
Singapore
1st January 2020

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7 Responses

  1. S DEVASAHAYAM

    A sad day not only for bird watchers in South Asia, but across many parts of the world.

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  2. Extremely sad to hear this YC.
    BESG has given a voice to many, especially the birds.
    So that we can appreciate them and make efforts to save them.
    Much blessing and hope for your journey ahead.
    Amar

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  3. Morten Strange

    Sad day indeed, Dr Wee, but I cannot blame you, none of us are getting any younger; you have done so much more than your share already – to improve avifauna knowledge, awareness and appreciation!

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  4. Lee Chiu San

    I will really miss this website

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  5. Jeremiah Loei

    We at BICA-Birds Insects N Creatures of Asia will certainly missed you n your BESG site. You’ve been a mantor to us in many matters. We’ve learned a Great deal from you. Thank you!

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  6. Howard Banwell

    I’m very sad to see this initiative come to an end. Big thanks and kudos to Professor Wee for his massive effort over the past 15 years

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  7. Thanks Howard. If health permits you could see a return to postings… but contributions need to be near-complete. But no promise.

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