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Kranji Marshes
Photograph: Urban Redevelopment Authority

The best places in Singapore for birdwatching

Eyes on the skies – pack the binoculars and make new feathered friends at these spots

Cam Khalid
Written by
Cam Khalid
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With the massive Jurong Bird Park, gatherings by the shores, and avian spectacles on your doorstep, Singapore is definitely home to a diverse population of birds. There are about 400 species, in which some are endangered. And with so many feathered friends, it's a given then that the locals love a bit of bird-watching – also known as urban birding – and seeing various species take flight. For the true-blue, eagle-eyed spotter, here's where to start if you're looking for more exotic birds like the white-bellied sea eagle and the black-naped oriole beckon.

RECOMMENDED: The best places to spot wildlife in Singapore and 8 rare wildlife in Singapore and where to find them

  • Things to do
  • Boon Lay

It's no surprise that the best place to watch birds is – drumroll, please – Jurong Bird Park. Home to over 8,000 birds from 600 species, you don't have to travel far and wide to catch the winged creatures take flight. There is a multitude of exotic and endangered Southeast Asian species, alongside pelicans, penguins, flamingoes, ibises, swans, toucans, birds of paradise – and more. Key attractions include the largest walk-in aviary in the world, where you’ll find a 30-metre man-made waterfall and over 1,500 birds from Africa and South America flying freely within the huge compound.

  • Things to do
  • Lim Chu Kang

Home to 170 species of birds, 54 types of buttferflies and 33 different kinds of dragonflies, this nature reserve is the perfect recreation area to observe and enjoy the island's wildlife. The six bird hides and two blinds at the Marsh Station give you a chance to observe birds native to the habitat, such as the Common Moorhen and the Marshes’ signature bird, the Purple Swamphen. The hideouts – they have names like ‘Duck Hide’ and ‘Woodpecker Shelter’ – let visitors spy on wildlife up-close and personal.

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  • Things to do
  • Lim Chu Kang

Strap on your best walking shoes and trudge through the swamps of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve to learn more about the flora and fauna that call this mangrove forest home. This wetland reserve of mangrove swamps, ponds and secondary forest is also home to 140 species of birds. Take a spot at the observation hides or rent binoculars to bird-watch.

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  • Pulau Ubin

Take a walk on the wild side as you step foot on one of Singapore’s last surviving kampongs. At a sprawling 1,020-hectares, Pulau Ubin boasts lush greenery and abundant wildlife, drawing nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts to explore the many wonders of the granite island. Whip out your binoculars to spot birds at Pekan Quarry. Got none? There are on-site telescopes available to see the birds up close and personal – well, through a lens.

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  • Things to do
  • Punggol

Located in a quiet, tranquil area in the northeastern part of Singapore, this park offers four unique themes with something in store for nature lovers of all ages. The area is also a bird-watching paradise as it attracts many feathered friends such as the common collared kingfisher, black-naped oriole, long-tailed shrike, pink-necked green pigeon, yellow-vented bulbul, rose-ringed parakeet, and white-throated kingfisher.

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  • Bukit Merah

Covered by lush rainforest and with landscaped slopes, this makes an ace spot to catch the feathered creatures in action as they depart from their nests. It's been said that there are up to 43 species of birds spotted here. Go through the Forest Walk and the Singing Forest as you keep a lookout for any one of these stunning flying beauties.

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Labrador Park
  • Things to do
  • Harbourfront

For a chance to spot the white-bellied sea eagle beyond the $10,000 banknote, head over to Labrador Park with your trusty binocular. While the park's mostly known to be home to the very shy, nocturnal pangolin, over 70 different species of birds have been spotted here, including the rufous woodpecker, blue-crowned hanging parrot, and Abbott’s babbler, during the day.

  • Things to do
  • Central Water Catchment

This venue is temporarily closed.

The TreeTop Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir takes you through the different stages of a mature secondary forest. It’s the first of its kind in Singapore, as well as Southeast Asia. The bridge part rises as high as 27-metres, and you can see as many as 80 different bird species, as well as the different types of trees they nest in. National Parks Board calls it one of the best hiking routes, but be sure to wear the right shoes; it’s graded moderate-to-difficult. Getting to the bridge, and walking it and back is a 10.5-kilometre journey – definitely one for serious bird-watchers.

Wild, wild, wildlife

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