Malaysia: Nature lovers in for a treat as birds take off for spring migration

The Star 5 Mar 16;

KUALA LUMPUR: Nature lovers will be in for a treat on March 12 as more than 30,000 raptors are expected to soar across the Malaysian skies as part of their annual spring migration.

The Raptor Watch will be held in Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve at 10th mile, Port Dickson, one of the favourite local destinations for these predatory birds.

It is an opportunity to observe the raptors in their natural environment, feasting on bees, little birds, lizards and other small animals during their stop in Tanjung Tuan.

Situated at the narrowest part of the Malacca Strait, the forest is ideal for birdwatching as it is the least difficult path for the birds to cross over the water from Sumatra, Indonesia.

Last year, 48,662 birds were counted.

Among those were the Oriental Honey Buzzards, Brahminy Kite, White Bellied Sea-eagle, Common Buzzard, Booted Eagle as well as one Eurasian Hobby, spotted for the first time there.

This event, organised by the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) with the support of the Malacca and Negri Sembilan governments, has attracted thousands of people every year to observe and photograph the raptors heading northwards to their breeding grounds.

March 12 is chosen as the ideal birdwatching date after years of monitoring by the MNS. It has been observed that the peak period is in the middle of March.

MNS also suggested the period between 11am and 3pm as the best time to watch the raptors, although the event will be from 9am to 5pm.

It will also be a fun-filled day for the family as colouring competitions, jungle walking and a series of nature-related talks have been organised.

There will also be selfie booths, games, face painting as well as other booths that showcase products and activities that promote nature appreciation.

Interested nature lovers can head for PNB Ilham Resort to reach the event easily.

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