Monday, March 07, 2005

Raptor Watch Week - 05 & 06 March 2005

MNS invites YOU to share an experience and you don't have to be a birdwatcher to enjoy this one. Here, the BCC answers your frequently asked questions: -

What’s so special about Raptor Watch Week 2005?
Every year millions of birds make a dangerous journey to escape the cold of the northern winters. Some of these birds are called raptors: eagles and related families such as buzzards, sparrowhawks and a crazy-quilt black and white bird with feathers in his cap called a Black Baza. Some reach Indonesia.

In January, these birds start to fly back north, gradually building up in numbers until in early March there are sometimes thousands per day passing over the Straits of Malacca from Indonesia to Malaysia. They won't stop long in the Peninsular: they have a long journey ahead, back to Siberia, perhaps, or Japan, or to the remote areas of eastern China, where they will mate, nest and raise their young.

And we may have the privilege of seeing them arrive from Sumatra, flying low and tired after their long journey across water. But don't expect to see them perched.

Can you guarantee we’ll see birds?
No, of course not. Nature is unpredictable. Last year we had thousands of birds passing over the booth every day; not all raptors. It will happen again, but perhaps not on the particular day or the particular time you are there.

So we suggest you bring the family, friends and colleagues. Bring a picnic and your swim suit, and spend a day with us at the beach; the birds will be a marvelous bonus if they come, and you'll never forget the thrill of seeing them. Last year's raptor watch saw over 6,000 birds.

What if the raptors don’t come?
Well, we have a beach, we have a video of raptors arriving, an exhibition, things on sale, people to show you other birds, nature walks through the Tanjung Tuan forest reserve, people to explain all about raptors; the company's great and you'll learn a lot about the Malaysian Nature Society and make some new friends. You have nothing to lose and the chance to see something wonderful. And it's all free!!

When is Raptor Watch Week 2005?
March 5 & 6 (Saturday and Sunday) from 10am - 4pm. The most likely time to see birds is in the late morning to early afternoon while you are having your picnic lunch. But remember, birds are unpredictable, and the best thing is to come for the whole day, or better still the whole weekend. Prepare to do other things if it is quiet, like take a walk in the forest or go for a swim. Be patient.

Where is Raptor Watch Week 2005?
On the sea front at the Ilham Resort, Tanjung Tuan, Malacca, south of Port Dickson.

Who can attend?
Anyone. The more the merrier. Suitable for grandpa and kids. Entry is free.

What if I can’t come?
You can watch the action unfold on the World Wide Web, with continuous updates throughout the day at You can see how many birds are arriving as the day wears on, simply by clicking on the Malaysian Nature Society’s website.

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