Uniting hearts with birdsong | Borneo Bulletin Online

Daniel Lim

With the hustle and bustle of modern city life, it can be easy to miss out on appreciating the smaller things in life, especially those connected to the beauty and serenity of nature.

One such serene and calming activity is bird singing appreciation, to experience joy of the different, unique songs of various species.

For many, it’s a way to connect with nature and the changing of the seasons as different birds migrate to and from their habitats.

Bird singing appreciation can also be a meditative experience, as one focusses on the soothing melody of a particular bird. This drew many to care for various birds found across the whole of Borneo.

Hassan bin Haji Masri, who organised a bird singing competition Kampong Lorong Tiga Selatan Seria recently, is one such appreciator of bird songs.

“The first edition of the competition saw around 80 participants,” he told the Bulletin. “This year, we were fortunate to see an increase of participants to 120, many of whom share the same passion and love for appreciating the birds singing.”

Birds featured in a bird singing competition recently held in the Belait District. PHOTOS: DANIEL LIM
ABOVE & BELOW: Mohammad Antoni; and Haji Md Faadzil Syafiudden bin Awang Haji Mohd Yunus caring for their songbirds

The organisers worked closely with the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Department, and aimed to highlight the various birds found in the country, including the Blackheaded Murai, Whiteheaded Murai and canaries.

Hassan added, ”These competitions serve as a platform to help clear up any confusion that people might have in regards to bird singing and caring for birds by bringing together likeminded people to share knowledge and expertise.”

Mohammad Antoni, an Indonesian worker from Kediri, Jawa Timur is one such individual.

“The community in Brunei is very positive, as both locals, as well as foreigners, can come together and appreciate the melody and songs sung by the birds.”

Mohammad Antoni, who has been in the hobby for four years, said, the activity is an opportunity for people, regardless of background, that enjoy the melodies to gather and admire nature.

He said one of the more popular bird songs is the Murai Batu or the White-rumped Shama, in terms of tone and melody.

Meanwhile, Haji Md Faadzil Syafiudden bin Awang Haji Mohd Yunus who has been caring for songbirds for over 15 years, said, “There are certainly challenges in caring for the birds, especially when they are shedding their feathers. But once they are wholeheartedly taken care of, the melodies is a very satisfying payoff.”

This appreciation of nature’s elegance extends to the community itself, as Haji Md Faadzil Syafiudden pointed out that it is a close-knit community comprising not only locals but also people from neighbouring countries who all share the same passion for the hobby.

“This shared passion means that many of us who join in these kinds of gatherings and competitions can share our own experiences in caring and tending to the birds to ensure that they are healthy and can sing to their fullest.

“Alhamdulillah, for those who are interested in birds singing, there are many groups and people who share this same passion,” he said.

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