Kebun Baru Bird-singing Club

The Kebun Baru Bird-singing Club facility is Singapore’s largest and possibly oldest public area where bird-collecting hobbyists from all across the island and even abroad come to listen and admire these unique prized possessions.

During competition time, the numbers are allotted to the contestant and his prized birds

During competition time, the numbers are allotted to the contestant and his/her prized birds

Unlike the void deck bird corners, the Bird-singing club, which is located at the foot of Ang Mo Kio Garden West, contains 426 twenty-foot poles where birds such as the merboks (a bird with greyish face and pinkish body) are hoisted up by a simple pulley system for some much needed sunshine as well as to encourage their beautiful singing whilst in the presence of their fellow species.

Although the exact construction date of the Bird-singing facility is not known, many of the mostly male bird-hobbyist do consider it be the oldest, with one retiree even saying it may have gone as far back to the 1950s.

Hoisting the bird cage is easy as raising a flag

Hoisting the bird cage is easy as raising a flag

The cloth used to cover the bird cages on the way to the poles also helps identify an owner's bird more easily

The cloth used to cover the bird cages on the way to the poles also helps identify an owner’s bird more easily

Aside from the merbok, some of the other more prominent birds you might see around the area include the red whiskered bulbul or jambul, and the much-prized white-rumped shama. These birds are noted for their beauty and during the club’s monthly competitions, are judged based on factors such as singing ability, stamina and even the length of tail. So valued in fact are these birds that some can go for tens of thousands of dollars.

Red wiskered bulbul at Kebun Baru Bird-singing club

The red whiskered bulbulas has a red whiskered patch below its eye, black pointed crest, greyish brown wings and white breast. When a female jambul is nearby, it would sing with an open tail and crest, and spread its wings. This bird was also depicted on the $5 Singapore currency note (bird series).

The Kebun Baru Bird-singing Club also has a unique tagline of ‘cherishing racial harmony through avian hobby ‘, and the shelters, which are occupied daily from 6am till noon, are often filled with coffeeshop talks from individuals of all walks of life. There is even a website and Facebook Page regularly updating members about the up-and-coming activities.

Unlike the slowly disappearing void deck bird corners that may get a little noisy from the concentration of echoes, here at the Bird-singing club, one is definitely able to appreciate the natural singing sounds of these birds in an equally peaceful surrounding.

A unique but welcoming tagline

A unique but welcoming tagline

Take in the beautiful natural sights and sounds of birds such as the merbok and jambul

Take in the beautiful natural sights and sounds of birds such as the merbok and jambul

A man taking care of his prized possession

A man taking care of his prized possession

A bird-collecting hobbyist

A bird-collecting hobbyist

One of the few shelters at the bird-singing corner

One of the few shelters at the bird-singing corner

One comment

  1. Interesting. I never knew there was an official bird singing club in Singapore although I have seen the existence of various bird corners in HDB heartlands.

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