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.
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.
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.
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.