Over in the Kingdom of Brunei and on the island of Borneo, the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) has organized the first Brunei Bird Race Series.
This is considered a national bird watching event, a four-part series that will promote four main bird watching locations in Brunei.
The first part of the bird race in Brunei was concluded on the 14th April 2019, and from 6.00 AM till 10.30 AM, with a total time of four hours.
The Brunei Bird Race Series 2019 early morning flag-off was delayed slightly due to rain and started from Capital Residence and Suites, the kingdom’s capital.
A total of 15 participants took part to kick off this inaugural bird watching event, which many did not expect, and it goes to show how serious Brunei is in promoting birding and nature to the world.
Brunei Bird Race Series
From what we have learned, the Brunei Bird Race Series is a multiple birding event, with four instalments in this year’s series, which covers four main birding destinations in Brunei.
The next leg of the series will occur at the end of July 2019 and the Tasek Merimbun Heritage Park in Tutong, Brunei. This is also known as the ASEAN Heritage Park, with a whopping total of 7,800 hectares of land.
The Tasek Merimbun is also the largest natural lake in Brunei and is about 70 kilometres from Bandar Seri Begawan. The nearest township is called Tutong Town.
To document and improve the database of birds found all over Brunei, the ministry hopes that this event will eventually grow into an international bird race by 2021.
The last time a massive bird watching event took place in Brunei was during the Borneo Bird Race in 2014. Brunei was the last leg of the race that saw 9 countries participate and travel over 1000 kilometres around Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei.
Since then, there has not been any official bird watching race or event taking place in Brunei, and we are quite ecstatic to see the tourism ministry take the lead in this.
Out of the 600 plus species of birds found all over Borneo, Brunei is home to 54 endemic species of birds, which are also endemic to Borneo.
Brunei Bird Race Series 2019 Locations
Below is the official locations for the four-part series of the bird race here in Brunei. Each of them has its own unique birds and its own interesting locations.
The months are scheduled, but the exact dates are to be announced.
Tasek Lama Bird Race Series – April 2019 (6.00 AM to 10.30 AM)
Tutong Bird Race Series – July 2019 (2.00 PM to 12 Noon following day)
Belait Bird Race Series – September 2019
Temburong Bird Race Series – December 2019
The Grand Prize For the Brunei Bird Race Series
There will be one main champion taken from the four districts, and it will be the one birder with the overall highest number of birds species sited for all four birdwatching races.
This lucky birder will be crowned the ‘Overall Brunei Bird Race Series 2019 Champion’, a prestigious title since it is the inaugural event for Brunei.
Brunei Bird Race Series Information
The Brunei Bird Race Series is a fun learning bird photography activity for all (12 years and above) and is broken into four instalments for four birding locations around Brunei.
It does not matter if you are a professional or an amateur, as these rules are designed so that everyone can participate in an even playfield. All photo-data collected would help in conservation and future reference.
Rules and Regulations
Entry fee: BND30.00 per person (cash only); the Registration fee is non-refundable
Registration can be made either by: From 2nd April to Friday, 12th April 2019
Register at any of our strategic partner’s outlets below by obtaining the registration forms and paying cash only:
Skechers, No 1, blk A, Qlap Complex, Tel: 2238223
Camping at Seria, 03-34A, 2nd flr, Seria Plaza, Tel: 3221 388
Camping at KB, No 16, 1st flr, Jalan Pretty, Tel: 3341338
Camping at Tutong, No 8, Grd flr, Blk A, Complex Berjaya, Tel: 4220323
Race Briefing – On Saturday, 13th April 2019 from 4:30 pm Capital Residence Suites (Ground floor New Wing lobby), Spg 2, Lot 21207, Kg Berangan, Bandar Seri Begawan.
*It is IMPORTANT to attend the race briefing to identify the designated race circuit and safety procedures.
Registration will only available at the BBRS 2019 BSB Edition Registration table from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm located at the Capital Residence Suites (Ground floor New Wing lobby), Spg 2, Lot 21207, Kg Berangan, Bandar Seri Begawan.
The Race Day, Sunday, 14th April 2019;
Registration table/tent at the waterfall area of the Tasek Lama Recreational Park will be open from 5:45 am to 9:00 am ONLY.
Race Flag-off @ 0630hrs on Sunday, 14th April 2019
Tasek Lama Recreational Park Waterfall Area
Race Ends @ 10:00hrs on 14th April 2019
Capital Residence Suites, New Wing Lobby
Spg 2, Lot 21207, Kg Berangan, Bandar Seri Begawan.
Your Photo-data entries can be submitted to the Race organiser at the Brunei Bird Race Series 2019 Registration Booth at Capital residence Suites, New Wing Lobby, between 10:00hrs and 11:00hrs on 14th April 2019.
Only photos taken during the race duration is valid for entry. Refreshments for participants only will be provided at 10:30 am at Capital Residence Suites Cafe.
Bird Race Participants
1. All participants must secure their own means of transportation and all necessary (digital) photo gear. Be sure to check your gear, charge the batteries and empty your memory cards.
2. Every participant is responsible for presenting himself/herself and for submitting personally and within the scheduled time.
3. Participants are responsible for the authenticity of their photos. They are not allowed to download or use photos from any source rather than the ones taken by your camera during the photo race event.
4. It is allowed to use any digital photographic cameras, including mobile and smartphones, but be sure to check section D for editing limitations and delivery conditions (contestants should be able to give us photos on a memory card or portable drive).
Editing and Submission of Entries
1. Participants are allowed to make minor editing adjustments on the submitted photos such as:
– Exposure, contrast, brightness, saturation, vibrancy and white balance.
– Alignment and cropping.
– To shoot in RAW as long as you deliver in JPG of at least 500KB JPG format/size.
2. Participants are expressly prohibited from making changes that radically change the photos like:
– Add or subtract elements to the photos.
– Substantial colour transformations like vintage look or sepia.
– Change the aspect ratio (no square photos, for example).
– Composite images such as HDR and layering.
3. Before submitting your entry, please ensure that you submit only 1 photo of each specie. Multiple photos of the same bird or specie shall be disqualified.
4. Photos must show the camera EXIF data, including date and time of capture.
5. We supply card readers for the following formats: SD, Compact Flash, Memory Stick and XD If you are not sure about which card format you own, you should bring your own card reader.
Bird Race Rules
1. The welfare of the birds and protection of habitats must come first. Caged, restrained, injured or dead birds or birds declared by the organizer will not be counted as escapees. Care must also be taken not to cause distress to both birds and their habitat. Flash photography of nesting birds is totally prohibited.
2. Bird photos must be photographed at the specified race circuit around Bandar Seri Begawan city Area only, including Tasek Lama Recreational Park and Brunei River.
3. Memory card of Photo-data must be proven formatted by Organizer before the race commences.
4. The first and last photo must be a picture of an object (Event logo) or as per instructed object by the organizer.
5. Attracting birds with any form of audio/playback equipment or artificial objects is totally prohibited.
6. To use of Field Guide Bird Book is encouraged. The Organizer may request verification of the photograph.
7. IMPORTANT: The organizers and others associated with the event will not be held responsible for any damages, injury or loss of life and/or limb. Participation in the Bird Race is solely at one’s own risk.
8. The organizing team will screen all submitted photos to detect possible violations of the regulation. We reserve the right to disqualify any participant that fails to comply with the rules & guidelines stated in this document. By entering the Bird Photo Race, the participants signify their acceptance of the rules.
9. The organizer has the discretion to add, change or update the above rules due to instant situation requirement or by the authority.
10. All photos in the contest remain the sole property of its authors, but the Brunei Bird Race Series organizer reserves the right to use them to promote this event, both online and in printed format. Photo Credit will be acknowledged.
11. Organizers will not be held responsible for any loss or damage to entries subject to technical errors.
Jury and Awards
1. The Jury is composed of elements nominated by the organizing team and will receive all photos renamed and coded for anonymity purposes.
2. The winners will be announced as soon as the Jury has made their selection, and the awards will be given during the Awarding. Date, time and venue for awarding ceremony to be informed later.
3. JUDGING CRITERIA: Judges Decision is final.
– IMAGE CLARITY
– HIGHEST NUMBER OF IDENTIFIABLE BIRD SPECIE
*NOTE: Images that are BLUR and unidentifiable will be disqualified.
Where Is The Brunei Bird Race Series Held?
The Brunei Bird Race Series is held in and around Brunei’s kingdom, on the island of Borneo, and at four different locations. They are Tasek Lama, Tutong, Belait and Temburong.
When Is The Brunei Bird Race Series?
The event saw its first instalment take place on April 14th, 2019, and the follow-up Brunei Bird Race Series at the end of July 2019.
The following two more events will occur in September and December and will conclude the four-part series of this bird watching event.
Who is the Organiser for the Brunei Bird Race Series?
The main organizer is the Brunei Tourism Development Department and supported by many other companies in Brunei. Below is a list of the partners and sponsors for the 2019 edition.
Strategic Partners and Company sponsors for the Brunei Bird Race Series 2019:
Jabatan Lembaga Bandaran, Kementerian Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri
Canon Interhouse Company
GL XTRA Sdn Bhd
Capital Residence and Suites
Travel Hub Tours and Travel
Mark Putera delima Tours Sdn Bhd
The Lanes Hotel
AEWON Sdn Bhd
Brunei Shell Petroleum Sdn Bhd
Brunei Bird Race Series 2019
Organizer: Tourism Development Department, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism
Contact: +6738744525 / +6732382822
Participants for the 1st Brunei Bird Race Series
Participants for the first instalment of the bird race included 13 locals, and two foreigners (New Zealand, Philippines), bringing the overall total to 15 participants.
A total of 65 birds species was photographed and collected for the database, where the species were spotted throughout the Tasek Lama Recreational Park and Bandar Seri Begawan area.
Winners of the 1st Brunei Bird Race Series 2019
1st Place – Awang Markim Haji Rahman – 26 Species
2nd Place – Awang Eric Chong – 24 Species
3rd Place – Awang Norsah Haji Kassim – 23 Species
All photos have been obtained with permission of the Brunei Bird Race Facebook Group. We apologize for the low-quality images; as you may already know, photos taken from Facebook and Whatsapp are very low quality.
We hope that Bird Watching Asia will be invited to cover one of the instalments to have photos and videos taken, and possibly to interview the organisers and participants about bird watching in Brunei.
This is the first time that the Brunei Bird Race Series has been organised as a four-instalment event at different Brunei locations.
With the first instalment’s success, 15 local birders took part with the main winner – Mr Markim, who spotted a total of 26 species in four hours.
Till the next instalment of the second Brunei Bird Race Series 2019 at Tutong, Bird Watching Asia wishes all those participating good luck and hope that many more birds will be spotted.