Great news as Raptor Watch 2022 is coming back to the shores of Tanjung Tuan as a physical event after two years of the Covid19 pandemic. The birding event will be held on 12-13 March 2022 (Saturday & Sunday) and at the Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve.
In 2020 and 2021, the Covid19 pandemic forced many physical events to be held online, and Raptor Watch was one of them. Now, in the age of Omicron and nearing the endemic stage, events have been given the green light to proceed with strict SOPs.
Raptor Watch 2022
Raptor Watch is one of the exciting eco-tourism events organised by the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS). The birding event is a festival to celebrate the return of the migratory birds of prey, better known as raptors, on their journey back to their breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere.
This public event is meant to raise awareness on the conservation of raptors and their habitats and has been around for more than 20 years now. The first Raptor Watch event was held in 2000, and it has grown tremendously in the last two decades.
However, Raptor Watch 2021 was made as an exclusive virtual event streamed online for people in Malaysia and worldwide.
Raptor Watch 2022 will be held for one and a half days with a staple of favourite activities, including guided walks by volunteers, multiple exhibition booths and various games for children. More information will be added here when I get it.
What and Why?
The spring raptor migration begins in mid-February and lasts till mid-April. Over the years of monitoring this phenomenon, MNS has discovered that the peak period to watch the most number of birds is the first weekend of March.
And the best time to watch the raptors will be between 11.00 AM and 3.00 PM. There have been records of raptors flying as late as 6.00 PM too. Raptors choose to fly during the hottest period of the day because they need thermals.
Thermals are hot air columns produced by the land due to the heat from the sun. As raptors are enormous creatures, they require these thermals to help them glide in the sky without using energy to flap their wings. Thermals will assist the raptors in getting them back to their breeding grounds in far northern temperate Asia with minimal energy usage.
One of the main objectives of Raptor Watch 2022 is to ensure the continued conservation of Tanjung Tuan Forest Reserve by promoting this iconic celebration as a national eco-tourism event. Tanjung Tuan has also been listed as an important raptor site by BirdLife International, National Geographic Society and Hawkmountain.
For anyone interested in the first birding event in Malaysia for 2022, please take note of the dates, make your accommodation booking early and see you there.