Taiping Raptor Watch

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Raptor Watch Taiping

One of the more low key birding events is the Taiping Raptor Watch or Festival Helang Taiping, which takes place at Scotts Hill in the historical city of Taiping in the state of Perak.

The Taiping Raptor Watch event’s objective is to do a raptor count as in Autumn, the migratory raptors from the north will head down south, passing the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

Taiping Raptor Watch

If you are a raptor lover or want to know more about raptor migration, this event is perfect for you, as it revolves around these birds of prey, consisting of kites, hawks, eagles, bazas and buzzards.

There are a few places around Malaysia to visit to see the raptor migration during the seasons. Still, for a community event, there are specially curated counting events done.

The most famous counting event is no other than Raptor Watch at Tanjung Tuan in Negeri Sembilan, followed by the Taiping Raptor Watch and the not so popular Bedong Raptor Watch Kedah.

Why Do The Raptors Fly Pass Taiping?

This is due to the northern hemisphere autumn; this is one of the major routes taken by Far East Asian raptors migrating south and coastal China into mainland Southeast Asia.

They will pass through the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, and the south during this migration. The prominent location includes choking points for the raptors, which are in Thailand, Perak and Melaka.

Migratory raptors breed in eastern Russia, Nepal, China, Mongolia, and Japan. During winter, they fly south to countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Bali and the Indonesian islands.

Notable locations to spot these migratory raptors are at Chumphon in Thailand during the Chumphon Raptor Watch, Gunung Jerai, Sungai Petani, Jeniang, Sik and Bukit Selambau Hills, and also in the Bedong area in Kedah. However, Scott’s Hill is in Taiping is the main location for the event.

Japan Sparrowhawk
A Japanese Sparrowhawk in flight.

What Raptors Can Be Seen At Taiping  Raptor Watch?

The whole objective is to spot and count raptors that use the East Asian Fly Way, and there are many raptors to be spotted which include;

  • Black baza
  • Oriental honey-buzzard
  • Grey-faced Buzzard
  • Ospreys
  • Chinese sparrowhawk
  • Japanese sparrowhawk

How Many Raptors Can Be Seen At Raptor Watch?

While the numbers have significantly dropped over the years, on average, you can see around 7,000 to 10,000 raptors during the peak.

In 2012, the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) managed to count a whopping total of 64,268 raptors from 13 migratory species. The following year, the number of raptors dropped to 55,915.

There has not been any official announcement on the numbers spotted in recent years, but you can contact MNS Ipoh or Perak for the information if you want to know.

When Does The Monitoring Of Raptors Start? 

Officially, the monitoring of raptor watch starts from the last week of September till the first week of November and makes it a total of six weeks of the northern hemisphere autumn.

Activities at Taiping Raptor Watch

Due to the small scale of the event, some activities occur during the main event, changing from year to year. But I will list down what you may expect at the next event, based on the previous year’s activities.

  • Raptor Count
  • Presentation by Malaysia Nature Society
  • Mini-Exhibition
  • Merchandise Stall
  • Mangrove Tours
  • FireFly Tours
Location of Taiping Raptor Watch
The map showing the location of where the event takes place in Taiping.

Taiping Raptor Watch
Venue: Scott’s Hill, Taiping, Perak
Date: End October or early November
Organizer: Malaysian Nature Society (MNS Ipoh branch)
Website: –
Tel: –

Other Raptor Migration Sites in Malaysia

There are also a couple of other raptor migration sites located around Malaysia, and those interested can also read about them below;

  1. Bedong Raptor Migration site in Kedah
  2. Tanjung Tuan Raptor Watch site in Melaka

Conclusion

This is probably the only bird watching event in Taiping on a large scale level with involvement from MNS and the local council. However, since the Covid19 pandemic in 2020, the event was cancelled.

The Taiping Raptor Watch or Festival Helang Taiping has been around for almost 10 years now. For more accurate information, I recommend you contact MNS Ipoh to see if they are organizing the yearly event.

Bird Watching Asia is a birding platform in Malaysia that promotes events and other related information to create awareness for this hobby or sport.

About Bird Watching Asia

Bird Watching Asia is a self-funded project to promote bird watching in Malaysia and around Asia.

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