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18 Big Birds That Live In Singapore

Singapore is home to a diverse range of bird species, ranging from small and elusive species to big and bold ones. Amongst the many species that can be found here, big birds are some of the most majestic and impressive.

These birds are characterised by their size and amazing plumage, making them a sight to behold. If you’re a bird enthusiast or simply appreciate the beauty of nature, you’ll definitely want to take a look at the list of big birds in Singapore.

Read on to learn more about these amazing creatures and where you can spot them in their native habitats.

1. Gruiformes


The Gruiformes is an order of birds which contains a large variety of families, both living and extinct. They are found all over the world in many different habitats, including wetlands and grasslands.

The name comes from Latin for “crane-like” due to their similar appearance to cranes. Many members of this group have long legs adapted for wading or running on land depending on species.

They also typically have long beaks used for hunting prey such as insects and small animals like fish, frogs and lizards.

Other traits commonly shared by these birds include strong wings with broad flight feathers that help them soar through the air when migrating or searching food sources during winter months.

 In addition to these physical characteristics, some Gruiformes also possess vocalizations unique among other bird orders – making them easily recognizable even at great distances.Scientific classification:

OrderGruiformes Bonaparte, 1854

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2. Painted Stork

Painted stork

The Painted Stork is a large bird that belongs to the stork family. It has an impressive wingspan and can be found in tropical Asia, ranging from the Indian subcontinent all the way to Southeast Asia.

These birds are unique because of their pink tertial feathers, which gives them their name. They form flocks when they forage in shallow waters near rivers or lakes.

They dip their half-open beaks into water looking for food such as fish, frogs and other small aquatic creatures.

A distinctive feature of these birds is that during breeding season both males and females have red eyes with yellow rings around them.

This species also displays amazing cooperative behaviour when nesting; young storks help build nests by bringing material back to older ones who weave it together forming huge colonies on trees close to wetlands.Scientific classification:

SpeciesM. leucocephala

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3. Asian Openbill

Asian openbill

The Asian openbill is a large stork found in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It has a greyish or white body, glossy black wings and tail, with an adult having a gap between upper mandible and lower one.

Juveniles don’t have this unique feature but will grow it as they mature.

They feed by wading through shallow water looking for snails, crustaceans and aquatic plants to eat from the surface of mudflats or marshes.

Due to its enormous size (up to 121 cm tall) it makes quite an impressive sight when flying.Scientific classification:

SpeciesA. oscitans

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4. Shorebirds


Shorebirds, a diverse group of birds in the Charadriiformes order, are found near water on every continent except Antarctica.

These small to medium-sized birds feed mainly on invertebrates and other small animals but can also be pelagic seabirds or inhabit deserts.

Shorebirds use their long bills to probe mudflats for food like worms and mollusks while some species plunge into the ocean’s depths in search of crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp.

They have strong legs equipped with webbed feet which allow them to move quickly when searching for prey across wetlands, sandbars, beaches and swamps.

Their feathers make them well adapted to life by land or sea due to its hydrophobic nature which helps reduce drag during swimming or flying through windy conditions making it easier for shorebirds survive tough environments around the world.Scientific classification:

OrderCharadriiformes Huxley, 1867

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5. Jacanas


Jacanas are tropical waders belonging to the Jacanidae family. They have distinctive elongated toes and toenails which help them forage on floating or semi-emergent aquatic vegetation.

This adaptation gives them their nickname “Jesus birds” as they seem to be able to walk on water.

The female jacanas are also unique amongst bird species in that they take charge of nest building, incubation and caring for young while males perform courtship displays.

These unusual birds can be found throughout the world’s tropical regions where they inhabit wetlands such as swamps, marshes and shallow lakes with lily pads.

With a wide variety range due their special adaptations these beautiful creatures will surely continue living life at ease around our planet’s warmest waters.Scientific classification:

FamilyJacanidae Stejneger, 1885

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6. Cuckoos


Cuckoos are fascinating birds belonging to the Cuculidae family, which is the only taxon in the order of Cuculiformes.

There are many different species within this family such as common or European cuckoo, roadrunners, koels, malkohas, couas and anis.

Some of these species may even be identified as separate families – Centropodidae and Crotophagidae respectively.

These birds have been known for their unique features such as loud calls heard consistently during certain times of day and night.

They also exhibit behavior like brood parasitism where they lay eggs in other nests so that their chicks can get more food from host parents than its own.

All these traits make them one-of-a-kind creatures worth admiring.Scientific classification:

OrderCuculiformes Wagler, 1830
FamilyCuculidae Leach, 1820

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7. White-Breasted Waterhen

White-breasted waterhen

The White-breasted Waterhen is a stunning species of bird from South and Southeast Asia. It has a striking appearance, with its dark slaty plumage contrasted by the clean white of its face, breast and belly.

This bold waterbird can often be seen slowly walking around marshes or even drains near busy roads with its tail held upright in an unmistakable pose.

They are omnivores which feed on both plants and small animals such as insects and invertebrates.

The White-breasted Waterhen plays an important role in their ecosystems as they help to keep it balanced by consuming pests that could potentially cause damage to crops or other plant life if left unchecked.Scientific classification:

SpeciesA. phoenicurus

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8. Lesser Adjutant

Lesser adjutant

The Lesser Adjutant is a large wading bird found in the stork family Ciconiidae. It has an unmistakable profile, with its bare neck and head distinguishing it from other species of its genus.

This impressive bird is solitary in nature, preferring to live near wetland habitats where it can feed on fish, frogs and insects that inhabit these areas.

The Lesser Adjutant lives all over India as well as Southeast Asia into Java making them a widespread species.

They are also less likely scavengers than their larger counterpart –the Greater Adjutant Bird -making them more unique amongst their peers.

Not only do they possess this interesting trait but due to their size and ability to fly long distances they play an important role within local ecosystems across Asia keeping things balanced and healthy for future generations.Scientific classification:

SpeciesL. javanicus

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9. Procellariidae


Procellariidae is a diverse family of seabirds belonging to the bird order Procellariiformes.

These birds are commonly referred to as tubenoses and include fulmarine petrels, gadfly petrels, diving petrels, prions, and shearwaters.

They range in size from the small storm-petrel which measures around 18cm long to the giant albatross which can reach up to 3 meters in length.

Generally found near oceans or coasts where they feed on fish as well as squid and other marine life depending on species.

Many procellariids will also nest inland during breeding season before returning back out at sea for most of their lives.

Their wings have specially adapted feathers that give them incredible gliding abilities allowing them literally fly with minimal effort over vast distances across oceanic regionsScientific classification:

FamilyProcellariidae Leach, 1820

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10. Hornbill


Hornbills are a tropical and subtropical bird species with characteristic long, curved bills. Their English and scientific names both refer to the shape of their bill which resembles that of a cow’s horn.

They have strong beaks for cracking open hard-shelled fruits as well as powerful wings for flying between trees or over great distances in search of food or mates.

Hornbills also feature beautiful plumage ranging from white to black feathers with yellow, brown, red and blue accents on the head, neck and back areas depending on the species.

In addition they often display brightly coloured casques – helmet like structures – atop their upper mandible adding further visual appeal to these majestic birds.Scientific classification:

FamilyBucerotidae Rafinesque, 1815

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11. Cinereous Vulture

Cinereous vulture

The cinereous vulture, also known as the black vulture, monk vulture and Eurasian black vuture is a large raptor found in temperate Eurasia. It has an impressive wingspan of 3.1 metres (10 feet) with a body length of 1.2 metres (3 ft 11in).

They are the largest Old World Vultures and can reach weights up to 14 kilograms(31 lbs).

Their diet consists mainly of carrion but they have been recorded taking live prey such as rodents or hares which allows them to search for food over wide areas quickly.

These birds usually hunt alone during daylight hours due their eyesight being well adapted at picking out carcasses from far away distances while soaring high in the sky above open grasslands or wooded hillsides where they breed seasonally between late winter and early autumn typically laying one egg per pair each year.Scientific classification:

SpeciesA. monachus

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12. Drongos


Drongos are an Old World tropical family of passerine birds belonging to the Dicruridae genus.

They have short legs, forked tails and a distinctive upright stance when perched.

Depending on the species they may be mostly black or dark grey in colour with some having elaborate tail decorations.

Drongos feed mainly on insects and small birds – catching them both in flight and from the ground.

They also sometimes eat fruit, nectar and even carcasses.

The drongo’s unique adaptations make it one of nature’s most successful hunters; able to survive almost anywhere in their natural range across Africa, Asia & Australia.Scientific classification:

FamilyDicruridae Vigors, 1825
GenusDicrurus Vieillot, 1816

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13. Barred Buttonquail

Barred buttonquail

The Barred Buttonquail, also known as the Common Bustard-Quail is a small species of bird that originates in India and extends across tropical Asia to South China, Indonesia and the Philippines.

It was formally described by German naturalist Johann Friedrich Gmelin in 1789.

This buttonquail looks similar to true quails but it belongs to its own family; they have brown plumage with black barring on their wings and tail feathers.

They mainly feed on insects like beetles, grasshoppers and other invertebrates found amongst leaf litter or tall vegetation cover.

Their diet also includes grains such as wheat or corn for added nutrition during breeding season when females are laying eggs for incubation purposes until hatching occurs after about 18 days.Scientific classification:

SpeciesT. suscitator

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14. Eurasian Whimbrel

Eurasian whimbrel

Eurasian Whimbrels are a species of wading bird commonly found in subarctic regions of Europe and Asia.

They have white rumps, long curved bills, brown wings and backs with light streaking on the lower breast.

These birds feed mainly on crustaceans, mollusks or worms they find while probing in the mud during low tide.

During breeding season they can be seen nesting near coastal areas or wetlands where food is plentiful.

This species has recently been split from Hudsonian whimbrels but some authorities still consider them to be one species due to their similarities which includes migration patterns as well as habitat preferences.

Eurasian whimbrels are an important part of many ecosystems because they help control insect populations by eating larvae before it can cause damage to crops or vegetation nearby.Scientific classification:

SpeciesN. phaeopus

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15. Yellow-Crested Cockatoo

Yellow-crested cockatoo

The Yellow-crested Cockatoo is a beautiful and striking bird that can be found in East Timor and the Sula Islands of Indonesia.

It has white plumage, bluish-white bare orbital skin, grey feet, a black bill and an impressive retractile yellow or orange crest.

These birds stand at around 34 cm long which makes them medium sized amongst cockatoos.

They prefer to live in wooded areas as well as cultivated land but are unfortunately endangered due to habitat loss from deforestation along with illegal trapping for pet trade purposes.

They have been listed under CITES Appendix I since 1981 meaning all activities involving international commercial trading of these birds must cease immediately if they are ever going to make a full recovery within their natural habitats again.Scientific classification:

SpeciesC. sulphurea

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16. Great Slaty Woodpecker

Great slaty woodpecker

The Great Slaty Woodpecker is a stunning bird, easily recognizable with its unique coloration. It sports greyish-black wings and back, white underparts and an off-white to yellow belly.

These birds range across the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia; they can be found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India (including Andaman Islands), Nepal, Myanmar (formerly Burma) Laos PDR., Thailand Vietnam as well as parts of China including Taiwan.

They are gregarious species that form large flocks when foraging or roosting. This woodpecker feeds mainly on insects such as ants but also consume fruits occasionally during non breeding season months.

The great slaty woodpecker is not only beautiful but also uniquely adapted to life among trees which makes it an interesting subject for observation by naturalists around the world.Scientific classification:

SpeciesM. pulverulentus

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17. Greater Spotted Eagle

Greater spotted eagle

The greater spotted eagle is a large bird of prey that belongs to the Accipitridae family. It is also known as the spotted eagle and has feathered legs that indicate its membership in the subfamily Aquilinae, also called the “booted eagles.” 

Although previously considered a member of the Aquila genus, it has been recently reclassified in the Clanga genus, along with other eagle species.

The greater spotted eagle is a magnificent bird with a wingspan of up to 2 meters and is known for its hunting skills.

Due to habitat loss and degradation, its population has been declining, leading it to be classified as a vulnerable species on the IUCN Red List.

Conservation efforts are needed to ensure the survival and protection of this majestic bird.Scientific classification:

SpeciesC. clanga

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18. Tanimbar Corella

Tanimbar corella

The Tanimbar corella, also known as Goffin’s cockatoo, is a type of cockatoo bird found in the Tanimbar Islands of Indonesia. they can be found in forests of Yamdena, Larat, and Selaru islands.

This particular species has also been introduced to a few other islands such as the Kai Islands, Singapore, and Puerto Rico. Interestingly, it was only described in 2004 after being discovered by scientists.

Known for its distinct white and pink feathers, the Tanimbar corella is a sought-after bird in the pet trade.

However, due to its limited natural range and genetic distinctness, conservation efforts are underway to protect this beautiful bird species.Scientific classification:

SpeciesC. goffiniana

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