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The Dead Bird’s Wingman

If you spot a dead bird, Mr David Tan is usually the man to call.
The geneticist gets up to six calls a day during the migratory season, which lasts roughly from September to May. He has collected more than 700 carcasses of birds that likely collided into buildings in the past five years. He believes the number to be the tip of the iceberg.

SINGAPORE — If you spot a dead bird, Mr David Tan is the man to call.

The geneticist gets up to six calls a day during the migratory season, which lasts roughly from September to May. He has collected more than 700 carcasses of birds that likely collided into buildings in the past five years. He believes the number to be the tip of the iceberg.

While transporting these birds back to a laboratory, he would get his fair share of curious stares from members of the public.  He takes it in his stride because to him, it is a good way to educate the public on science, birds and nature.

Mr Tan said these birds contain a wealth of valuable genetic information which can help researchers study bird conservation and diseases. Watch the video to find out more about his work with birds and why they are turning up dead around Singapore.

Mr Tan is set to pursue further studies at the University of New Mexico in the United States.

Video: Raj Nadarajan/TODAY

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