Black Bittern

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Black Bittern (Ixobrychus flavicollis)
Tampines, 9th January 2018

This Black Bittern had died so recently that the body was still warm to the touch, and the blood was still bright red and had yet to coagulate. It is possible that it died after flying into a nearby building. The carcass was passed to David Tan, as part of his research on bird mortality in Singapore.

 

Juvenile Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) being scavenged by Weaver Ants (Oecophylla smaragdina)
Pasir Ris, 25th June 2016

This juvenile Grey Heron was found beneath a tree that was part of a nesting colony. It’s possible that it had fallen out of the nest and died before it had fledged. Another possibility is that it had died in the nest due to some other reason, and the parents removed the carcass.

After a quiet day yesterday, another #deadbird this morning in the form of a Schrenck’s Bittern (Ixobrychus eurhythmus), found at the base of a HDB block in Jurong West. Cause of death remains unknown.

Source: David Tan Facebook

Picked up a dead Von Schrenck’s Bittern (Ixobrychus eurhythmus) From Singapore today. Body was found at the base of an apartment block with no apparent external injuries and no clear indication of a window collision (the body was facing the side of the block that was solid walls with no windows). I did a brief assessment of the pectoral muscles to check if it was malnourished but it was very well-fed so it couldn’t have died of hunger.

Source: David Tan, on Dead Birds (for Science!) Facebook Group

Picked up 3 carcasses today in Singapore, one Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) (top), and two Blue-winged Pittas (Pitta moluccensis) (below). The Pittas died after crashing into glass (seems like the main migratory wave is passing through right about now) and the Bittern was found exhausted in the middle of a carpark but died shortly after.

Source: David Tan, in Dead Birds (for Science!) Facebook

Juvenile Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) being scavenged by Weaver Ants (Oecophylla smaragdina)
Pasir Ris, 15th February 2016

This juvenile Grey Heron was found beneath a tree that was part of a nesting colony. It’s possible that it had fallen out of the nest and died before it had fledged. Another possibility is that it had died in the nest due to some other reason, and the parents removed the carcass.

Nestling of Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Pasir Ris Park, 14th December 2015

Yap Xinli and Riane Brittany Francisco were standing beneath several trees that serve as a nesting colony of Grey Herons when a nestling suddenly fell to the ground, and died shortly after.

Grey Herons lay their eggs over a period of several days; as a result, the eggs that are laid earlier hatch first, and feeding begins immediately. By the time the last chick finally hatches, its older siblings would have had a head start and grown larger. Competition between the chicks for food and parental attention can be high, and older chicks assert their dominance over younger siblings by pecking and basically pushing any smaller, weaker siblings aside when the adults arrive to feed them. As a result, nestling mortality can be very high in some colonies.

It’s possible that this particular nestling had been bullied by a sibling until it was forced to leave the nest and fell out of the tree, or might have been dying anyway due to bullying, starvation, or disease, and was then removed by a parent.

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On finding a dead bird, most people are keen to have them disposed of at the earliest opportunity. Not this one guy, he found a dead Black Bittern (Ixobrychus flavicollis) at the base of his apartment block and kept the bird in his home freezer for 3 weeks while he searched for a research organisation to donate the carcass to. What an angel.

Source: David Tan, on Dead Birds Facebook Group