Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher

 

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Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca)
Sentosa, 27th November 2016

This Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher was found by Sarah Marie Pascoe and Riane Francisco in front of a building with reflective glass doors. It is likely that it had died after crashing into the glass. The carcass was subsequently retrieved by David Tan.

Collision into buildings cause of many birds’ deaths: Study

Mr David Tan (at right) with the carcass of a Changeable Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus cirrhatus) and Dr Yong Ding Li with the carcass of an Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris). Of the 362 carcasses picked up between November 2013 and last October, 104 were found at the base of buildings and exhibited injuries confirming their deaths were the result of building collisions, said Mr Tan. Photo: Mark Cheong

By Audrey Tan, 29th January 2018;

Birds here are dying from encounters with an unexpected “predator”.

A new study by scientists here has shown that almost a third of resident birds found dead in Singapore over a four-year period were killed because of collisions with buildings.

Between November 2013 and last October, a total of 362 bird carcasses were picked up by ornithologists from institutions such as the National University of Singapore (NUS), non-profit body BirdLife International and Nature Society (Singapore). They were alerted to the carcasses by members of the public.

The study’s lead author from NUS, Mr David Tan, said 104 of the carcasses were found at the base of buildings and exhibited forms of facial injury or head trauma, confirming that their deaths were the result of building collisions.

It was not possible to pinpoint the causes of deaths for most of the carcasses – 225 of them – although the remainder were killed by, among other things, vehicular collision and attacks by animals such as cats.

The rise in bird-building collision rates is not unique to Singapore. In North America, estimates of bird deaths from collisions range from 100 million to one billion a year.

The Singapore study, published last November in The International Journal of Tropical Veterinary and Biomedical Research, also found some species of resident birds were more susceptible to building collisions. Pink-necked Green Pigeons (Treron vernans), Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) and Asian Emerald Doves (Chalcophaps indica) seemed exceptionally vulnerable, making up 64 out of the 104 carcasses found.

The fact that all three species are forest-edge fruit-eaters suggests that both feeding patterns and habitat affect a species’ susceptibility to collision, the study said. “Given the patchy distribution of parks and forest fragments in Singapore, it is likely these nomadic forest-edge frugivores pass through urban areas as part of their foraging movements, which increases the likelihood of building collisions occurring,” the scientists wrote in the paper.

Dr Yong Ding Li from Nature Society (Singapore) said this suggests that buildings near nature areas could incorporate wildlife-friendly measures in their designs, such as reducing the use of huge glass panes which birds tend to crash into.

The findings of the recent study mirror the results of an earlier one focusing on causes of death for migratory birds in Singapore, done by the same group of researchers. That study, published last June, found that between 1998 and 2016, 237 migratory birds collided with buildings and 157 of them died.

On the need to differentiate between migratory birds and resident birds, Mr Tan said: “Migratory birds are pass-through species, not long-term residents, so the factors that result in collisions may be different.

“For example, why is Jurong West a death hot spot for migratory birds, but not for resident birds?”

But the latest study found two regions where resident and migratory collision hot spots overlap: in the Clementi area, near the NUS campus, and in the Central Business District. Finding out the reasons for this – such as whether it was due to light pollution-is what the scientists hope to do next.

In New York, a growing number of building owners are switching off non-essential lights after becoming aware of the fatal attraction birds have to lights. Since 2005, over 90 buildings in the city, including the Rockefeller Centre, have joined the Lights Out scheme, which encourages buildings to take a lights-off approach to keep birds safe.

Here in Singapore, scientists are hopeful that more can be done to reduce bird-building collisions. Mr Tan is in touch with owners of buildings where dead birds have been found, such as at Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) on Pulau Ubin.

An OBS spokesman said a staff member has found three bird carcasses over the past two years. “As part of our efforts to better understand and appreciate the biodiversity of our flora and fauna on Pulau Ubin, we welcome the opportunity to work with Mr David Tan on his research efforts.”

Source: The Straits Times

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.

 

A veterinarian provides initial treatment to the injured Philippine Eagle.

Philippines: DENR chief lauds regional office for saving injured Eagle
By Jonathan L. Mayuga, 30th December 2017;

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu recently lauded the field personnel of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Caraga Region Office for saving the life of an injured Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) in Tago town, Surigao del Sur province, on December 10.

The members of the DENR-Caraga enforcement division acted with dispatch and provided initial treatment to the raptor after receiving a report of the rescued Eagle’s condition.

The Philippine Eagle, the Philippines’ national bird, is the largest bird of prey in the world and it is endemic to the Philippines. It can be found in four major islands namely, Eastern Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao.

The DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau believes there are less than 400 pairs of breeding Eagle left in the wild although there are recent reports of sightings of juvenile Eagles mostly in Mindanao.

Habitat loss, hunting for food and trophy and illegal wildlife trade are among the reasons for the species’ population decline.

The rescued Eagle was suffering from a broken wing, a potentially fatal injury, after when rescued by residents in the mountainous village of Anahao Daan, it was learned.

“This proves that the DENR personnel even in the local field offices are vigilant in caring and protecting our precious wildlife treasures, such as the Philippine Eagle,” Cimatu said in a statement. The Eagle is now being treated at the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) in Davao City. The PEC is a conservation breeding facility operated by the Philippine Eagle Foundation.

DENR-Caraga Officer in Charge Director Charlie Fabre said the raptor was turned over to the PEC, a day after it was rescued.

He said the bird’s cartilage bone on its left wing had to be cut off “to save its life.”

According to Forester Modesto Lagumbay, chief of the local enforcement and wildlife division, residents found the 4-kilogram Eagle limping along the riverbank and turned it over to Barangay Chairman Datu Aralito Enriquez.

Enriquez brought the Eagle to Mayor Rogelio Pimentel, from whom the DENR team retrieved the raptor.

The wounded Eagle had to be brought fast to an Eagle sanctuary in Davao City, where the veterinarian had immediately performed a surgery on it, Lagumbay said.

“Most likely, the Eagle must have been caught from a snare and struggled to get free and wounded its wing in the process,” Lagumbay added. The Eagle, estimated to be around two years old, will be released once it has fully recovered from injury.

Source: Business Mirror

It’s not every day you receive a dead bird notification that makes you swear loudly at your phone.

This strikingly-coloured bird is either a juvenile male Zappey’s Flycatcher (Cyanoptila cumatilis) or a juvenile male Blue-and-white Flycatcher (Cyanoptila cyanomelana), but either way it’s a rare passage migrant to Singapore. Unfortunately, this individual died after crashing into a glass wall at the Singapore General Hospital area, but we’ll be preserving the body for further research.

Big thanks to Zhaohan Goh for alerting me to this.

Source: David Tan Instagram