A great big thank you to Myron Tay for informing us about this female Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot (Loriculus galgulus) carcass found in the middle of town today.
Blue-crowned Hanging Parrots are a native parrot species that was formerly thought to be rare in Singapore, but recent surveys have shown that this tiny little parrot is in fact found all over the island, and is usually detected by the high-pitched screech it makes in flight.
How do we know this bird is female? A close examination of the crown reveals a small patch of blue feathers that, together with the absence of a red throat, indicate that this bird is a female Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot. The males of this species possess a much more prominent blue crown patch.
#BlueandBlack or #WhiteandGold ? Another really interesting thing about the Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot is the blue-green color of the feathers on the underside of its wings which is in fact formed by tiny crystals inside the feather structure. These crystal structures are also found in the other green body feathers, except that the presence of yellow pigments in the body feathers further attenuate the reflected light such that it appears a vivid green to our eyes.
Collected a Blue-Crowned Hanging Parrot from Myron Tay, and learning about it from David. They are usually noticed by their screech as they fly by and it is quite a small bird. Males have a large blue patch of feathers on their head & a red throat, while females have a smaller patch & no red throat.
Yesterday afternoon I received word about a White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) carcass outside the 28th floor window of Centennial Towers at Millenia Walk.
Unfortunately, due to the inconvenient location of the bird, we had to wait till today for the building management to kindly retrieve the carcass by gondola. This meant that the Eagle was emitting a right proper pong by the time I brought it back to the lab, not helped by the fact that fish-eating birds are also naturally smelly.
Based on what I could tell, the bird had a thoroughly broken neck, which suggests that it may have died after flying into the glass window. Now this is very unusual since White-bellied Sea Eagles are very well-adapted to urban living and shouldn’t have any problems with glass windows at all. The building manager did mention, however, that another Sea Eagle was found at the same time on the roof of the building, injured and unable to fly. It might be that the two birds could have been fighting and one of them, disoriented and dazed, could’ve lost its bearings and flown directly into the window and died. The other bird is now reportedly at the zoo being treated for its injuries.
Photos courtesy of Anuj Jain. Thanks to Wong Ley Kun for informing me about the bird.