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.
I know Andy has been observing the White-bellied Sea Eagles (Haliaeetus leucogaster) at the Marina Bay Area for a long time now. I have stopped by after work occasionally to look at the majestic birds too. So has my son who said it’s so cool to see wildlife in the heart of the Singapore downtown. Today, one of these beautiful birds is no more. Victim of window-kill. RIP WBSE.
Birds may face threats from various factors. In a highly urbanised environment like ours, glass windows and reflective surfaces pose a threat too. A lot of research is being carried out on the impact of this, and there are ways to mitigate. We do come across several cases of window collisions, and fortunately some of the birds do pull through following the members of public getting help, incubation and right way of handling. Unfortunately, some do not make it, like these birds in the picture. Thanks to our callers for trying their best to get help for these birds who go into a period of shock after knocking onto the glass. But for those unfortunate ones, who pass away, please do report your sightings at http://tinyurl.com/SGBirdCrash to contribute to an ongoing survey by the Nature Society Singapore.
I’ve contacted David Tan, who received these carcasses, for further information. The heron on the right, which was found at Sentosa Cove, is thought to be a pond heron (most likely Chinese Pond Heron) (Ardeola bacchus). The carcass in the lower left of the photo is a female Asian Fairy Bluebird (Irena puella), found at Asia Square Tower. Unfortunately, there is no locality data for the Black-backed Kingfisher (Ceyx erithacus) in the upper left.
Two bird carcasses today. The one on the left is a Coppersmith Barbet (Psilopogon haemacephalus), a common resident species more often heard than seen, found dead in St. John’s Island. The one on the right is a migrating Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis), the second in 2 days, found in the middle of the parade square at Marina Bay Fire Station.
A close-up view of the Coppersmith Barbet’s head. It was bleeding from its beak when first found, probably the result of some form of blunt impact.
Golden Tree Snake (Chrysopelea ornata)
Shenton Way, 15th May 2013
This carcass of a Golden Tree Snake, possibly killed by workers, was found at a construction site by staff from the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) Wildlife Rescue team, and this photo was shared by Anbarasai Boopal.
This species is not native to Singapore; its range covers India and Sri Lanka east to Indochina, and south to the northern Malay Peninsula. The presence of an individual here in a highly urbanised area of Singapore is likely due to an escaped or abandoned illegal pet, or an accidental introduction as a stowaway in cargo.