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.

Got a message that a bird was found dead on Science campus but no clue what it was, only that the staff seemed fascinated by it. Went over and saw that it is the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher or the Black-backed Kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca).

Source: Chace Foo Instagram

I’ve been too busy to post about dead birds for a while now, but this is too gorgeous to ignore. This Ruddy Kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda), an uncommon winter visitor to Singapore, was found early this morning at the NUS School of Computing, still fresh (we were able to recover a hipppboscid blood parasite fly from the body, and these tend to disappear from the body once it starts cooling down). Ruddy Kingfishers, like many other migratory kingfishers in Singapore, are notoriously difficult to spot while on migration as they tend to remain silent and are thus difficult to detect.

Source: David Tan Instagram

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.

Source: Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) Facebook

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.

Another day, another Black-backed Kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca) carcass. This one was found at a parking lot somewhere in the middle of Kallang Bahru.

The Black-backed Kingfisher is also known as the Three-toed Kingfisher. Look at those tiny little toes!

Source: David Tan Instagram [1], [2]

The second Black-backed Kingfisher (Ceyx erithaca) carcass in 2 weeks, after last week’s incident at NTU. This one was found with a broken beak at Yusof Ishak House in NUS. Probably died after flying into a glass wall.

Source: David Tan Instagram

Assorted specimens of birds of Singapore (top to bottom): Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis), White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris), Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense), Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja), Hooded Pitta (Pitta sordida) & Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) @ VivoCity

Find out more about these and other Singapore wildlife at the Festival of Biodiversity, happening at VivoCity this weekend!