Another dead Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis) – the second one this migratory season – found at a playground in Jurong West. Seems like it may have survived flying into a window and died of internal injuries later.

Source: David Tan Instagram

The carcasses of a Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis) (left) and Chestnut-winged Cuckoo (Clamator coromandus), both migratory birds, spotted in Jurong.

For birds, skyscrapers can mean fatal collision
Many die yearly after crashing into buildings here: Nature Society
By Lim Yi Han, 13th October 2014;

Singapore’s skyline may be revered by tourists but it is spelling death for scores of migratory birds.

The Nature Society (Singapore) has found that every year, many of these birds die after hitting skyscrapers here.

While millions of birds worldwide also die in this way, many studies have been done to mitigate the problem overseas. The society, however, noted that such a phenomenon is “chronically understudied” in Asia.

With the avian migratory season under way, the Nature Society’s Bird Group has started a survey and is asking for those who have witnessed dead or injured migratory birds here to come forward.

It plans to collect information from now until next May and release a preliminary report by late next year. There are plans to run the survey for at least five years to observe short-term trends.

Mr Yong Ding Li, 30, a coordinator of the project, said such crashes may lead to a loss in the bird population, which is already in decline due to habitat loss, hunting and climate change.

“If we know which species are more affected, and what settings increase their risk of crashes, we might then be able to make recommendations to mitigate this,” said Mr Yong, a graduate student specialising in ecology and bird conservation at the Australian National University.

Each year, some 2,000 migratory birds from countries like Russia, Mongolia, China and Japan arrive in Sungei Buloh in August and September for a respite from harsh winters, said the National Parks Board. Some fly off again, heading to Australia or Indonesia, while others live in Sungei Buloh and surrounding areas till the next March or April.

Mr Yong explained that migratory birds crash into buildings because many fly at night. They are often attracted to, or disoriented by, the lighting from buildings, as they navigate using star patterns of the night sky. They may also be confused by the reflection of trees and sky on the buildings’ exterior.

Strix Wildlife Consultancy director Subaraj Rajathurai, 51, noting that the study was interesting and worthwhile, said: “We know this is happening but we don’t know on what scale.

"But it’s not an easy study to do because we have such an efficient clean-up system in Singapore… Our clean-up crew may sweep away the dead birds before anyone wakes up.”

Bird Ecology Study Group co-founder Wee Yeow Chin, 77, said: “In other countries, there are architectural adaptations so that birds don’t crash. This study can help us find out the extent of the tragedy and whether we need to take some steps to crack down on this.”

Visit http://tinyurl.com/SGBirdCrash to help in the survey.

Source: The Straits Times (Mirror 1) (Mirror 2)

Hi all,

A few of us from the Nature Society (Singapore) are conducting a survey of migratory bird crashes in Singapore to understand where they are most frequent, which species are the most affected, why they occur, and what can be done to better protect them. As the migratory season is now in full swing, it is expected that the number of such crashes will steadily increase across Singapore. We would appreciate if you could take a couple of minutes to fill in our online form at http://tinyurl.com/SGBirdCrash should you come across dead or injured birds in and around urban areas. Thank you very much for your participation!

If you find birds that are already dead, you should contact David Tan from NUS Bird Lab to deposit the specimens, which can then be used for research purposes.

Source: Singapore Bird Group Facebook

The 2 birds pictured are a Black Bittern (Ixobrychus flavicollis) and Hooded Pitta (Pitta sordida).

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!

Two birds die from crashing into windows at NUS Science today
By N. Sivasothi, 13th November 2013;

It is very sad to see a bird die because it crashed into a window, thinking it was flying into the sky. This has been happening for years, and we are likely to see more cases as more buildings are built, with shiny reflective surfaces and as we install more glass windows.

A bird with its fragile, light skull flies for the reflected sky or trees at high speeds and instead strikes a window and is killed.

This is all the more tragic when a northern-winter migrant like the Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis), having survived the long journey south from Myanmar or Thailand, dies in Singapore from a window strike.

Several dead Blue-winged Pittas have tragically been reported in the last month in Singapore. This afternoon, we learnt that even our corridor window, in the present configuration of our landscape, is creating such a mirage. A Blue-winged Pitta crashed with enough force to scratch the window.

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Source: Otterman speaks…