Picked up this owl carcass on 23 March 2014 after it collided with a building and thought it was just an ordinary Brown Boobook (Ninox scutulata), which is known to reside in and migrate through Singapore.
After a tip off from a fellow ornithologist, I took a closer look at the wing formula and surprise, surprise, it’s actually a Northern Boobook (Ninox japonica), a new species record for Singapore and a considerable extension of the species’s migratory range southward down the Malay Peninsula.
Last March I was going for my morning walk when I spotted a medium sized bird lying dead on the pavement alongside one of the science buildings. People were walking past, but also stopping to look at it. I really wanted to get to that bird before it was picked up by one of the cleaners and thrown away. I managed to get there in time – it was beautiful and with no external damage – it didn’t appear to have been dead long.
I brought it home to photograph and pass on to David Tan. I had vague thoughts of drawing the bird but for some reason was really pressed for time.
Not being any sort of bird specialist, I didn’t realise it was an owl species, and definitely didn’t realise how special it was. Here are a couple of photos of the bird. It had come a long way from home…
I thought to start with it was a cat “present” but no. I think a baby Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans) must have crashed into the window in the early morning and then fallen neatly between the bars of the bench… Kind of macabre next to a small sculpture by Vincent Leow which I love but which like the pigeon was also broken. It was still warm when I buried it 😦
Walking down Portsdown Road for the first time feels almost like stepping back in colonial era Singapore once again, what with all the colonial Black and White houses, some of which have been named after former British colonial holdings overseas.
Also, picked up a Boobook (Ninox sp.) today (also known as a hawk owl) that might well be the extremely rare Northern Boobook (Ninox japonica).
Sad to find this on my morning walk this morning… think it flew into a window. Any idea what it is?
Here are a couple more photos of the bird, if anyone is able to better identify…
Source: Tanglin Halt Wildlife Watch Facebook , 
Alison was kind enough to let me photograph the owl this morning. The markings on the breast and belly are not heart-shaped like that of our resident Brown Hawk Owl (Ninox scutulata). Closer to that of the Northern Boobook (Ninox japonica). The Records Committee will have to deliberate on this and the recent record from Sungei Buloh as it is not on our CL.
An update on the dead bats!
Two were Lesser Asiatic Yellow House Bats (Scotophilus kuhlii) and one was a Javan Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus javanicus).
I’ve since been told that the Javan Pipistrelle found a few days ago here is only the second recorded in Singapore in 100 years! I find that amazing – let’s hope there are more out there.
We thank Alison Wilson for helping us salvage these three bats that were found dead in the Tanglin Halt area. They have now been preserved and have joined over 500,000 specimens of the Zoological Reference Collection for research and education.
These bats: Lesser Asiatic Yellow House Bat (Scotophilus kuhlii) (left and centre) and Javan Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus javanicus) (right) hunt insects, and help to maintain a healthy balance of insects in the environment.
If you see a dead wild animal, please send us a message on the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research Facebook page, call us at 6516 5082, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. A photo or description of the animal, its general condition and detailed location would be most useful.
Collected 2 insectivorous bat and 1 cuckoo carcasses at Portsdown today. The specimens will be deposited in the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and used for research and education. Thanks Alison Wilson for the alert!