So uhh… This showed up in the lab today.

Source: David Tan Facebook

An update on the Frigatebird retrieved earlier this month by the good people at Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES). The bird was reported to ACRES on 9 October 2015 by a member of the public near Marina South Pier, where he said that the bird was first spotted entangled in fishing line by construction workers in the area. He also mentioned that the construction workers saw the frigatebird with a fish and hook in its beak, and despite their best efforts were unable to stop the bird from swallowing both fish and hook, although the workers were able to free the bird from the fishing line.

When the ACRES wildlife rescue team picked up the bird, they found the bird in a very weak condition and so passed it on to the Bird Park for rehabilitation. Unfortunately, the bird did not survive for long, and NEA suspects that the fishing hook may have been the cause of death (they found the hook in the stomach when they dissected the bird). Up until this point, it was generally assumed that the bird was a Christmas Island Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi), but a closer examination (with advice from Lau Jiasheng and Lim Kim Seng) shows that this is in fact a Lesser Frigatebird (Fregata ariel), a very rare non-breeding visitor to the Singapore Straits, as can be seen by the black ventral patch extending into the lower belly and the absence of an incomplete black breast band.

Source: David Tan Facebook

This Lesser Frigatebird had swallowed a baited fish hook and was found entangled in the fishing line at Marina South Pier.

Unfortunately, even with the help of the bird keepers and vets at Jurong Bird Park, the poor bird eventually passed away.

The use of glass is considered aesthetically appealing in building construction. However, many birds lose their lives flying into these glass windows as they are not able to differentiate between a reflection off a hard surface and an open area.

Seabirds like this one, face not only problems from glass buildings, but also mistaking fish bait as easy meals.

Source: Shaun Spykerman Instagram

I had the rare but sad privilege of transporting the body of Singapore’s first known record of the White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) from the Bird Park, where the exhausted bird spent its final days under the expert care of their vets, to the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum’s Cryo Collection, where it will eventually be skinned and preserved for scientific research. We have just taken a chunk of breast muscle tissue from the bird for DNA work, which is why you can see that bird has a massive chest wound.

The yellow wash of this bird’s plumage suggests that it belongs to the fulvus subspecies, which is known to breed only on Christmas Island.

Source: David Tan Instagram

This White-tailed Tropicbird had been found in Tuas, and rescued by the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES).