Picked up 3 carcasses today in Singapore, one Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) (top), and two Blue-winged Pittas (Pitta moluccensis) (below). The Pittas died after crashing into glass (seems like the main migratory wave is passing through right about now) and the Bittern was found exhausted in the middle of a carpark but died shortly after.

Source: David Tan, in Dead Birds (for Science!) Facebook

Never shot a Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis) in my few years of birding and now I see this next to my bar. 😦 It is very sad that during migration season, many birds die from exhaustion, crash etc.

Source: Bernard Seah Facebook

A beautiful Pin-tailed Parrotfinch (Erythrura prasina), found dead in Tiong Bahru by Isabelle Lee. Like most of the dead birds that have passed through me, this one’s neck is definitely broken – likely another case of windowkill. In the freezer now, bound for David Tan from the Avian Genetics lab tomorrow.

Source: Sean Yap Instagram

The Pin-tailed Parrotfinch is native to the region, but has not been recorded from the wild in Singapore. It is likely that this individual was a former captive.

Feral Pigeon

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Feral Pigeon (Columba livia)
Tiong Bahru, 6th October 2012

This carcass of a Feral Pigeon was seen by Jocelyn Yin.

I decided to feature this species as a commemoration of sorts: On 29th December, The Pigeonhole, one of my favourite cafes, closed due to rising rentals and funding issues. It’s a tragic loss, and it’s not only because I loved to hang out there with friends, or that I became friends with the owners, or that I loved the coffee and ciders.

For close to 2 years, The Pigeonhole wasn’t just a cafe to sit down with a cup of coffee and a book, it was a space for the arts and civil society, where small-scale events and exhibitions were held, where ideas were conceived and incubated.

The development of Monday Morgue itself beyond this blog has close connections with The Pigeonhole; it was during the Tanjong Pagar KTM and Green Corridor Open Mic session held there in June 2011 that I did a public talk about the importance of animal carcasses (with plenty of gruesome photos of animal carcasses I’d found along the railway tracks). The lively reception I received from the small audience helped me gain confidence in sharing about this rather niche (and very morbid) interest.

The Pigeonhole was also where I sat down one afternoon at the beginning of May to set up a Facebook page for Monday Morgue, a few weeks before I gave a talk at the Festival of Biodiversity. And I’ve lost track of all the times I wrote posts, or edited and processed photos, or uploaded old shots to Monday Morgue’s Instagram for #DailyDecay, while drinking toffee apple cider or brown latte there.

For now, The Pigeonhole continues to exist as an online entity, and hopefully, the owners will be able to find a new and affordable place to re-establish a physical space. Until then, this is my way of giving thanks for all the #pigeonholememories.

Find out how you can contribute to Monday Morgue too.