Sunday, April 17, 2011

Parrot's in Singapore

In a informal survey count by Nature Society of the population of parrots in Singapore, the results were pretty good. Conducted by volunteers at various spots in Singapore in January 2011, 546 parrots of seven species were estimated. The counts were made only for parrots in flight and not perched.

Whether this estimates are correct are not is beside the point, but more importantly urban Singapore plays host to 3 native species:
  1. Long-tailed Parakeet
  2. Blue-crowned hanging parrot
  3. Blue-rumped Parrot
and 4 or more introduced species. They include:
  1. Red-breasted Parakeet
  2. Rainbow lorikeets
  3. Tanimbar corella
  4. Yellow-crested Cockatoo
Some of the photos of this cute birds taken by me at various places around Singapore.

Nov 2008- Changi Village - Red breasted Parakeet.
Black beak (right)- female . Left-male

Nov 2008 - Changi Village- Tanimbar Corella

Island's a tweet place for Polly. The Strait Times, 17 April 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Webcam of nesting eagles

What started out has a small local project to capture and document nesting behaviour of raptors via a camera placed near the nest, it has garnered widespread interest and fans. The live cam of the Raptor Resource Project featuring Decorah Eagles (or American Bald Eagles) nesting at Decorah, Iowa, USA made its presence known all over and i myself found out about via a report on Channelnewsasia.

Fans from all the world are able to go into the Ustream website and monitor the progress and developments of the nest, the hatchlings and its parents 24 hours, 7 days a week. Logging during night hours is no issue as the webcam has night vision capabilities as well. Reading their site, this infrared light is not visible to the raptors and watching the live stream at night, i see that they are unperturbed by it as well.

At the point of logging on April 14, i could see 3 very active and hungry hatchlings under the care of its parent. Reading the data log and screen captures, the eggs hatched on April 2, 3 and 6. Very recent indeed ! Their nest is located strategically in a private fish farm hatchery which means near food sources such as fish.  I could see on the far right of the nest 2 fishes caught to be fed to both parent and hatchlings.

14th April- Two of the hatchlings with head sticking out
(fishes visible on the top right of the nest)

14th April- Both parents back at the nest

15th April- Night time at the nest

16th April (10:35pm Singapore time - Snow settled
on the nest today !)
The webcams available is not just on the Decorah Eagles, but also raptors located all over such as the Peregrine Falcons,Osprey and even owls such as the Great Horned Owls. A wonderful spectrum of data that is been gathered here ! Simplify great work by a team of people surviving on the kindness and funding by likeminded people.

I will definitely visit the link again and see the progress of this raptors.

Source (last visited 14 April, 2011)
US eagle webcam becomes internet sensation. Channelnewsasia, 5 April 2011

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Bird smuggler caught

A Singaporean bird smuggler was caught on Thursday with 240 munias hidden under the seats of his car at the Woodlans Checkpoint. The live birds were found in plastic crates and what gave him away was the flapping sounds made by the birds.

The smuggler (a 42-year-old man) said that he bought it from a pet shop in Johor for religious purposes. If that was true, i believe that the leaders of the various religious group need to step up efforts to educate its followers to drop this tradition of releasing animals as part of penance, as it perpetuates indirectly the industry of animal/bird capturing and smuggling.

Munia's (Scally) in the wild where they belong

Live birds brought in without an Agri-food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) permit violates the Animals and Birds Act, which carries a maximum penalty of S$10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.

Source (last visited 9 April 2011)

Flapping sounds give away bird smuggler. Channelnewsasia, 8 April 2011

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Great hornbill murdered in Malaysia

Five Malaysian army personnel (one of them an officer) were suspended for allegedly slaughtering a Great Hornbill, which they posed with and subsequently posted on Facebook. Unwittingly this pictures got circulated by people disgusted by their actions. ( I am glad that citizen action this time around was for the better).

Although not proven guilty yet, i shall try not to pass judgement on them, but their actions of posing and smiling while holding to the poor bird still left a bitter aftertaste in my mouth.

This soldiers attached to the Belum-Temengor Forest Reserve were meant to protect the borders from encroachment and the endangered wildlife. Belum-Temengor houses the most number of species of hornbills (10 species in total), more than anywhere in the world, with most of this species either threatened or endangered.

Even if they were not the ones who did not hunted down the hornbill, they should have known better to give it a dignifed death if it could not be treated or saved. Posing with it gives a perception that it was a trophy showcase.

I am not the copyright owner of this photo.
If you are the owner of this
picture and required it to be removed,
email me.

sources: (last visited 6 April 2011)
Five army personnel suspended for slaughtering hornbill, The Star Online, 3 April 2011
Malaysia to charge soldiers over hornbill killing, Jakarta Globe, 4 April 2011

Colugo spotted in Singapore

Finally i got to see a Colugo in broad daylight ! I been to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Sime Forest, Tree-Top walk, etc etc and never got to see this shy mammal who don't make noise and often stationary. I thought i was just plain unlucky. On hindsight, I think i was just trying to hard...haha.

I manage to see the Colugo in Mandai, specifically the Singapore Zoo ! Ok, you might be thinking that will be a natural place to see "captive" animals. The Colugo i saw wasn't a captive nor does it seem to have a tag on its body. It's all natural.

Reading up on Colugo, it was also called a Flying lemur. However experts out there have disputed this naming convention for the fact that it actually doesn't fly (it glides) and it is not part of the lemur family which are found in Madagascar. The species that is found in Singapore are called the Sunda Colugo.

In a 2010 study of its population in Singapore by Norman Lim and Peter Ng reported in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 2010 58(1):157-164, they estimate the population numbers just over 1,000 within the Central Catchment and Bukit Timah reserves with some report of sightings in Bukit Batok Park.

We all hope that even though rapid progress due to urbanisation and development encroaching into nature, the population of Colugo will continue to thrive.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Lorong Halus Wetland (from Punggol side)

Punggol Promenade Riverside walk that links to the Lorong Halus Wetland (from Punggol side) was opened with great fanfare on 5th March 2011 by Ms Penny Low (MP of Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) and graced by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

Getting there
From Riviera LRT ( Punggol East Rd), its walking distance towards the Promenade walk along Sungai Serangoon. You can go there in the day or night. I went there at night recently just to check out the place and it is well lighted and the sounds of frogs and nightjars to keep you company !

View Lorong Halus Wetland (Punggol Promenade) in a larger map

Crossing the river
There is bridge from the Punggol Promenade side that will bring you across Serangoon River to the "newly minted" Lorong Halus Wetland. The place may not seem much right now, but do remember this is rehabilitated land,  as the place was once a rubbish landfill before and polluted water contaminated most /if not all the ponds there.

In my previous post, i explored from Pasir Ris side and now with the opening of the bridge, it is possible to cross over and end your walk on Punggol side.

While updating my blog post, i discovered another website with a similiar post on lorong halus. What caught my attention was that site STOLE my photos, cropped it and made it their own. No acknowledgement nor permission was sought ! Bad karma for you dude..

Not to sure if anyone of you have similiar experiences as well.

Previous Post: A visit to the Lorong Halus landfill walk along Sungai Serangoon.