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Tang’s nesting crows 3: The destruction of the nest and the end of the saga

on 19th January 2006

January 7th 2006 was 15 days since I first saw the three eggs in the nest. When I went out to buy groceries at around noon, I went up to my usual place to take a look at the crows’ nest. The first chick had hatched! I was excited and was wondering when the next two eggs would hatch.

I returned home at 2 pm. Quickly I took out my camera and went straight to the next block. From afar, I saw the two House Crows (Corvus splendens) hopping among the branches of their nesting tree. This looked strange. As I got closer, I was shocked to see that the whole nest had disappeared. Could it be an attack by the Asian Koels (Eudynamys scolopacea)? From the 4th level of the block, I could not see any traces or remnants of the nest. The pair of crows was calling desperately from the top of a nearby lamp-post. I decided to go down to the ground level to inspect the area beneath the tree. Yes, there was the chick, dead, of course, and a cracked egg. I didn’t see any trace of the third egg.

I started to reason. It couldn’t be the work of the koels. They couldn’t possibly remove the whole nest. It must be people. As I looked up to the nest site, a small girl and her maid were looking out of their window on the second level, talking to each other and pointing to where the nest was. They told me it was two workers and their boss who removed the nest with a long stick with a knife attached at its end. The whole nest fell to the ground and the workers took the nest away. The maid and the small girl were also sad about this.

Well, crows are pests. What can I say?

In 1995 when we were staying in Yishun, the Town Council sent a team of workers to our estate to conduct a massive felling of rows of lovely trees, some reaching 20 m in height. The whole operation lasted one week. The Town Council explained that these trees attracted many birds (Barn Swallows, Hirundo rustica) to perch in. I moved house the next year.

Text and images by Hung Bun Tang

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

8 responses

  1. That’s too bad… Really bad ! I just finished reading the other posts on this issue and then read this, Bad…
    All the efforts of two species at the same time – just by a hook on the pole, bad !

  2. We missed a golden opportunity to record the egg-nestling characteristics of crows and koels. What to do? The crow is an official pest. But then, not the koel. I suppose those who went forth and destroy, merely did their duty. YC

  3. It is sad how we rationalize our cruelty by labelling another being a “pest”.
    We the homo sapiens are the most destructive of all species and we truly deserve the academy award for being the mother of all pests!

  4. That’s really tragic. Are these crows indigenous? We’ve got many so-called crows here in Australia, often considered pests … they are in fact indigenous Australian ravens … tragic how any animals who impose on humans’ lives are deemed “pests” when, as the previous poster said, humans are the most destructive and most encroaching species of all.

    Other species have the right to exist too … and if humans like these idiots don’t realise that, they’re going to be in for a rude shock when they’ve removed so many other species from our earth’s holistic ecosystem that it will no longer support us – we’re all part of, and our lives are literally dependent on, the symbiosis of our earth’s ecosystem – and that includes humans.

  5. house crows were introduced to singapore in world war 2 to combat catepillars. they’re not local, they’re an introduced invasive species. sounds strange but it’s so. i’d have much rather they helped us combat the japanese troops. both were pests but i guess you can only concentrate your forces on one enemy. lol.

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