Television aerials are always mounted on the roof of houses or at the top of high-rise blocks for best reception. As such, they are found at the highest point of any location, whether a cluster of low-lying houses or a Housing Board estate.
Birds like to perch on any tall structure, whether the tallest tree around or the tallest man-made structure, in this case the TV aerial. Here, the birds get an excellent view of the surroundings, whether to just rest between flying from one point to another, to keep a look out for prey or just to group before going to roost. These aerials are favourites with mynas and starlings, grouping in the evening before flying to their roosting trees.
TV aerials are also useful points to look for birds. Just last month I was pleasantly surprised to see a pair of Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris convexus) perching on a TV aerial around my low-rise estate. These large birds regularly visit the gardens of houses to look for fruits and insects. On another occasion I was witness to a pair of Javan Mynas (Acridotheres javanicus) mobbing a Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus) perching quietly on my neighbour’s TV aerial. The latter soon flew off.
In February, Hung Ban Tang reported seeing a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) perching on a TV aerial mounted on the roof of the 24-storey block of apartments next to his condomonium. A few moments later the falcon suddenly made a dive towards a small flock of rock pigeons that flew close by his bedroom window. Unfortunately the falcon missed its prey and made a big loop round to return back to its perch on the aerial.
Images by YC (top, centre) and Tang (bottom).