Frolicking Black-naped Orioles

on 20th November 2006

During the months of February and March 2006 there were always a few Black-naped Orioles (Oriolus chinensis) perched on the fronds of my palms every morning. Most mornings I was awaken by the loud fluty whistles of these attractive yellow birds. The duetting lasted at least 10-15 minutes before the birds flew off to some other trees to continue with their singing.

On and off one or more birds would return during the late morning, making loud sounds or singing. Sometimes a small flock of up to eight birds would frolic around, flying from tree to tree. Two to three birds would frolic together, chasing one another as they expertly maneuvered with wings outstretched, flying between trees, to end up on either the palms in my garden or the wayside trees along the road.

At times when I was around observing their antics, they would fly close to me, making high pitch sounds as they pass close by. On and off, two of the flying birds would make contacts, either in fun or otherwise.

When not making their maneuvers, a pair would duet, one making a short call to have a reply.

Whether they are playing, doing their courtship things or two males confronting each other, I do not know.

According to our bird specialist R. Subaraj, this was still the migratory season and the birds could possibly be migrants.

Input and images by YC Wee.

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.

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