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.