A bird flew onto the balcony of Daniel Koh’s apartment in Hougang on the night of 17th January 2008 at around 2200 hours. The bird did not appear to be physically hurt but in shock. Daniel kept it overnight in a large cage for observations.
Initially thought to be a cuckoo, Daniel soon realized that it was a raptor, from the looks of the claws. He later identified it as a Japanese Sparrowhawk (Accipiter gularis).
The next morning the bird appeared restless and so it was released at around 1400 hours at Lorong Halus. Once released, it immediately flew towards the secondary forest where it disappeared.
This is a common winter visitor and passage migrant. The bird could probably be tired and disorientated after its long flight from the north and crashed onto the balcony. Or it may be chasing a prey…?
The sparrowhawk breeds in East Russia, Southeast Siberia, Japan and China. It migrates southward from late September to December to winter in Southeast Asia. From mid-March to mid-April it moves back north.
(Images by Daniel Koh and Chan Yoke Meng)