Adeline Chia was taking the Southern Ridge walk in Singapore one day in June 2008 with a few friends…
“We were out for the Southern Ridges walk. We started from Habourfront, and was going towards the Henderson waves bridge where we stopped to see the open view of HDB estate before the bridge. Someone then pointed out a large black raptor to us, and we say that it was indeed very dark, and was perching on a large branch of a tree a distance away feeding on what I was told looked like a squirrel. It fed for quite some time and even called out a few times in the midst of feeding.
“My boyfriend took some shots of it, but as we only have a point and shoot camera it was of course not crystal clear with zoom. We had to continue our journey after 10 minutes or so and it was still feeding when we left.
“I searched through a few websites and came across your posting. on the pale and dark morph of the Changeable Hawk Eagle and it really looked like the dark morph of that eagle. But as I’m not a bird watcher it’s just very a casual guess.
“I’m wondering if someone here can help me to ID it and if I could attach a photo for this purpose.”
Adeline added: “The bird was spotted after Mount Faber, at an area with an open view of HDB flats slightly before entering the Henderson Waves Bridge.”
The images were sent to our bird specialist R Subaraj and his reply: “Its an eagle. Could be a dark phased Changeable Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus cirrhatus), though I cannot make out a crest. Appears more like a Black Eagle but that should not be in Singapore (sedentary resident in Malaysian highlands). The white bits are probably just moult or feathers that are out of place.”