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Whiskered Treeswift mating

on 19th October 2009

On 16th September 2009, Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS visited his favourite birding site at the Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Perak, Malaysia to keep watch on a pair of Whiskered Treeswift (Hemiprocne comata comata) that he suspected to be nesting.

“Went back to watch this pair as their behaviour last week suggested that they were going to nest in this tree. Was pleasantly surprised when they mated in front of me. Managed to get some quick pictures against the light – was magical. They looked like angles with their wings outspread.”

The composite image above shows how difficult the mating is – a balancing act for the male. The female has to have a proper grip on the perch least she falls off as the male mounts her.

As Amar recounts, “Before and after mating this pair, in their home tree, spent a lot of time preening, more so before than after mating. After mating the male preened (above left) and then had this feather in his beak (above right), which he kept for some time, even in flight to and from the tree. I recognised they were about to build the nest but my presence was inhibiting so I left to give them space.

“I suspect the feather was obtained during preening – not sure if intentionally plucked or just a loose occurrence.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Perak, Malaysia
14th September 2009

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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