Common Iora: Vocalisation

posted in: Vocalisation | 2

“In December 2009 I posted three sound recordings of calls made by, I believe, the same unknown bird: unknown-call2a, unknown-call2b3 and unknown-call2c.

“It was recorded with my compact superzoom (up to 432mm equiv). It has a built-in stereo mic and can record sound clip with a data rate of 16 bits and sampling rate of up to 44.1Khz – which means fairly good quality recording. Besides it can record video at 640×480 resolution and 30 frames per sec. I have used it to record a pair of Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris) in the process of carving out a nest in a tree trunk.

“The ID of the bird remained a mystery to me until I read the 30 Mar 2010 article on BESGroup website about courtship of the Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia). The article started with: ‘A repertoire of songs was what attracted me to a pair of Common Ioras….’ – see HERE.

“As I enjoy listening to bird calls, especially the melodious kind, I decided to check out Xeno-canto to find out how the Common Iora’s calls are like. And lo, the songs in my unknown call2a.mp3 and unknown call2c.mp3 matched those recorded in Xeno-canto’s Cat. No 26057. Besides this there were also other recordings of its songs. So I found out how the Common Iora songs sound.

“By sheer coincidence, I think that was the start of the breeding season. I heard them singing practically the whole day, in front, behind, at the side of my apartment, and around my condo.

“Armed with my camera, I made numerous audio recordings. I have just completed editing by joining the audio clips to form a sound track. The songs can be heard HERE: 660_Sun Chong Hong_280710_song_Singapore_urban-rural.

“Incidentally, I have not been able to see them even though they were singing all around me, until I saw one [Common Iora], partially hidden (above left) with head down, tail up, right leg grasping a rambutan and left leg grasping a twig). I am still not too sure that this is it! For comparison of relative sizes, I have attached two images of Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis) (above centre) and Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) (ablve right). All the three images were taken from about the same distance. What other bird can it possibly be, if it is not a Common Iora?”

Sun Chong Hong
Singapore
28th July 2010

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2 Responses

  1. Lee Chiu San

    Yes, Chong Hong. Ioras are not easy to see. I hear them all the time in the tall trees outside my home in Seletar, but have not managed to see one yet.

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  2. Sun Chong Hong

    A visualisation of the Common Iora songs in the sound clip can now be viewed as a video here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxR6W8h0k5Q

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