An Oriental Magpie Robin and a green parakeet

posted in: Feeding-invertebrates, Parrots | 3

1. “I was with Elena who spotted the Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) with her sharp eyes in the front garden. Elena stood fascinated, looking on intently at the bird. We could not identify whether it was a centipede or a millipede in its mouth. Upon clarification, it turned out that the Oriental Magpie Robin had a centipede in its mouth. A wonderful friend of mine, Shawn Lum, commented, ‘The Magpie Robin has a centipede in its mouth – you can tell this because each segment of its body has one pair of legs (millipedes have two pairs of legs per segment). It’s amazing how the bird has grabbed the centipede by the head (can you see the centipede’s ‘fangs’ – its mouth parts, actually protruding just beyond the bird’s beak?), and thus cannot be bitten by the centipede. That’s really cool!’ Elena was ever so thrilled as this was one of her first birding experiences. I could not have spotted this bird if it wasn’t for Elena Goh’s razor sharp eyes.”

2. “While sitting in the garden one day, I heard this rather unusual noise and suddenly, this bird flew past me. I could not identify what it was but I was surprised to see it land and calmly perch itself on a tree. Amazingly, it was so well camouflaged with its surroundings that it was close to impossible to spot unless someone looked very carefully. It turned out to be a green parakeet. Its feathers were beautiful shades of green and its beak, a lovely orange shade. It was truly intriguing to see it sitting on the tree as though it was specially posing and inviting me to take a photograph of it. I am so lucky -beautiful birds in my backyard.”

Georgina Tanya Sandhu-Chin
20th August 2010

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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.

3 Responses

  1. Milt

    Is this photo taken in Singapore? If so, is the green parakeet an introduced species since I am quite certain it is not a native species here….

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