A Blue-tailed Bee-eater lost its way due to the thick haze

on 29th October 2010

On the night of 22nd October 2010, a migratory Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus) ended up in a ship at anchorage near Bedok, Singapore. It found comfort in a small potted plant placed on top of a TV set (above). There it rested. The bird probably got disorientated by the thick haze from forest fires in Indonesia, the worst in four years.

According to Opel Mok, the bee-eater looked a little dazed and allowed itself to be handled (left). But it was not injured.

Blue-tailed bee-eaters are common passage migrants and winter visitors to Singapore. They arrive in great numbers towards the end of September.

Opel Mok
October 2010

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.

Other posts by YC Wee

5 Responses

  1. I found a Blue Tailed Bee Eater by the roadside near my place yesterday evening. It couldn’t fly and was a bit confused. So I put a towel over it and took it home. Attempts to contact the wildlife dept. and the vets have failed as it is the weekend. I have caught some bees, flies for it but it is not feeding. I have even given it some small live frys but it doesn’t seem to be wanting to eat or drink. Concern that it may have a bad wing fracture or possibly concussed and there was a heavy rain prior to me finding it. Could anyone advise?

      1. Hi YC

        Thanks for your reply. It looks like a full grown adult. Unfortunately, it didn’t make it through Sunday. I was hoping to deliver it to the local Wildlife Dept today.

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