Changeable Hawk-eagle crashed onto to a window of a building

on 13th February 2011

“Slightly over a week ago while I was walking towards the National Library along Victoria Street, a bird flew into the reflective glass of the Singapore Management University building at the junction of Bras Basah Road and Victoria Street and fell. The building is about 15 to 20 floors high.

“It fell on to the driveway and when three young ladies and I approached, it picked itself up and flew into the wall and collapsed. I picked it up (see photographs attached) and one of the ladies called the SPCA.

“Whilst waiting, I sat down on a bench and one of the ladies took out a hanky and covered the bird’s eyes to calm the bird down, as some people had gathered to see what was happening. The ladies helped to take turns to hold on to the bird while waiting for the SPCA to arrive. Eventually the guy from the SPCA came and took the bird away.

“I received the photos from Charlene, one of the ladies, and she told me subsequently that she had called the SPCA later to check on the bird and was told the bird did not even survive the journey back to the SPCA.

“We are all curious to know what sort of bird of prey is this and whether it is on the endangered list? Would you be able to assist?”

George Wee
January 2011

We were alerted to the above in a roundabout way. Paul Leu wrote to Laura Khoo who wrote to BESG about the possibility of someone identifying the bird. KC Tsang was kind enough to identify the bird as a juvenile Changeable Hawk-eagle, pale morph (Spizaetus cirrhatus). The photograph of George Wee with the raptor is by Charlene.

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

3 Responses

  1. pity…. just weeks ago, I picked up a dead Crested Goshawk which was hit by a car, unfortunately an adult male, probably the same one that used to visit my garden, nearby, another dead juvenile Common Myna, probably both killed as the Goshawk snatch the Myna and a fast car drove by and hit the goshawk, causing it to loose grip on the myna which flew a few feet away from the dead goshawk.

  2. We are trying to compile a list of all bird species known to collide with sheet glass (not fighting their reflections). Please visit our web site at:, follow the links to “birds and windows”, then species lists by country and if you have a new species, we would appreciate the details.



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