Crimson Sunbird confronting reflection

on 18th February 2011

The above video clip by Jason Cho a.k.a. jcho was taken at Singapore’s Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. It shows a male Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) fascinated with his reflection seen from a wound-up glass pane of a car side door. However, when he moved to the side mirror where the image was brighter and clearer, he became aggressive and confrontational.

This is a common occurrence as birds view their reflections as competitors, sometimes becoming extremely aggressive. For more accounts of such behaviour, see HERE.

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

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

2 Responses

  1. I have a different interpretation of its behaviour in front of the side mirror. It fluttered its wings initially because there was no suitable perch to confront its “enemy”. Once it found its toes in the gap at the top edge of the mirror, it steadied itself and behaved the same as when it was facing the less reflective car window.

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