Black-naped Oriole’s coarse call

on 27th March 2011

“There is a matured trumpet tree (Tabebuia rosea) about 15 m tall outside my apartment. Garden birds such as Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis), Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis), Blacked-naped Orioles (Oriolus chinensis) and Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense) frequently visit this tree partly because of the shade provided by the canopy. Very often, I am alerted to their presence by the calls they make. I can observe them closely at eye-level from one of my bedrooms. The tree is so near that sometimes the leaves are within reach.

“Recently, there has been an increase in audible activities of some Black-naped Orioles here, perhaps they have a nest somewhere around. I can hear them singing practically throughout the day. However, one of the orioles seems to sound rather hoarse, very different from the melodious calls that I am familiar with. It sounds like the bird is having a sore throat. Perhaps it is suffering from the bird flu? I wonder if there is any birder who came across such similar situation?

“Attached is a sound file HERE which I have compiled to compare the normal and hoarse sounding vocalisations. There are two different type of calls, which I named them as Call 1 and Call 2 respectively (see oriole calls comparison.jpg above, which helps to visualise the sound). The normal sounding Call 1 is followed by 2 similar hoarse sounding ones while the normal sounding Call 2 is followed by a hoarse one.

“A visualisation of the sound file in sonogram (in colour) is shown in the sonogram above.

“I have also a short video recorded through the window grille where you can watch and hear the hoarse Call 2 once (top). It was made by an oriole not in view.”

Sun Chong Hong
8th March 2011

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.

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