“As you move deeper into this ex-logging site (secondary forest with primary forest adjacent), the Ashy Tailorbird (Orthotomus ruficeps cineraceus) predominates.
“I saw quite a few and came across a group of five foraging in the same area, calling out loudly for some time. They were split into two on one side of the trail and three on the other side but were very close. All were Ashy Tailorbirds but I was not fully certain that all five were part of the same family unit or two different families.
“They did not appear disturbed by each other’s presence. At least one was a young adult male.
“The calls of the Ashy Tailorbird have been occasionally confused with those of the Rufous-tailed Tailorbird (Orthotomus sericeus) as both often call from cover (See DR Wells 2007). In this instance however they were calling in the open and I could be certain of the species
“An adult male (above left) calling out with an audio recording of calls HERE. Note that calls are a duet, possibly with the female. As one bird calls (chu-iip), the other makes a thrilling call (see Wells for more descriptions).
“A young male (above right) with prey (caterpillar) and another recording of calls HERE. The foraging was going on amidst all the calls and the calls seemed to be a way the keep the family unit in contact with each other. This second recording had a lot of barbet calls which I have removed with software but this has not affected tailorbird call quality. Again another duet but the primary call is a different from the first one.”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Interior of Tambun, Perak, Malaysia
20th January 2011