Asian Koel found dead by a highrise apartment building

posted in: Collision-Reflection | 15

“This morning as I was walking by my block void deck at 9am I saw this dead bird on the floor. Looked like it had flew into the windows reflecting the sky and died. The carcass was found directly below the row of the block’s windows. There was blood from its mouth… Any idea what bird this is? A pity, but luckily this incident happens very rarely – it was the first time I personally come across this in the 20 odd years here. Of course there might have been other cases which I had missed.” Francis Lim, Singapore, 11th September 2011.

The bird that came to a tragic end above is a female Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea). Every now and then people find dead birds on the ground that collided onto to the glass panes of tall buildings. We suspect that there may be more dead birds lying on the ground if one is to wake up early and make a casual survey. By 9am or so, most of these carcases would have been removed by cleaners who start work earlier. Anyone interested in doing an early morning survey? Especially during the migratory seasons?

Francis Lim
September 2011


15 Responses

  1. It’s also possible that the koel may have collided into an opaque wall instead of glass window.

    Have seen a case of a Pink-Necked Green Pigeon flying directly into the side wall of a toilet in a park. As it happened moments after sunrise, the bird was probably still sleepy and disorientated. It survived and flew off immediately.

  2. Wang Luan Keng

    I have salvaged twp adult female koels, one found dead in SBG and another in Pasir Ris. Both were attacked by crows and somehow ended up hitting a tree and HDB building respectively. Both had head injuries and were brought to me with blood oozing out of their mouth. The SBG bird had two unshelled eggs in its ovary while the Pasir Ris bird had a ruptured follicle (just laid an egg) and more yolked ova in its ovary. So both are breeding birds which probably tried to sneak up to the crow’s nest and were discovered. Hence the brutal attack which caused their deaths.

  3. While normally a nature lover, I have to say that these birds are socially hazardous and need to be controlled in Pasir Ris during the early morning. Waking up the whole house at 5am from September to March. While that may sound harsh, its one bird versus my family getting enough sleep each night before the next day of work/school. They are a pest.

    • Yes I totally agree with you. This bird has been torturing me for years by disrupting my sleep cycle. There have been many complaints of this bird on Stomp. Sadly it is a protected bird and nothing is being done to kill this parasite.

  4. Lee Chiu San

    There will be more bird strikes against glass and even solid walls in the coming months. Tired and disoriented migrating birds start to arrive around this time of the year. And the feared Japanese Sparrowhawks will be here for their winter sojourn. The latter are among the most aggressive pursuers of prey. Arriving on empty stomachs after crossing the South China Sea, Japanese Sparrowhawks will chase their victims right into human homes. Many smaller birds take evasive action by diving into darker areas. Unfortunately, if the intended refuge is the interior of a house, and there is a transparent glass window in the way, there will be an almighty crash.

    Usually it is the prey that succumbs to the glass, while the predator behind still has time to detour. Yellow-vented bulbuls seem to be the most common victims, not only because they are very plentiful, but because of their habit of heading for thickets when threatened. However, I have also come across spotted doves, zebra doves, Javan mynahs and a disproportionately large proportion of Blue Winged Pittas that were injured when flying into windowpanes.

    A word of caution. Do not attempt to approach or pick up a Sparrowhawk if you come across one alive in your home. They have razor-sharp beaks and claws that they do not hesitate to use on humans.

  5. Thanks to this article, I finally identified the bird I’ve been hearing every morning for the past few weeks – the Asian Koel! However, unlike a few of the commenters above, I’m not bothered at all by its cry. It has never woken me. What has woken me countless times though, is the Javan mynah. The problem is that these mynahs fly right outside my window and start vocalising. They also leave messy poo behind that is very hard to clean especially after it dries up. Some have even tried entering my home – and eventually one did, and got trapped between the sliding windows!

  6. This bird is protected because its a solution on controlling crows population, through parasitism, laying eggs in their nest.

    This bird is a fag, I hope the protection lifts one day and it gets killed to the point of extinction.

  7. Sun Chong Hong

    Under the Singapore Wild Animals and Birds Act, it is an offence for any person to kill, take or keep any wild animal or bird, other than those specified in the “Schedule”, without a licence. However, he would not be penalised if he could prove that he was defending his crops or property from being damaged.

    Six species of bird are listed in the “Schedule”:

    1) House crow (Corvus splendens)
    2) Feral pigeon (Columba livia)
    3) Purple-backed starling (Sturnus sturninus)
    4) Philippine glossy starling (Aplonis panayensis)
    5) Common myna (Acridotheres tristis)
    6) White-vented myna (Acridotheres javanicus)

  8. The day these bloody KPKB living car alarms that wakes me up needlessly at 6 am dies off the face of Singapore, the better.

    Our quality of sleep is far more important than protecting some stupid noisy species of bird that can easily live elsewhere from this tiny island. Screw that environmental protection nonsense here.

  9. Not a strand of sympathy here. Possibly one of the most irritating creatures to walk the earth. Their apparent role is to help control the breeding of crows but then who/what is going to control theirs?

  10. How unfortunate that the comments here are rife with people who seem incapable of even a basic understanding that we share this planet with other species.

  11. Totally agree with Hai-Ren.

  12. I rescued one asian koel today. Thanks to the staff of AVA, who responded well in time and guided us the way to protect the bird from other species who were attacking it.

    Hope it lives and there is no complaints of noise in our neighbourhood due to the birds and yes in the morning ..we love to hear the chirping birds and melodious koo koo of asian koel.


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