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A one-footed Blue Rock-thrush

on 23rd November 2011

“On 9th November 2011, as I opened the kitchen door and to my surprise, I saw a lovely bird sitting on top of the large water tank in my back garden about 4 metres away. It didn’t fly off, so I got my camera and was able to shoot a nice pic. Then it left.

“I searched the books and it appeared to be a Blue Rock-thrush (Monticola solitarius). After discussing with friends, we agreed it was an immature male. Blue Rock-thrushes are common winter visitors in my area, NE Thailand, and this was the first one I spotted this year.

“On the next afternoon, I saw the bird again in the back garden, close to the house. I must explain that I feed birds there, plus on the balustrade of the terrace in the front of the house. Again it didn’t fly off, although it was careful. I was able to get two nice shots.

“Didn’t see it again until today, Nov. 14th. I was working at the computer by the open window opening to the terrace and suddenly I saw a bird at the place where usually the Eurasian Tree Sparrows (Passer montanus) take their food that I put there. Today there was nothing as I feed every second day in order to let them clean up everything. The bird looked at me and when I looked back I saw it was the thrush again.

“He moved over the balustrade and then I saw that he has only one leg! Actually on closer inspection with binoculars I saw he is missing one foot, not the whole leg. It’s the left foot he is missing. He seems to have no problems whatsoever but obviously he prefers to get food from around my house and today he was kind of asking where the food was.

“I got back into the database to look at the 3 pictures that I have. Clearly one can see he stands on one foot (above left), another photo (above right) shows the rest of the leg without the foot and the last photo (left) shows how he manages – he leans over to one side and supports himself with his tail. That way he cannot fall over.

“A clever disabled bird who will survive.”

Joe Hartman
NE Thailand
14th November 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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