Courting behaviour of the Whiskered Treeswift

on 6th August 2012

“I had noticed one of a pair of the Whiskered Treeswifts (Hemiprocne comata comate) was quite vocal when I entered this part of the forest reserve. But had not taken notice until I emerged later from a long walk much later. I then realised that courting was going on.

“The above image is a composite of an adult male that flew in to where the adult female was perched to ‘woo’ her with some preening activities. Suddenly he was alerted to the presence of another male and took off to give chaseCourting behaviour of the Whiskered Treeswift. I had a tough decision – video, audio or still images. I decided on the latter as all these activities were rather high and fast.

“The chase was a mad dash all over the open space above the forest canopy and lasted for 4-5 minutes. There was no real physical contact but many shrill calls, some close encounters and lots of ‘acrobatics’. I suspect the latter were to impress the female, much as some doves will do. At one point another swift came to check out the action and was ‘buzzed’ by both Whiskered Treeswifts. Throughout the female sat on her perch and seem to pay little attention.

“The calls made by the adult that ‘won’ the courtship battle can be heard HERE and HERE, the latter were the more ‘aggressive’ territorial calls.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Edge of forest reserve abutting primary forest
15th July 2012 432

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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