Community of Urban Red Junglefowl

Tang Hung Bun spent a few days observing a group of about 30 Red Junglefowls (Gallus gallus) in a one hectare field somewhere along Upper Thomson Road LINK.

The field is a popular foraging ground for these Red Junglefowls. The scattered trees and shrubs around the periphery provide shelter for the chicks. These chicks are at times attacked by some of the adult males. They are also targeted by raptors from above. In fact Hung Bun did witness a failed attempt by a raptor to catch a chick, resulting in the entire group of junglefowls suddenly running towards the trees and calling loudly.

The video above shows two males engaged in a mild confrontation. When females are involved such fights become fierce, as shown in the other video clip below.

At night these junglefowls roost in trees on both sides of the road. At around 1845 hours each day, these birds would fly across the road one by one. Some take a rather roundabout route while others run across the road braving the many speeding cars.

The video above shows males competing to mate with a favourite hen, chasing her to mount and be replaced by another male. Such fights are vigorous and fierce. The latter part of the video shows the junglefowls leaving the foraging ground for their usual roosting trees.

Tang Hung Bun
June 2013

3 Responses

  1. Lee Chiu San

    A very well-produced video. The birds do not show signs of hybridisation with domestic fowl, unlike those I have seen in other locations, which are clearly not pure jungle fowl. Being a former resident of Thomson Road, I can identify the location, and know that the Nature Reserve is less than a kilometer away.
    What is surprising though, is that the birds come all the way to where they were filmed to feed. I know that on the other side of the road, the authorities maintain a clear-cut and well-mowed border about 10 meters wide that separates the trees of the Nature Reserve from the houses outside. If the birds want an open field, there is one that stretches for many kilometers right next to their home in the jungle.
    Perhaps somebody is feeding them, to get them to want to come regularly to a place so far from the jungle edge.

  2. Sun Chong Hong

    Dear Chiu San

    My video, which was recorded on 30 Mar 2013 with a still picture taken on 5 Feb 2013 inserted at the beginning ( should be able to answer some of your comments:

    a) feeding – besides the person shown in the video, there are also others doing it. No doubt there are lots of animal lovers who feed them, but there are some who would let their dogs run wild chasing the RJF.

    b) no sign of hybridisation -you may have been misled by insufficient video resolution or cause by Hung Bun’s editing where certain details not contributing to the story line may have been left out. As seen in my video, some of the hens have dark or even black plumage unlike the usual one expected of the female. In fact, in my first observation regarding the RJF in this location (Wild female Red Junglefowl sighted at Sin Ming Avenue Part 1), there were questions in the internet community on the possibility of it being a hybrid with silkie (black chicken). In my recent contribution (Red Junglefowl Roundup Part I), comparison of differences in the plumage of RJF including chicks also suggests that they may not be of pure breed.

    As observed by Hung Bun and myself, these birds roost in the trees on both sides of the road. They are also known to reside in condos around the area, including mine – where I have contributed many observations on them.

    I suppose you have concluded that they come all the way from the nature reserve to feed. But I see no reason why they should confined themselves to the jungle to reproduce. If conditions are conducive, they would multiply quickly and spread out. My video shows many young chicks in this location. These definitely won’t be able to venture out all the way from the nature reserve.

  3. Lee Chiu San

    Whatever the case Chong Hong, I am delighted with your videos, and to see that jungle fowl, even hybrids, are at last re-establishing themselves in Singapore. Hopefully, the results in other “back-breeding” exercises will also manifest themselves with the jungle fowl. You are aware that mankind took many, many years to produce our domestic breeds of dogs, cats, and some cattle. However, experiments conducted in universities and in zoos have shown that the wild genes still exist in our domestic stock. Just a few generations of cross-breeding of selected bloodlines will result in dogs that look like coyotes and cattle that look like aurochsen. It has also been said of cats that if you let them interbreed indiscriminately, before long, all the kittens will look like the original wild-type tabby.

    It is my hope that before too long, the domestic traits will be bred out of the jungle fowl stock, and all chicks will begin to look very much like the original wild type.

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