Golden-bellied Gerygone serenading

on 21st October 2014

Earlier this year a bird appeared in Lim Shiang Han’s home. Perching in front of the balcony, it serenaded on and on. The next day it returned and again it serenaded. This went on for almost a month.

The bird appeared like a sunbird but Shiang Han was not convinced that it was – as it “looks like a sunbird, but its beak is shorter and not as sharp. Also I have never heard sunbirds singing this way.”

As curiosity about the identity of the songster got the better of them, Shiang Han’s mother, Lim Mei Hsiang, made a video of the serenading bird and sent it to BESG requesting for someone to identify it (below).

Wildlife consultant Subaraj Rajathurai identified the bird as a Golden-bellied Gerygone (Gerygone sulphurea), adding that “It is a common wayside and parkland resident species of the tree-tops. It is rather unusual that it is singing in your balcony.”

When Shiang Han further wrote that the bird regularly attempted to fly onto the glass pane of the nearby window, Subaraj immediately informed her that the gerygone was actually serenading to her reflection in the glass, possibly believing it to be a potential mate. As such, Subaraj suggested that something needed to be done “about the reflective aspect of the glass before the bird accidentally breaks its neck.”

Happily the bird did not break its neck and after more than a month stopped visiting.

Lim Shiang Han, Lim Mei Hsiang & Subaraj Rajathurai
October 2014

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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