Oriental Magpie-robin bathing and an Eurasian Tree-sparrow with crooked leg…

on 20th May 2015

“I was passing by the Eco-Lake at the Botanic Gardens this afternoon at about 2 pm. The lake seems to have filled up nicely after the drought earlier this year, and given recent heavy rains, the lake-bed is densely covered by aquatic plants (Alteranthera sp., Micrathemum sp., Rotala sp. etc).

“The Lesser Whistling-ducks (Dendrocygna javanica) that frequent this lake, and are popular with visitors who photograph and feed them, were not seen though, but based on past experience, they tend to retreat to quiet, sheltered banks during the hottest hours of the day.

“A White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) was hunting quietly (without the triumphal call of the Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris) and an adult White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) circled above. The resident black swans, now three, were at the far (western) end of the lake.

“The most activity came from numerous dragonflies (above): Rhyothemis phyllis, Orthetrum sabina, Crocothemis servilia, Pseudagrion microcephalum, Urothemis signata (some in copula) and a good handful of patrolling Anax guttatus, which circled the lake’s perimeter, often gliding for considerable stretches, and bothered the smaller odonates.

“On the lawn by the lake’s eastern bank was a family of Eurasian Tree-sparrow (Passer montanus), feeding on the ground (above). One immature individual had a curiously crooked leg, though, but otherwise seemed unhindered (below).

“There was also a family of three Oriental Magpie-robins (Copsychus saularis), with the male singing prominently on a low branch and tolerating close approach (below).

What seemed to be a newly fully-fledged individual then took the opportunity to bathe in a shallow strip of water between the bank and some marsh vegetation (below).

“The other two did not join in, with the male continuing his singing and the female? – hopping about the lawn.”

Marcus Ng LINK
6th May 2015

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.

Other posts by YC Wee

2 Responses

  1. Hi, I just found an injured Eurasian Tree-sparrow in a toilet at my condo. It seems that the wing is probably injured. Do you have any idea how to care for it and what to feed it?

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