“I was on the way back from a community visit to an interior indigenous village, to support child health activities, when I spotted 12 Common Snipes (Gallinago gallinago) in a field. It was 3.30pm on an extremely hot afternoon (we have had heat wave for 2 months now). The above image shows a composite of 6 birds.
“Most of the birds were trying to feed but all were employing a gular flutter to keep cool. Frank B. Gill. Ornithology 3rd Edition 2007 states: “To supplement panting when they are hot, some birds rapidly vibrate the hyoid muscles and bones in their throats. This action, called gular fluttering, increases the rate of evaporative water loss from the mouth lining and upper throat.”
“Images were impaired by a chain link fence between me and the birds (above) but tried to document the event. It was very reminiscent of me seeing more than 30 Snipe feeding in a field in September 1984 in Ipoh.
“Gular flutter video here:”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
9th April 2016
Location: Tapah, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Outskirts of a small town.