The Barred Eagle-owl (Bubo sumatranus sumatranus) was a resident species in the 1920s Singapore. Its status changed to “very rare, non-breeding visitor” since then. And down the years it was sighted on and off at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Central Catchment Forest.
This time around it was seen at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, perched quietly on a branch of a tree. The presence of a large predator naturally unnerved the smaller birds around. What normally happens is that they combine forces to mob the common enemy – see HERE and HERE.
The video below, by Jeremiah Loei, shows the owl appearing bothered by the loud calls of the Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus).
In the second video (below), also by Jeremiah, the owl appears agitated. According to Wildlife Consultant Subaraj Rajathurai, the loud calls, besides those made by the drongo, include those by the Asian Fairy-bluebird (Irena puella) and a couple of Pin-striped Tit-babblers (Macronous gularis). The tit-babblers can be seen moving around disturbing the owl.
At around 0:50 and 1:19 minutes on the video are heard cat-like calls. According to Subaraj, these came from the drongo.
If anyone is curious why smaller birds will risk mobbing larger predators, click on to this LINK.
Jeremiah Loei & Subaraj Rajathurai
1st November 2016
This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behavior through photography and videography to a wider audience.