Wildlife in my garden and warnings of lurking cobras

on 14th December 2016
Red Junglefowls  (Photo credit: Dato' Dr Amar-Singh HSS)
Red Junglefowls (Photo credit: Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS)

I have a reasonably large garden around my house that is home to a variety of wildlife. I enjoy them all, including the flock of up to 20 or more Red Junglefowls (Gallus gallus) (above). They nest in my flower pots and a big clump of Tiger Orchids (Grammatophyllum speciosum).

Common Palm Civet (Photo credit: Fung Tze Kwan)
Common Palm Civet (Photo credit: Fung Tze Kwan)

The Red Junglefowl breeds in my garden, as chicks are present most of the time. However, the attrition rate of the chicks is high. The resident Musang, also known as Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) regularly preys on them (above). Birds like hawks, kites and even coucals (below) swoop down on the chicks from above.

Greater Coucal (Photo credit: Mike Koh)
Greater Coucal (Photo credit: Mike Koh)

Although we are not supposed to feed wildlife, I must admit that occasionally we do feed the junglefowls. We enjoy their presence and wishes to make them feel more at home in the garden. Feeding makes them less noisy and hysterical as they need not compete for food. And when the junglefowls feel safe in our trees they are quiet.

The junglefowls once warned me of the presence of a cobra when I was in the garden. They sat on the fence and gave distress calls. I was alerted to this different call and thankfully spotted the cobra.

The mynahs have also alerted me to a cobra near where I was gardening. As these birds are intelligent, their alarm consisted of a morse code of dit dit dit repeated over and over again.

Many species of birds make my garden their home. There are more now that our cats died of old age sometime ago and I have yet to get any replacement.

White-crested Laughingthrush (Photo credit: Dr Leong Tzi Ming)
White-crested Laughingthrush (Photo credit: Dr Leong Tzi Ming)

The most amusing birds are the White-crested Laughingthrushes (Garrulax leucolophus) (above). They call loudly for rice but as this is not their usual food they eat only a little, picking up the grains sideways. They love the bird bath.

E Anon
30th November 2016

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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