Dawn Chorus… and no birds sing

on 23rd November 2017

On the morning of 30th October 2017, I woke up early to document the Dawn Chorus in my garden. Actually, I knew there would be no chorus, but I just wanted to document the non-event.

video grab
video grab

I used to be greeted in the early mornings by the mass singing of the Yellow-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus goiavier) with the approaching dawn LINK.

Then came those hazy days, a result of forest fires from nearby Indonesia that subdued the chorus somewhat LINK 1 and LINK 2.

With the invasion of the Red-whiskered Bulbuls (Pycnonotus jocosus) about a year later, the dawn chorus saw a major change… LINK 1 and LINK 2.

Now suddenly the dawn is quiet except for the noise from early morning vehicles… and no birds sing. Well, not actually no birds singing at all. There are a few around to greet the dawn… like a neighbour’s pet Macaw, a few Javan Mynas with a begging juvenile in tow, a Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) and a few other irrelevant birds (video below).

What happened? Can it be because of the trimming of trees where the Red-whiskered Bulbuls were roosting? Well, we need to wait until these trees grow new branches and see whether the birds will return.

Note: Nature Consultant Subaraj Rajathurai helped identify an unusual Javan Myna call heard in the video.

YC Wee
1st November 2017

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

3 Responses

  1. I am not surprised we are getting no dawn chorus like we get in the good old days. Most of the wild birds’ forests & trees are gone to be over-replaced by tall concrete & glass structures. Well! complain not or like the wild birds “go else where!”
    My HDB dawn chorus, these days & times, is composed of only a love-lorn male Koel calling for its long-lost mate at 4.45 am each morning! And….for that I am still grateful! Sob!

  2. I know! So far so good – no complaints. Most humans are just not tolerant beings! Funny thing is: neighbours will tolerate loud boom, boom, boom music but not bird calls…..

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