Male Jambu Dove collided with a glass window at Commonwealth Secondary School

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Yesterday, on 16 October, at around 0820 hrs, students from Class 1-1 who were attending CPA lesson at the Computer Lab 2 heard a bang outside the lab. They came out to realised that a bird had collided with the glass window. Their teacher Mdm Fauziah accompanied them to look for me in the Staff Room.

I went over to the incident site and found a lifeless adult male Jambu Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus jambu) lying along the corridor outside the Computer Lab 2. A few drops of blood can be seen coming out from its bill.

There was even a ghostly imprint left behind on the glass window by the dove at the point of impact.

I picked up the dove and wrapped it in a plastic sheet. Our Art teacher Mrs Tan Win Nie took over the dead body for her students to observe the use of colours in nature in her Art lesson, turning the unexpected event into a teachable moment. She even got the students to jot down their thoughts after observing the dead dove. Art is appreciating the little things in life.

David Tan, a researcher from the Evolutionary Biology Laboratory at the National University of Singapore, was contacted and came to our school to pick up the dead body for his research on bird collisions in Singapore, contributing to a data-driven proposal to NParks and BCA to introduce mitigation measures for buildings situated in bird collision hotspots around Singapore.

Due to deforestation, habitat loss and illegal wild bird trade in South East Asia, the Jambu Fruit Dove is evaluated as Near Threathened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The adult male Jambu Fruit Dove has a crimson face with a black chin, green upperparts and white underparts, with a pink patch in the breast area, and a chocolate brown undertail. The bird is well camouflaged against the forest canopy. It usually feeds on fruits and berries directly from trees. In reproduction, the female builds a nest of twigs, roots and grasses, which are collected by her mate. Both parents help in raising the hatchlings, which would be feeding on a nutritious crop milk that both parents make in their crops, an muscular pouch near the throat.

This is the 4th recorded case of bird collision with glass windows/panels in our school since April 2017. Birds crash into windows and glass panels because they see reflections of vegetation or see through the glass to vegetation on the other side (above, below).

– 08 Apr 2017 (Spotted Dove)
– 17 Aug 2017 (female Pink-necked Green Pigeon)
– 13 Sep 2018 (juvenile Pink-necked Green Pigeon)
– 16 Oct 2018 (male Jambu Fruit Dove)

Like this post on Instagram #cwssbiodiversity to show that you are concerned for these bird collision incidents and would like our school to look into introducing mitigation measures on large reflective surfaces such glass panels/windows at ASE Room and Design Space.

If you see any animal that is sick/injured, in distress, or require protection, take a clear picture of the animal and report the sighting to the General Office immediately. Ms Lye Zhen Xi and myself will be informed and we will respond to the case as we were trained as wildlife rescue volunteers with ACRES.

Let’s make our school a safe haven for wildlife!

Jacob Tan Guanrui
Senior Teacher (Biology)
Commonwealth Secondary School
17th October 2018

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