Encounter with a Bat Hawk

posted in: birds, Raptors | 0

The encounter with a Bat Hawk (Macheiramphus alcinus alcinus) this morning in our neighbourhood was totally unexpected. We had just returned from cycling when my wife spotted the Bat Hawk in our neighbourhood raptor-snagging-tree. It was unexpected as it was already 7.50am. I have seen these birds at the outskirts of the city, near limestone hills, but usually an early morning fly by. Unfortunately no flight images but still a great treat to see it in some light.

The bird was harassed by one of our local Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis) that uses this perch. It made 6 fast swops with harsh cries to try and dislodge the raptor. But was sadly ignored and the Dollarbird left.

Of interest was that the Bat Hawk used its nictitating membranes much of the time (many images) to cover the eyes. I wondered whether the strong morning light was disturbing it? Or that was planning to roost there and this was a sleep behaviour? The nictitating membranes looked unusually thick and white, and looked almost opaque as in some owls.

I had a busy day with errands and so had to limit observations, but noted that the bird had left by 8.25am.


Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia


Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Urban city environment

Date: 18th November 2018

Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, handheld


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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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