Monday, June 22, 2015

The story of the little town parrots

I was in Little India having some fun locating street art in the back alleys. While photographing people who collect cardboard boxes for recycling, I heard a familiar tweeter of my little nemesis - the blue-crowned hanging parrot. It sounded close, like directly above me.
As luck would have it, I threw in my old 70-300mm lens for the just in case moments. This wonderful looking male stayed low and he was fearless. I didn't know why as I was just too engrossed in taking photos of this little nemesis that kept eluding me for years.
It wasn't till later when it descended lower that I realized, that all the time I was dancing under the tree, there was a female right next to me in a nest hole.
What a great way to discover the secret life of the enigmatic blue-crowned hanging parrot. Who would have thought that this little parrot (only 13 cm large), a supposed forest dweller has adapted to city living in Singapore. 
I've heard them tweeting merrily along our CBD area. My guess is they approve of the trees NParks has planted. Since there's enough flowering trees and ample small tree cavities in the relatively mature trees, they are breeding outside of the forest.
The pair I chanced upon weren't particularly upset nesting so close to all the human activity humming around the tree they picked. It looks like they don't nest in flocks but in individual pairs where ever nesting holes are available.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Bishan otters: A pictorial story

Against all odds

Spotted a pair of grey-rumped treeswifts in the midst of building a nest cup on March 01. The female had almost finished her work.
Forgot about the pair as I focused my attention on watching and learning about the pair of smooth-coated otters that are in neighborhood. On April 21, dropped by the location to check on the pair to find this little fella sitting in the nest cup. That afternoon, we had a huge storm but I didn't go on site to check on the chick.
When I did on April 23, the nest was empty and the parents were flying around but there wasn't any calls from the chick. I felt sorry for the parents as they has lost a chick that was so close to fledging. The next day, they were still hanging around and showed no signs of leaving the area. I thought to myself there may be a glimmer of hope.
On April 27, while passing the area I heard the excited calls and then saw one of the parent shadowing its fledgling in flight. It was probably the best Monday I had knowing that the little fella survived the storm and fledged.
Daddy was trying to coax it to fly but the fledgeling wanted to be fed instead. He flew off leaving the young one to stretch its wings, and wonder when one of its parents will relent and feed it.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bishan otter pair is now a family

I kinda knew what this otter pair were up to but had to let nature take its course and quietly watch from the side lines.
Mama was absent for about three months. She was sighted briefly on several occasions and always very wary of humans.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Unusual behavior of long-tailed parakeets

I first observed the unusual behavior of long-tailed parakeets feeding on the old roof tiles in my neighborhood last year after a heavy downpour.
On the evening of 8 January 2015, I again observed the same behavior with a a flock of long-tailed parakeets that made a stop over in the evening before they head to their roosting site. They were up in the rain trees as usual but a couple of birds started to descend onto a neighbor's roof then more started to follow. Soon there were over fifty birds on the roof peeling off material from the roof tiles to eat.