The weather this morning was lovely and cool, so I went for a jog, and along the way I saw…
A White-collared Kingfisher with it’s striking coat of blue. (A really awesome shot of it taken in the Singapore Botanical Gardens here.)
A couple of Brahminy Kites soaring in the air together. At the right angle they really look EXACTLY like the ‘stick birds’ we’re taught to draw as kids, you know that flattened ‘m’ shape? If you ever see an eagle soaring in the sky, its more likely than not this fella. Or perhaps the White-bellied Sea Eagle, especially if you’re near water.
A male Olive-backed Sunbird with his iridescent dark blue throat. Sunbirds are the Old World version of hummingbirds. One difference is that they can’t hover, or don’t hover as well as hummingbirds and so need a ‘landing perch’ when getting nectar from flowers.
Quite a number of brilliant yellow Black-naped Orioles. I usually see them in pairs. Their flight is pretty to watch. x)
Heard and saw some white parrots flying overhead, but I don’t know what they are. Cockatoos? Looked a bit small for cockatoos. Maybe some Tanimbar Corrella? Which is actually also a kind of cockatoo oops, just not the kind most thinnk of when they hear ‘cockatoo’. There used to be a pair that always visited the tree outside my old house in commonwealth. Don’t know if they were what I saw today, but have a picture anyway. x)
A very cute little baby sparrow of some sort, hopping in the path in front of me.
Heard but didn’t see the Asian Koel with it’s distinctive call. It’s a kind of cuckoo, which means it is also A PARASITE. :O Cuckoos are really evil. We watched a video of them in class and its AMAZING(ly evil) how the new born baby cuckoo chick will push out the other eggs in the nest, how they manipulate the duped foster parents into feeding them more, and how they can grow SO FAT to like, three times the size of the foster parents, taking up the whole nest, AND STILL GET FED. D: D:
Okay, now I have to find the video for you. Hold on. Here you go. It’s not the one I saw, but it shows almost the exact same thing.
And of course the usual suspects:
The Javan Mynah (which is EVERYWHERE, as compared to the Common Mynah, which is ironically nowhere near as common), some Eurasian Tree Sparrows, the Spotted Dove (which looks too similar, especially from afar, to the Zebra Dove) and many bubbly Yellow Vented Bulbuls.
Also saw a bunch of swifts/swallows/swiflets doing their thang, which is aerial feeding, which is when they swoop around and around continuously eating insects as they fly.
Most excitingly, I saw the Variable Squirrel again! This is the second time I’ve seen it. It’s quite distinct from the squirrel that we’ve been seeing all our lives all over the island, which is the Plantain Squirrel. (Or sometimes the Slender Squirrel).
In primary 3, my classroom was on the second floor and there was a rain tree directly outside our classroom window. I remember the episodes whenever a squirrel was spotted running through the branches: overly enthusiastic girls pointing out at the window going, ‘Squirrel! Squirrel!’ as the more excitable ones jumped out of their seats and raced to the window. A class affair. XD I can imagine the teacher rolling her eyes. XD
Anyway. The variable squirrel is apparently not native to Singapore though. Which is bad, because you never know how it may affect native fauna. It’s introduced from Thailand. Ah well. It’s still cute.
Did you know that there used to be a giant mliky coloured squirrel in Singapore? That apparently got EATEN to (local) extinction?! D: These humans. Eat everything that moves. The Cream-coloured Giant Squirrel, which is now most likely extinct in Singapore.
The picture in that link doesn’t do it justice at all, so here, have a picture:
Obviously, since I was jogging at that time, these pictures aren’t taken by me. (I wish they had been! That would be awesome.) Click on the pictures to go to where I got them from, and click on the name of the animal to find out a little more about it.
Most of these animals (minus the two squirrels and toe corrella) are really common in Singapore so if you haven’t seen them before, the next time you’re out and about keep your eyes peeled and I’m sure you’ll spot them all sooner rather than later. x)
After my jog I did take a walk around with my camera though, so I might make another post with pictures that I actually took. Mostly of plants though. Plants don’t fly away.
Well that was a very, very brief Singapore Common Wildlife 101. Hope you enjoyed that as much I as enjoyed catching glimpses of these creatures today! :D