Rice Paddies – 10,000 Birds

When birding Sabah, Borneo, one nearly inevitably passes by way of Kota Kinabalu, the largest metropolis and the vacation spot of virtually all worldwide flights. Whereas no birder would come right here only for the birds of town, a few of them are price spending a number of hours on. One location to seek out them is Tanjung Aru Seashore – I’ll most likely write a separate submit on it later. An alternative choice is simply to seek out some rice paddies on the outskirts and search for birds.

There, you might discover the Java Sparrow. The HBW describes its conservation standing as “considerably paradoxical” – it’s listed as Endangered on its native island of Java as a consequence of trapping for meals and for the cage chook commerce. Nonetheless, it’s fairly frequent in lots of areas it has been launched to, together with components of Borneo.

Like many immigrants, the chook is banned from coming into the USA, although not by the standard authorities companies however by the Division of Agriculture. As a chook primarily feeding on seeds, it’s thought to be a risk to crops (actually, the Latin species title of oryzivora combines the phrases for rice, “oryza”, and consuming, “vorus”).

If you’re a listener of classical music, do you favor Schoenberg or Bach? In case you select the latter, your music style is extra aligned with that of Java Sparrows (although the pattern measurement on this examine, 4 birds, of which 2 most popular Bach whereas the opposite two confirmed no clear desire, appears quite small).

One other examine gives some hope to human males who consider themselves nearly as good karaoke singers. The examine confirmed that male Java Sparrows in higher situation can sing songs with bigger observe repertoires and better trill efficiency. So, females may take higher singing as an indicator of higher well being.

(I do know I’ve quoted from it earlier than, however must quote the strains “It didn’t take a lot so that you can fall beneath my spell however up till then you definitely’d by no means seen karaoke sung properly” from Alan Energy’s “Prodigal Son” once more).

Persevering with with the subject of singing, apparently, Zebra Doves are extremely valued for his or her singing, significantly in components of Southern Thailand.

One supply even states that a spot referred to as Chana in Thailand is “the rising Southeast Asian capital of Zebra Doves” and that there “the doves aren’t solely price greater than gold but in addition maintain larger values within the native society”.

So, when a big gasoline separation plant was in-built Songklha, Thailand, the locals weren’t solely frightened in regards to the affect of the emissions on their very own well being but in addition on their Zebra Doves – and subsequent analysis appears to have confirmed these detrimental results.

The significance of the Zebra Doves‘ singing can also be implied within the Javanese language – apparently, “Zebra Dove” is a Javanese metaphor for a specific vocal sort (supply).

The rice paddies are additionally the habitat of three totally different munia species: the Scaly-breasted Munia


… the Chestnut Munia (regardless of the eBird assertion that the species “prefers wetter areas than Scaly-breasted Munia” – each have been present in precisely the identical location) …


… and the Dusky Munia. The latter apparently adapts to its scorching and humid setting by lowering its metabolism (supply), an possibility that sadly shouldn’t be simply obtainable to the always sweating birdwatcher/chook photographer.

The latter paper makes me glad to not be concerned in ornithological analysis, because it casually mentions that “Munias proved troublesome to take care of in captivity, wouldn’t eat, and usually died inside a day or two.”

Possibly higher to be caught by a Brahminy Kite than to die in a cage of a researcher … although small birds make up for under a small a part of the weight loss program of those kites.

Wordnik defines “Brahminy” as “Dedicated to Siva by the Brahmans”, which solutions one query however results in two follow-on questions, who’s Siva (“Shiva performs a number of roles as a Hindu deity. He’s the nice ascetic, the grasp of fertility, the grasp of poison and medication, and Lord of Cattle. His mixed roles are exemplary of an inclination in Hinduism to see complementary qualities in a single ambiguous determine”, Brittanica), and who’re the Brahmans (members of the best Hindu caste, that of the priesthood, Oxford Reference).  No additional follow-on questions (“What doe Hindu imply? Why is there a Lord of Cattle, and what precisely is his job description? When will you lastly return to the primary matter of this submit, which I believed was birds?”) allowed.

eBird calls the White-breasted Woodswallow a “chunky” chook – members of the species may discover this barely offensive.

The journal “Australian Chicken Watcher” has a paper titled “White-breasted Woodswallows ‘Artamus leucorhynchus’ feeding on distasteful butterflies” describing woodswallows consuming a sure species of butterflies – however with out explaining why these are “distasteful”. Did science go so far as the researchers consuming a few of the butterflies themselves, to be able to choose their style?

Because the picture under exhibits, these birds keep wholesome by going by way of an elaborate routine of yoga workouts that by no means work that properly for me.

Apparently, the Malaysian Pied Fantail has solely not too long ago been break up from the Philippine Pied Fantail. Its white eyebrow (you may say supercilium as an alternative if you wish to sound extra scientific) is much less pronounced than that of its Philippine relative, giving it a cuter, much less stern look

Displaying solely the picture of a feminine Pink-necked Inexperienced Pigeon is unlucky as solely the male has an precise pink neck. Blame the incompetent photographer for not capturing a male.

Sadly for the storyline of my weblog submit, the Latin species title “vernans” simply means “sensible” or “flourishing” quite than being the title of a merciless and evil Western explorer comparable to Edward Vernans, Depend of Aberdeen (1805-1845), a Scottish explorer of Borneo who I simply made up.

I used to be questioning whether or not it’s nonetheless politically right to make use of the phrase pygmy, as in Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker. There are fairly a number of synonyms for pygmy – possibly sooner or later, we must discuss of the Sunda Undersized Woodpecker?

Considerably surprisingly, eBird doesn’t appear to treat this species as cute, calling it as an alternative a “small plain woodpecker”.

I didn’t know earlier than, however there’s a scientific journal titled “Journal of Oil Palm Analysis”. Certainly, driving by way of Borneo afterward this journey, I acquired the impression that at the very least the lowlands of Sabah principally encompass oil palms. Anyway, mentioned journal has a paper on the weight loss program of the Yellow-vented Bulbul, as this species is a quite common one in oil crops.

I assume the researchers – not being ornithologists – didn’t have a very exhausting time writing a sentence comparable to “On this examine, 45 people of P. goiavier [Yellow-vented Bulbul] have been dissected for abdomen content material evaluation”.

The outcomes of the examine aren’t completely constructive for the bulbul – whereas it feeds on bugs, which is likely to be seen as helpful, one of many predominant meals gadgets is a weevil that’s essential in pollinating the oil palms. Certainly, one internet web page is titled “Weevils: The unknown and underappreciated pollination heroes”.

Considerably disappointingly, Yellow-vented Bulbuls aren’t drawn to the ethanol in fermenting fruit (supply). I believe I may have labored on some form of joke based mostly on such an attraction. Not solely do these bulbuls feed on the flawed bugs, in addition they don’t simply lend themselves to some lame jokes. Disappointing.

Autor Kai Pflug


Journalist specialized in online marketing as Social Media Manager. I help professionals and companies to become more Internet and online reputation, which allows to give life to the Social Media Strategies defined for the Company, and thus immortalize brands, products and services. I have participated as an exhibitor in various forums nationally and internationally, I am the author of several articles in digital magazines and Blogs.

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