Thursday, June 6, 2013

Who is sleeping with who?

It is a common sight at night in towns of Sabah that flocks up to thousands of Asian Glossy Starling Aplonis panayensis will congregate to roost on trees in parks and road side.

This inevitably occurs at dusk when it is hard to clearly see and identify the individual bird, all you can see is the feverish and hectic activities of birds flying in to choose a perch and hear the accompanying  noise. While this is happening, and if you have not witness one, you can be assured that it is a messy affair, passers-by will normally move away for fear of being 'bombed' by their droppings.

Here is a video I took on the evening of 5th June 2013, showing activities on an Ironwood Tree Mesua ferrea, in Tawau. I suggest you watch this video in Youtube for a better rendition.

The Asian Glossy Starling  is unmistakable as they can been easily identified while flying in to roost. However, to my astonishment, they is another species totally unrelated to the Asian Glossy Starling both in habitat and behavior choose to roost with them in the same trees as seen in the above video.

The species is Java Sparrow Padda oryzivora, which are the paler and smaller birds in the above video, I saw hundreds of them, flying-in in flocks.

During the day, Java Sparrow scatters in the outskirt bushes feeding on grass seed, they are hardly seen as they are normally away from roads, I have not seen them feeding inside Tawau town, it is surprising they choose to share roost in town with the Starling.

Java Sparrow is an introduced bird in Borneo, and it is evidently doing well here.

Here are some still images I took in the fast failing light.
 Java Sparrow with two Glossy Starlings psrtly hidden.
 This is one of the sharper images, a Starling is at the top left.

There is a flying Java Sparrow and some of both species.

Happy birding.

Photodocument of Wild Birds of Borneo.

Standard References for my blog.

1 comment:

Hawkeyes a.k.a Kiah said...

Nice observation.