Rice Paddies – 10,000 Birds

Animalstuffstore Java-Sparrow_DSC4913_Kota-Kinabalu-area_Jul-08-2023-630x407 Rice Paddies – 10,000 Birds Bird

When birding Sabah, Borneo, one nearly inevitably passes by way of Kota Kinabalu, the most important metropolis and the vacation spot of just about all worldwide flights. Whereas no birder would come right here only for the birds of the 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. Another 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 on account of trapping for meals and for the cage hen commerce. Nonetheless, it’s fairly frequent in lots of areas it has been launched to, together with elements of Borneo.

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

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

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One other study offers some hope to human males who consider themselves pretty much 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 might also take higher singing as an indicator of higher well being.

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(I do know I’ve quoted from it earlier than, however have to quote the strains “It didn’t take a lot so that you can fall below my spell however up till then you definitely’d by no means seen karaoke sung nicely” 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 elements of Southern Thailand.

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One source 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 should not solely price greater than gold but additionally maintain larger values within the native society”.

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So, when a big gasoline separation plant was inbuilt Songklha, Thailand, the locals weren’t solely fearful in regards to the impression of the emissions on their very own well being but additionally on their Zebra Doves – and subsequent research appears to have confirmed these damaging results.

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

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

Animalstuffstore Scaly-breasted-Munia_DSC5660_Kota-Kinabalu-area_Jul-08-2023-1-630x510 Rice Paddies – 10,000 Birds Bird


Animalstuffstore Scaly-breasted-Munia_DSC5662_Kota-Kinabalu-area_Jul-08-2023-1-630x510 Rice Paddies – 10,000 Birds Bird

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

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

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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.”

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Perhaps 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-reduction plan of those kites.

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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 good ascetic, the grasp of fertility, the grasp of poison and drugs, and Lord of Cattle. His mixed roles are exemplary of a bent in Hinduism to see complementary qualities in a single ambiguous determine”, Brittanica), and who’re the Brahmans (members of the very 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 principle subject of this submit, which I believed was birds?”) allowed.

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

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The journal “Australian Chook 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 number of the butterflies themselves, with the intention to decide their style?

Animalstuffstore White-breasted-Woodswallow_DSC6299_Kota-Kinabalu-area_Jul-08-2023-630x545 Rice Paddies – 10,000 Birds Bird

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

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Apparently, the Malaysian Pied Fantail has solely just lately been cut up from the Philippine Pied Fantail. Its white eyebrow (you possibly can 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

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Exhibiting 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.

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

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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 speak of the Sunda Undersized Woodpecker?

Animalstuffstore Sunda-Pygmy-Woodpecker_DSC5318_Kota-Kinabalu-area_Jul-08-2023-630x514 Rice Paddies – 10,000 Birds Bird

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

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

Animalstuffstore Yellow-vented-Bulbul_DSC5871_Kota-Kinabalu-area_Jul-08-2023-630x532 Rice Paddies – 10,000 Birds Bird

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

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The outcomes of the examine should not totally optimistic for the bulbul – whereas it feeds on bugs, which could be seen as helpful, one of many important meals gadgets is a weevil that’s necessary in pollinating the oil palms. Certainly, one web page is titled “Weevils: The unknown and underappreciated pollination heroes”.

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Considerably disappointingly, Yellow-vented Bulbuls should not drawn to the ethanol in fermenting fruit (source). 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 improper bugs, in addition they don’t simply lend themselves to some lame jokes. Disappointing.

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