Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Red Junglefowl on Singapore's mainland

Usually seen reliably on Pulau Ubin only (an offshore island of Singapore), I felt lucky to photograph and film a Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) on mainland Singapore, on the eve of the Lunar New Year, 6 February 2008. Apparently, according to Chinese mythology, the 1st day of the Lunar New Year is the Rooster's Birthday (the 7th day is Man's Birthday), maybe because the Rooster's crow is what one hears first thing in the morning for farming folks then.

This was precisely what greeted me when I first stepped out of my car, ready for a day of birding in Sime Forest. The Junglefowl was crowing at the top of its lungs at regular intervals. The curious me managed to locate the bird about 7m to 8m up a tree.
Red Junglefowl - Territorial crowing up a tree, from 740am to 8am. Watch video at:

Returning to the same spot around 1230pm to retrieve my car, after some excellent forest birding where I got good views of the rare Dusky Warbler, I found the Red Junglefowl walking tamely by the roadside, foraging for food amidst rubbish and soil. The old folks who regularly hang around the area mentioned that they often see this bird (they noted that it is found up in trees too).

Red Junglefowl digging for earthworms and the like. Note its diagnostic white cheek patch. This bird is probably a juvenile, since its white rump is still largely undeveloped.

Red Junglefowl Foraging and Feeding:

Singapore has banned all live chickens due to the Avian Flu outbreak some years back, as such, all 'chickens' seen on the mainland are technically wild ones.

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