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Old World Oscine and Suboscine Passerines Photographed in Forest and Rural Garden Habitat

This webpage features images of Old World oscine and suboscine passerines photographed in Singapore, New Zealand and the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius and Mahe in the Seychelles. These places are in the Indomalaya, Australasia and Afrotropic and ecozones respectively. Most of the birds on this webpage are found primarily in forest, woodland and rural gardens while some only occupy one type of habitat or frequent urban, grassland or shrubland environments.

Babblers, Cisticolas, Flycatchers, Fantail and Sparrow in Singapore

All Old World oscine passerines in the collection below were photographed in Singapore's Bidadari cemetery woodland, the Japanese, Chinese and Botanic Gardens. My favourite bird image was of a species that I found difficult to identify; I believe it is the red listed near threatened white-chested babbler that is known to be a Sungei Buloh resident.

Except for the ferruginous flycatcher and Asian brown flycatcher that are migrant visitors to Singapore all the other birds are resident. Both migratory birds were photographed at the Bidadari cemetery woodland which attracts many migrants, unfortunately it is scheduled to be developed into a housing estate.

Ashy Tailorbird (Orthotomus ruficeps), Botanic Gardens, Singapore, 2015 Pied Fantail (Rhipidura javanica), Chinese Garden, East Jurong, Singapore, 2015 Ferruginous Flycatcher (Muscicapa ferruginea), Bidadari Cemetery and Woodland, Singapore, 2015 White-chested Babbler (Trichastoma rostratum) at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa latirostris), Bidadari Cemetery and Woodland, Singapore, 2015 Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis), Japanese Garden, East Jurong, Singapore, 2015 Dark-necked Tailorbird (Orthotomus atrogularis), Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Singapore, 2015 Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus), Botanic Gardens, Singapore, 2015 White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus), Bidadari Cemetery and Woodland, Singapore, 2015

Featured Old World Oscine Passerines, Passeriformes order

Pellorneidae (Ground Babblers) family

White-chested Babbler (Trichastoma rostratum)

Cisticolidae (Cisticolas) family

Ashy Tailorbird (Orthotomus ruficeps)

Dark-necked Tailorbird (Orthotomus atrogularis)

Rhipiduridae (Fantail) family

Pied Fantail (Rhipidura javanica) also known as Malaysian Pied Fantail

Muscicapidae (Old World flycatchers) family

Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa latirostris)

Ferruginous Flycatcher (Muscicapa ferruginea)

Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis)

White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus)

Passeridae (Sparrow) family

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)

Bulbul, Crow, Oriole, Starlings, Sunbirds and Waxbill in Singapore

The second collection features more birds I photographed in Singapore's Chinese, Japanese, Hort and Botanic Gardens, at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.

The yellow-vented bulbul is a Singapore migrant species, the black-naped oriole is both migratory and resident while the Javan myna in an introduced resident, all others are Singapore residents.

The scaly-breasted munia was gathering nest material in Hort gardens which is part of the southern ridges green space.

Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata), Hort Garden, Singapore, 2011 Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier), Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore, 2015 Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis), Chinese Garden, East Jurong, Singapore, 2015 Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos), Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore, 2015 Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus), Symphony Lake, Botanic Gardens, Singapore, 2006 Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis), Japanese Garden, East Jurong, Singapore, 2013 Male Olive-Backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis) at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Female Olive-Backed Sunbird (Nectarinia jugularis) at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Featured Old World Oscine Passerines, Passeriformes order

Pycnonotidae (Bulbuls) family

Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier)

Oriolidae (Orioles) family

Black-naped Oriole (Oriolus chinensis)

Sturnidae (Starling) family

Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)

Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus)

Nectariniidae (Sunbird) family

Olive-Backed Sunbird (Nectarina jugularis) {m & f}

Estrildidae(Waxbills) family

Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata)

Corvidae (Crow) family

Large-billed Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos)

Introduced Starlings, Thrushes and Weavers

The third collection features old world oscine passerines that have been introduced into Canada, New Zealand, Mauritius and Mahe Island in the Seychelles. They are common wide spread resident species in those countries where I capture the images. The bids can be found in varied habitat including forest, woodland, rural gardens, urban areas with some species in arable, pastureland, plantations, grassland and shrubland.

I spent a few hours on successive days in the village of La Gaulette on Mauritius photographing weavers building nests. The male does the construction, first stripping leaves off the tree where the nest is to be built, then stripping lengths of palm leaf to weave a round hanging nest with an entrance tube below. The males display attract the females display; he hangs below the entrance flapping his wings and calling. If she likes his work she will line the nest and mate.

Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Sinclair Wetlands, Otago, New Zealand, 2015 Female Village Weaver (Ploceus cucullatus), La Gaulette, Mauritius, 2014 Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula), Te Anua, Southland, New Zealand, 2015 Male Madagascar Red Fody (Foudia madagascariensis), Mahe, Seychelles, 2011 Juvenile Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 2009 Village Weavers (Ploceus cucullatus) male building nest and female looking on, La Gaulette, Mauritius, 2014 Female Madagascar Red Fody (Foudia madagascariensis), Mahe, Seychelles, 2011 Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos), Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Canterbury, New Zealand, 2015

Featured Old World Oscine Passerines, Passeriformes order

Ploceidae (Weavers) family

Village Weaver (Ploceus cucullatus) {m & f}

Madagascar Red Fody (Foudia madagascariensis) {m & f}

Sturnidae (Starling) family

Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

Turdidae (Thrushes) family

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)

Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Bunting, Cisticolas, Drongos and Larks

The fourth collection features four Old World oscine passerines, two Singapore resident species and two introduced New Zealand residents.

The two Singapore resident birds only inhabit forests; the greater racket-tailed drongo and dark-necked tailorbird I photographed in the central catchment area forest.

The skylark is not normally found in forests or gardens preferring open country, I captured the image in the Sinclair wetlands. I photographed the yellowhammer in shrubland habitat, it can also be found in forests.

Yellowhammer (Emberiza citronella) in Hooker Valley, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus) in Central Catchment Area, Singapore urasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis) in Sinclair Wetlands, Otago, New Zealand

Featured Old World Oscine Passerines, Passeriformes order

Alaudidae (Larks) family

Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis)

Emberiza (Bunting) family

Yellowhammer (Emberiza citronella)

Dicruridae (Drongos) family

Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus)

Old World Suboscines

The last collection shows four images of a Singapore winter visitor, a blue-winged pitta (Pitta moluccensis) that is from the Passeriformes order, Pittidae (Pitta) family, that I photographed central catchment area. In February, I was walking the trails between MacRitchie Reservoir and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve when I spotted a bird rustling leaves in the undergrowth near one of the lesser used trails in the central catchment area. I watched and followed the bird but was unable to get any close-up shots.

I went back a week later intent on getting some close-up shots. I walked to area where I had seen the bird but initially I could not find it so I sat down for a rest in the Dillenia Hut. To my surprise when I turned to look at the forest behind the hut I spotted a pitta foraging in the leaves and pulling worms from the ground. I spent the hour or so photographing the bird getting some great close-up of the bird foraging, pulling up works and posing.

Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis), Central Catchment Area, Singapore, 2015 Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis), Pulling up worms, Central Catchment Area, Singapore, 2015 Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis), Eating a worm, Central Catchment Area, Singapore, 2015 Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis), Feeding on a grub, Central Catchment Area, Singapore, 2015

Abbreviations

IUCN: International Union for Conservation of Nature

[NT] Near Threatened, {m} Male, {f} Female