Chinese, happiness

Birds: Visiting Yingshiong


Yingshiong says hi
Originally uploaded by shimmertje
I visited the Southeast Asian Birds Aviary at the Jurong Bird Park to see Yingshiong before I left for Oman. He wasn't in the last aviary we'd seen him; he'd been moved to the aviary with the Luzon Bleeding Heart Pigeon. There were more Bali mynahs, and an aviary dedicated to hill mynahs (one of which kept meowing like a cat the whole time I was there).

I wasn't sure it was Yingshiong at first, but his behaviour convinced me. There are two male shamas in the Southeast Asian Bird Aviary. One had a longer though damaged tail, but he was near the front of the cage, singing his heart out; hardly typical for Yingshiong. The other bird had a tail that was shorter than I remembered for Yingshiong, with the long black tail feathers on either side of the white tail feathers missing; it was probably because he was moulting at the time.

The first time I looked in on him, he was perched on a branch at the back of the new aviary, in a similar position to where we'd found him on our first visit to see him in March. I played him a video of his own singing, which had never failed to get a rise out of him at home.

As with the first time we'd visited him at the Jurong Bird Park, he barely reacted to the video. He made the "come and look at me" call continuously instead. This is the call he'd make in the evening at home to get us to come out to the aviary and wave at him. He wouldn't go to sleep otherwise.

The next time I came round, he had hopped to feed at the food dish on the ground, as he likes to do throughout the day. He was almost totally hidden by the undergrowth, so I didn't manage to get him at the food, and ended up with just a few blurred pictures of his claws. At one point he divebombed one of the other birds in the enclosure which had come too near, which is typical spunky Yingshiong.

The last time I stopped at his aviary, he was back on his branch at the back of the aviary, doing soft but very clear whisper song. There is too much ambient noise to actually hear the song at www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyvtrAimo3g, but you can see his tail and head moving as he sings. Yingshiong only does whisper song when he's happy. He used to fly to the mirror at the dressing table in the bedroom, stare at himself and croon.

I like to think he's telling me he remembers me and that he likes it at the Jurong Bird Park. There's certainly a lot of vegetation for him to hide in, passing visitors to watch, and a constant supply of food.

This picture is from the Yingshiong visit 8-08 set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shimmertje/sets/72157607297631733/. Yingshiong was moving too much in the place too dim to get a great picture on maximum zoom.
What a beautiful place he is in! And I went to youtube and I can definitely hear his song...he has a gorgeous voice :) I don't get to hear much singing like that because I have a cockatoo, an Eclectus, an African Grey and an Amazon :) But sometimes lovely songbirds come by outdoors and I do get to hear them.
It's a wonderful place. We always encourage visitors to Singapore to go to the bird park, even if they aren't really all that interested in birds.