Species: A. richardi
Binomial name Anthus richardi
The Richard’s Pipit (Anthus richardi) is a medium-sized passerine bird which breeds in open grasslands in northern Asia. It is a long-distance migrant moving to open lowlands in southern Asia. It is a rare but regular vagrant to western Europe. This bird was named after the French naturalist Monsieur Richard of Lunéville.
It belongs to the pipit genus Anthus in the family Motacillidae. It was formerly lumped together with the Australasian, African, Mountain and Paddyfield Pipits in a single species: Richard’s Pipit, Anthus novaeseelandiae. These pipits are now commonly considered to be separate species although the African and Paddyfield Pipits are sometimes treated as part of Anthus richardi.
This is a large pipit, 17-20 cm in length, with a weight of 25-36 g and a wingspan of 29 to 33 cm. It is a slender bird which often stands very upright. It has long yellow-brown legs, a long tail with white outer-feathers and a long dark bill with a yellowish base to the lower mandible. The hindclaw is long and fairly straight. It is an undistinguished-looking species on the ground, mainly brown above and pale below. There are dark streaks on the upperparts and breast while the belly and flanks are plain. The face is strongly marked with pale lores and supercilium and dark eyestripe, moustachial stripe and malar stripe. There are two wingbars formed by pale tips to the wing-coverts.
There is some variation between the different subspecies. A. r. sinensis is slightly smaller than the nominate race with less streaking above. A. r. centralasiae is larger with more sand-coloured upperparts. A. r. dauricus has more streaking above.
Its flight is strong and undulating, and it gives a characteristic explosive “shreep” call, somewhat similar to the chirp of a House Sparrow. The song is a repeated series of monotonous buzzy notes given in an undulating song-flight.
Some care must be taken to distinguish this from other large pipits which winter or are resident in the area, such as Blyth’s Pipit and Paddyfield Pipit. Blyth’s Pipit has a shorter bill, legs and tail, a shorter and more curved hindclaw, less white on the tail and more streaking on the upperparts. In adult birds, the median wing-coverts have blunt-ended dark centres whereas in Richard’s Pipit the dark centres become pointed towards the tip of the feather. The call of Blyth’s Pipit call is quieter and less harsh. Paddyfield Pipit is smaller than Richard’s Pipit with a shorter bill and tail, less streaking on the breast and a quieter call.
Richard’s Pipit breeds in southern Siberia, Mongolia, parts of Central Asia and in northern, central and eastern China. It migrates south to winter in the Indian subcontinent, South-east Asia and southern China with records as far south as Sri Lanka, Singapore and northern Borneo. It is a scarce passage migrant in Korea and Japan.
A small part of the population regularly moves west in autumn and birds have been recorded from most countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. It is seen annually between September and November at coastal watchpoints in areas such as Britain, the Netherlands and Scandinavia with occasional birds appearing in spring. A few overwinter in countries like Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
It is a bird of open country, particularly flat lowland areas. It inhabits grassland, steppe and cultivated land, preferring more fertile, moist habitats. In Europe it is most often recorded on headlands and islands. It occurs alone or in small groups.
Like other pipits, this species is insectivorous. It mainly feeds on the ground and will also make short flights to catch flying insects. A few seeds are also eaten.
The nest is made of grass or moss and is built on the ground under a grass tussock.
I found this bird in Jakarta, Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve, now there are a conservation aread, but it’s not open for public, you need to get the permit SIMAKSI, please click here for more information. About SIMAKSI (permission letter for entering a. conservation area). To get this letter we need to go to Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) Jakarta, in Jalan Jl. Salemba Raya, Central Jakarta, next to the campus of Persada Indoneisa University-YAI.
I took some of the photos also in Singapore, in Punggol beach area. This bird not really afraid of human, so we can come closer to this bird.
Species: R. javanica
Binomial name Rhipidura javanica
Main features: Small (18cm); dark plumage; long broad tail which it often fans out. Genders look alike.
Adult: Narrow black breast band contrasting with white throat and whitish belly. Upperparts dark/slaty grey; tail black tipped with white; eyebrow white.
Female: Rusty brown rump, upper tail coverts and wings; breast band smaller and blotched with white.
Call: Described as various churrs, chattering, whistles and squeaks; kree-chak . A common call is a long drawn out wheee-feeouul.
In flight: Rump appears white due to overlap of long flank feathers.
World distribution: Southeast Asia.
Classification: Family Corvidae (Crows, Orioles, Ioras). World 647 species, Subfamily Rhipiduridae.
Pied Fantails are named for their habit of fanning out their beautiful long tails. It has been suggested that by revealing the white tips of the tail, insects are startled into movement.
Pied Fantails eat mainly insects. Unlike their relatives the flycatchers, Fantails forage close to the ground in the dark understorey, perching on a root or low branch, teetering at the ready to launch into flight. They catch their prey on the wing and rarely miss. Their broad bill is ringed with spines (rictal bristles) which may help them catch insects even in the dim light of the understorey.
They move actively in the undergrowth, lurching from perch to perch; dashing in acrobatic flights. They make short flights from one cover to the next. They are generally quite inquisitive and not shy. They hunt alone or in pairs.
I took the photos in chinese garden, near by the bridge, they’re playing eachh others, this bird can suddenly fly really close to you, even almost landed at my hand. And the unique way of flight when he tried to catch the insect.
Photo Gallery: Pied Fantail
Species: O. sutorius
Binomial name Orthotomus sutorius
The Common Tailorbird, Orthotomus sutorius, is an Old World warbler. This tailorbird is a resident breeder in tropical south Asia from Pakistan and India to south China, and Indonesia.
Main features: Small (12cm); upperparts olive, underparts creamy buff; bill long; thighs rufous; legs long; tail long.
Male: Centre of crown rufous; sides of head and underparts white; black patches on neck.
Female: Rufous restricted to the forehead.
Call: Described as a monotonous loud chwee-o; chi-up; chee-rup repeated quickly. Also a rapid descending trill of 5 notes.
In flight: Darting low flight in the understorey thickets.
Like others in their family, Common Tailorbirds are strong singers, making melodious calls which seem much louder than seems possible for such a tiny bird. Common Tailorbirds are active and restless; usually heard rather than seen. They constantly shift their perch in the understorey thickets, and make short, quick darting flights.
Tailorbirds eat insects: both adults and larvae, actively foraging for these in the understoreys of wooded habitats. They may also snack on small fruits, berries, sip some nectar or eat tiny seeds. They are usually found in pairs.
Breeding: In Sungei Buloh, the Tailorbirds begin breeding January, reaching a peak in February and March but continue to breed until June. They are also called Long-tailed because the male’s breeding plumage features highly extended central tail feathers; up to 3cm longer!
Common Tailorbirds “sew” their nests out of green living leaves. They are particularly fond of the large leaves of the Simpoh Air tree (Dillenia suffruticosa). The nests are usually low, about 1m from the ground. For more about Tailorbirds in general and how they “sew” their nests out of leaves.
2-5 pastel eggs are laid, these are pastel blue with brown speckles. It appears only the female incubates, but both help raise the young. The young fledge in 24 days.
This passerine bird is typically found in open woodland, scrub and gardens. Tailorbirds get their name from the way their nest is constructed. The edges of a large leaf are pierced and sewn together with plant fibre or spiders web to make a cradle in which the actual grass nest is built. Common Tailorbird builds its nest in a shrub and lays 3-5 eggs.
These 13 cm long warblers are brightly coloured, with bright green upperparts and whitish underparts. The crown of the head is chestnut. It has short rounded wings, a short tail, strong legs and a long decurved bill. The tail is typically held upright, like a wren.
The sexes are identical, except that the male has long central tail feathers in the breeding season, but young birds are duller.
There are two endemic races in Sri Lanka which retain the male’s long tail feathers all year.
Like most warblers, the Common Tailorbird is insectivorous. The song is a loud cheeup-cheeup-cheeup.
I took these photos in MacRitchie Walking trail, That time It’s quite rush, Then I just spotted this bird when walking thru the Tree top walking trail.
MacRitchie: Take SBS bus 132 or TIBS bus 167 from Orchard Road.
- Morten Strange, “A Photographic Guide to Birds of Malaysia and Singapore: including Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Borneo”, Periplus, 2000 (p. 314: description, voice, habits, distribution, status, photo).
Photo Gallery: Common Tailorbird