Also known as escapees, although there is still an element of uncertainty with how they came about living in the area. To someone who knows their birds, there would be red-flags as a lot of these birds do not belong in these areas. I guess most regard them as escaped cage-birds.
In Bangkok’s Sirikit Park, the longest established ‘feral’ birds I know of are a pair of White-crested Laughingthrushes. They are incredibly friendly and interesting to watch. The sounds they make and the way their forage are particularly entertaining.
More recently, they have been hanging around the buildings, and I have seen them watching their reflections and also screaming (singing) to said reflections. Whilst normally easy to see, sometimes they are easier to hear.
Two years ago, there was a Black-throated Laughingthrush alongside them but it has long since disappeared. Maybe it decided to leave the domesticated life behind and head for the jungles, or the more sad option of, it was just re-trapped.
There are also two White-rumped Shama males in the park. I only knew about them more recently – when I started going birding more often and recording my sightings with eBird. One of them behaves more or less like a wild bird, but the other is very friendly, seeming to enjoy human company.
One time, I was looking around a spot by the water, it flew over, singing. It proceeded to follow me around. They are beautiful singers and are excellent at mimicking sounds.
There are a lot of sightings of other unusual escapee birds at Sirikit, but many don’t establish themselves and leave quickly. Not long ago someone took pictures of a Chinese Hwamei, and also a Budgerigar foraging with the tree sparrows. Recently there seems to be quite a few as there was also a Probable Burmese Yuhina around my house.
The last bird I want to talk about was the reason for my visit to the park yesterday. The Red-billed Blue-magpie was reported the day before yesterday and I really wanted to see it, despite its feral status. I went to the probable area and walked around. Couldn’t see it. I did try a small amount of playback, the aforementioned White-rumped Shama enjoyed that and copied the sounds. It was not long after until a very loud bird revealed itself and flew over the path.
The Red-billed Blue-magpie stopped very briefly and flew on over into Rotfai Park. I was happy to be able to make the sighting, feral bird or not, it is a stunning bird.
If you have any experience of other feral birds in Bangkok parks I would love to hear about them. Also any more info about the birds in this article would be appreciated.
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