In February 2019, I participated in the 9th Annual Parrot Count in Singapore, where volunteers participate to count the total number of parrots they see all over Singapore in a single day over different sites. We counted 492 parrots that day at our site. The parrots consist of mainly the invasive Red-Breasted Parakeets. Their numbers are increasing every year and may pose a threat to local native parrots. However, we should also consider a symbiotic relationship that might occur between native and alien species. The native and alien species roost closely together in the same tree. Little is known about where these birds go in the day.
Several species of birds roost in this spot. At around 650pm, about a hundred crows start gathering around the roost, flying at a height of 70-80m. At around 700pm, the mynahs approach the roost, flying at a lower height of 30-40m. Finally, at around 710pm, the parrots swarm in around the roost in the most spectacular flight, flying at the height of 10-20m, the noisiest of the lot.
This roost is just beside an apartment block. On one occasion, I have seen a laser pointer being shone at the birds to deter them to roost at the trees. 2 trees have been chopped last week. I speculate that it’s not the species of trees that attract the birds here. It’s a unique combination of location, urban trapped heat and wind conditions that make this spot so favourable for these birds.