Jump to content

Owls And Other Birds - Sighted In C.Rai Area?


Recommended Posts

Today, I saw a small owl. It was probably a juvenile, it was about 7 inches tall, light brown, and looked right at me with big black eyes, about 3 meters away. Prior, I've seen owls around here, but they're medium sized and speckled white and gray - always in limestone cliffs. The little brown one was in a bamboo grove.

Raptors I have never seen in the wild in Northern Thailand: eagles, cranes, vultures or griffins.

very rarely seen: small hawks, crows, woodpeckers. and a small bird with a very long black thin tail piece.

Somewhat rarely seen: wild ducks, swifts.

There's a common smallish bird which is very loud. It has a bright yellow beak and it's colors are mostly white and black It sings a song which is most unusual. It can last up to ten seconds, and it hits very low and very high notes in quick succession. I've tried recording it, but it seems to know when I turn on the audio to record. Its other sound is a territorial caw, like a crow's.

There's another small bird which I haven't seen which sings a song of up to 16 distinct notes. I'm a musician, so it particularly intrigues me. I sense it's small because the force of the voice is faint.

I don't know the names of the 2 above mentioned birds. Any light you can shed on any of these sightings / listenings, is appreciated.

If anyone is interested in seeing a cave with thousands of bats, let me know. It's in the hill across from Chiang Rai Beach (no, not the Buddha cave). I'll show you how to get there. In fact, it's possible to walk in the south side of the hill and out the north side. Takes about 25 minutes, with no crawling, but some easy climbing.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 80
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

The owl is probably an Asian Barred Owlet (Glaucidium cuculoides). An adult measures 9 inches from head to tail. A sitting bird appears to be about 7 inches.

The Asian Barred Owlet is often seen during daylight. They are noisy birds and can sing melodiously at the start of the mating season.

If your medium sized owl is considerable larger (about 13 inches in length) than the above and near limestones it is probably a Barn Owl (Tyto Alba). Unless disturbed during the day, they only fly at night.

My guess is that, "the common smallish bird which is very loud, has a bright yellow beak and it's colors are mostly white and black", is an Asian Pied Starling (Sturnus contra). Beware the Asian Pied Starling measures about 9 inches from head to tail. Which is the same length as the Asian Barred Owlet but the starling is more slender.

It would help to identify the "small bird which I haven't seen which sings a song of up to 16 distinct notes" if you could tell us where you have seen this bird, it's habitat.

I do not know for sure if I am allowed to put a link here. There is a website called yonokwetlands, Birdwatching and Conservation in northern Thailand.

Since 2007 Mick & Dowroong are trying to protect the best birdwatching areas around Chiang Saen. The best photographs are under 2011.

The best bird images for this area can be found in the database of the Oriental Bird Club. No login is required to access the images.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice report and response. We are north of Chiang mai about 35 kilometers and we regularly see hawks, ducks, and a month ago a group of ospreys were in the area for a few weeks. The most common bird here is the black collared starling, and we do have black swifts that compete for the insects with the swallows over the pond in the evenings. There is another bird that is greenish that appears sometimes and it is very aerobatic with an unusual up-turned beak. I am still trying to find that one in the books!

Edited by T_Dog
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen a Common Hoopoe (Upupa epops) only once here in Chiang Rai. This was somewhere near the new highway is being built. The green bee-eater is a delight to see - especially with its long pointed tail. My favorite bird, however is the White-rumped Shama (Copsychus malabaricus). Such a wonderful and vocal piece of work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

at T_Dog post #3

"greenish that appears sometimes and it is very aerobatic with an unusual up-turned beak"

Greenish and aerobatic would make it a bee-eater. Up-turned beak would make it a barbet.

If you try get an identification of a bird, it is important to add observations on habitat and behaviour. Bee-eaters catch dragonflies, bees, etc. in flight and return often to a perch. Barbets feed on fruit and nectar in the treetops.

at mumbojumbo post #9

On the lighter side: "what my true love gave to me ..." on The Twelve Days of Christmas would make a wonderful topic on Thaivisa.

Some partridge species roost in trees.

Edited by hmj
Link to post
Share on other sites

at T_Dog post #3

"greenish that appears sometimes and it is very aerobatic with an unusual up-turned beak"

Greenish and aerobatic would make it a bee-eater. Up-turned beak would make it a barbet.

If you try get an identification of a bird, it is important to add observations on habitat and behaviour. Bee-eaters catch dragonflies, bees, etc. in flight and return often to a perch. Barbets feed on fruit and nectar in the treetops.

at mumbojumbo post #9

On the lighter side: "what my true love gave to me ..." on The Twelve Days of Christmas would make a wonderful topic on Thaivisa.

Some partridge species roost in trees.

hmj.... the beak was the most distinctive characteristic. They appeared in a group of ten or so at dusk and would dive bomb the pond, pulling got centimeters above the surface. much more aerobatic than the swallows and they provided an impressive air show. Will try to get a photograph next time they appear.

Here is a photo of what I think I have mistakenly identified as a Swift. Not a great photo but maybe someone will recognize it.

post-498-0-24706000-1343608845_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

good replies. Now I know the name of the noisy aggressive bird is a starling. And the small light brown owl is an Asian barred owl.

as for the 'Barn Owl,' more than once, while I've been climbing solo on limestone cliffs in the C.Rai area, one has taken flight, a few meters above me. As they do, they screech and let go of a load of poop. Sometimes I get hit, sometimes not.

One sad occurrence, was about 12 years ago, I was bicycling near some limestone, and a little hill tribe boy was walking with two owl chicks. He was holding them upside down by their feet. I stopped and tried telling him it was 'no good' (I didn't speak 5 words of Thai at that time). But he understood and quickened his pace. I then offered to buy the birds (to set them free) but he took off. A few years later, the vendor in town (located next to the Taiwan-run Vege restaurant rear of the Night Bazaar), had two juvenile owls in a cage so small, they couldn't spread their wings. I asked him how he got the birds and whether he would sell them to me. He didn't want to deal. Haven't seen the owls since.

Link to post
Share on other sites

After looking at the photos on the link it looks as though the loud aggressive bird which is all over my property, is called 'Common Myna.' Acridotheres tristis. From childhood, I recall learning that Myna birds are famous for mimicking all sorts of sounds.

Are starlings and myna two names for the same type of bird?

Also, 2 months ago I was motorcycling off the beaten trail in Krabi, near the ocean. At a small village, there was what appeared to be a Myna bird collectors' meeting. There must have been 110 Thai men there, no women and no farang, except me. And they hung at least 3 dozen cages up in two rows, all myna birds. I surmised it's their way to socialize, both for the men, and for the birds. Every bird was cackling away, and the men were smoking buri and relatively quiet.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing I saw in Krabi, besides two large monitor lizards at two different sites:

Two small black colored birds on the ground. A male was courting a female. He displayed his tail feathers like a black fan (to the female, of course), while quickly darting from side to side while squawking faintly. Didn't last more than 6 seconds. Was probably a female who had spurned him before, so he didn't persist.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A perennial favorite of mine is the Pied Harrier. A strikingly beautiful bird to watch as it performs low level aerobatics over the fields, looking for mice I would assume. Each year we seem to have new varieties taking up residence around our house. For the most part I like them being around, except for the ones who like to peck on the windows early in the morning and throughout the day. Was surprised one year to witness eight little bats flying out of one our streetlights at dusk. Haven’t seen them for a while.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a common one I have not identified yet. It is the size of a crow and has a similar look except for reddish wings. It walks around the property slowly and can be seen daily eating frogs or toads perched on the top of fence posts. It makes an alarm call much like water getting sucked up a hose! I have seen them all over the Chiang Mai area. The name in Thai is nok ka puudt da dang. And in English?????

Link to post
Share on other sites

#12 T_Dog

"Here is a photo of what I think I have mistakenly identified as a Swift."

It is a good photo of a Black Drongo (Dicrurus macrocercus). The silhouette of the bird on the water shows the deeply forked tail. The Black Drongo is the only drongo species in open country. They are often seen gleaning the insects disturbed by cattle.

#14 maidu

Are starlings and myna two names for the same type of bird?

Starlings and mynas belong to the same family (Sturnidae). There are 16 species of starlings and myna in Thailand, belonging to 6 genera. A genus (plural: genera) is a group of closely related species which have communal ancestors and a specialized way of living.

I have to google to find the origins or meaning of starling and myna. A myna is also called an Indian starling.

#15 maidu

"Two small black coloured birds on the ground. A male was courting a female. He displayed his tail feathers like a black fan (to the female, of course), while quickly darting from side to side while squawking faintly."

You have seen Pied Fantail (Rhipidura perlata). This species prefers to live close to water and can be found in mangroves and coastal bush.

#16 villagefarang

"A perennial favourite of mine is the Pied Harrier."

Did you know that up to 500 birds roost communally in the Yonok wetlands near Chiang Saen each winter? At present the harriers are breeding in Russia, Mongolia, China,... Mick and Dowroong are protecting the roost. You can visit the area and watch their arrival just after dark.

#17 T_Dog

"the size of a crow and has a similar look except for reddish wings"

This the Greater Coucal. A second species occurring in Chiang Rai is the Lesser Coucal which is much smaller. The two species of coucals can be identified by their distinct call notes.

Coucals are terrestrial birds and their habitat is grass and shrub.Coucals build their own nests, which are dome-shaped and have a side entrance. The nests are made of grass and are situated near the ground in dense cover.

Edited by hmj
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I once chanced upon a wooded area where there were literally thousands of Black Drongo congregating. This was late afternoon - early evening and I heard a riotous sound which drew me to them. I have never seen anything like it. This was near the Chiang Rai fishing park but opposite side of the highway. Going towards Hua Doi from the fishing park, there is a soi on the left hand side that runs along a construction firm or building contraction. The soi goes in quite a way (around 800 meters), then it turns into a trail. The black drongo condo is to the right hand side. I don't know if they are still there or whether that wooded area has been destroyed. That was many years ago.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't know the name 'coucal' before, but have seen those large pheasant shaped birds often around Chiang Rai. I asked an Aka friend of mine, "why don't you kill and eat those birds, when you kill and eat nearly all others?" He told me that bird "has foul tasting flesh, because it eats rotten things, so we leave it alone." ...or words to that effect.

There is a semi-flightless shy bird, size of a chicken but much more handsome. It is bluish-slate gray and makes a loud mating call with wok wok wok wok sounds in quick succession. For that reason, it is known by locals as 'nok wok' but I don't know its proper name.

I've seen quail on rare ocassions, though quite small, compared to quail in N.America.

Have also seen nets strung up between trees, for the purpose of catching small song birds - probably for putting in woven cages, to sell to locals so they can feel good (gain merit) when releasing them. I suspect many of those birds are not sold and probably die. Not cool. It doesn't fit with Buddhism at all. They should make bird dolls and do their voodoo with that, and leave wild birds alone.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't know the name 'coucal' before, but have seen those large pheasant shaped birds often around Chiang Rai. I asked an Aka friend of mine, "why don't you kill and eat those birds, when you kill and eat nearly all others?" He told me that bird "has foul tasting flesh, because it eats rotten things, so we leave it alone." ...or words to that effect.

There is a semi-flightless shy bird, size of a chicken but much more handsome. It is bluish-slate gray and makes a loud mating call with wok wok wok wok sounds in quick succession. For that reason, it is known by locals as 'nok wok' but I don't know its proper name.

I've seen quail on rare ocassions, though quite small, compared to quail in N.America.

+++++++++

We have quite a few quail around and last month they had chicks. The hawks were around every evening and the chicks soon disappeared with one ambush only 20 meters from the house during dinner! Hopefully enough left to keep them around.

My wife knows about Nok Wok but she says she has not seen one for a while and I have never seen it myself. I thought at first you were speaking of the black and white Asian Water Hens as we see those every day too, but she assures me Nok Wok is real and a different bird! Apparently they are quite tasty so that is why they are seldom seen here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

#22 maidu and #23 T_Dog

"There is a semi-flightless shy bird, size of a chicken but much more handsome. It is bluish-slate gray and makes a loud mating call with wok wok wok wok sounds in quick succession. For that reason, it is known by locals as 'nok wok' but I don't know its proper name."

This is the White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus). Philip Round in A guide to the Birds of Thailand, writes the following on the voice of this species: "demoniacal roaring noises and a long series of monotonous 'kwaak' notes."

The habitat of the White-breasted Waterhen is waterlogged areas with dense vegetation. They mostly feed while walking on vegetation or on land.

"the black and white Asian Water Hens" You are probably referring the Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus). The Common Moorhen feeds while swimming.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks hmj.... Definitely correct on both counts. The Greater Coucal is a common resident here, so we must have built the house on his turf! For those that are curious, here is what they look like.

http://en.wikipedia....Coucal_I_65.jpg

Really beautiful bird but have seen a few as 'Road Kill". I think the reason is that they fly very low, slow and not long distance. I myself have nearly collected a few with my car around the Rai. There are two across the road from my house on Koh Chang. I see two together regulary so maybe the same ones????

Link to post
Share on other sites

#22 maidu and #23 T_Dog

"There is a semi-flightless shy bird, size of a chicken but much more handsome. It is bluish-slate gray and makes a loud mating call with wok wok wok wok sounds in quick succession. For that reason, it is known by locals as 'nok wok' but I don't know its proper name."

This is the White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus). Philip Round in A guide to the Birds of Thailand, writes the following on the voice of this species: "demoniacal roaring noises and a long series of monotonous 'kwaak' notes."

The habitat of the White-breasted Waterhen is waterlogged areas with dense vegetation. They mostly feed while walking on vegetation or on land.

"the black and white Asian Water Hens" You are probably referring the Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus). The Common Moorhen feeds while swimming.

Not that. Here is what I was referring to. Looks like it white breasted water hen and Asian water hen are both names for it.

http://www.pbase.com/howardbanwell/whitebreasted_waterhen

Link to post
Share on other sites

#22 maidu and #23 T_Dog

"There is a semi-flightless shy bird, size of a chicken but much more handsome. It is bluish-slate gray and makes a loud mating call with wok wok wok wok sounds in quick succession. For that reason, it is known by locals as 'nok wok' but I don't know its proper name."

This is the White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus). Philip Round in A guide to the Birds of Thailand, writes the following on the voice of this species: "demoniacal roaring noises and a long series of monotonous 'kwaak' notes."

The habitat of the White-breasted Waterhen is waterlogged areas with dense vegetation. They mostly feed while walking on vegetation or on land.

I have adopted the White breasted water hen as my patron bird. I like the name 'nok wok' better than 'water hen,' but good to know its 'westerner designated' name. Plus, I wouldn't describe its mating call as 'demoniacal'. To me, it's more like a large one note bamboo flute - playing its note insistantly. They're quite shy - and cute when they're walking around, always solo. Too bad the locals want to kill it for food. They've got their raunchy chickens, for heaven's sake.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

toybits #28

This is a Green-billed Malkoha. It's Latin name is Phaenicophaeus tristis; this name will help you find reference images on the Internet.

The Green-billed is the only Malkoha in Chiang Rai province. The genus has five more species in Thailand.

Malkohas search for food whilst running along the smaller branches of trees.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

toybits #28

This is a Green-billed Malkoha. It's Latin name is Phaenicophaeus tristis; this name will help you find reference images on the Internet.

The Green-billed is the only Malkoha in Chiang Rai province. The genus has five more species in Thailand.

Malkohas search for food whilst running along the smaller branches of trees.

You are a wealth of information and much more efficient than wading through those bird books. Amazing that you could identify that bird when so obscured by the bamboo.smile.png
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...