2 Birds Perform Mating Ritual In Pasir Ris Field, Over 300 Watchers Flock To Witness Rare Sight

Mating Ritual Of 2 Pin-Tailed Whydahs Attracts Hundreds To Pasir Ris Farmway 3 To Snap Birds

For humans, the act colloquially described as “the birds and the bees” is usually performed behind closed doors.

However, actual birds don’t live in houses, so they typically do this in the great outdoors.

Over the weekend, a pair of birds that performed a mating ritual in a Pasir Ris field had to contend with the prying eyes of many onlookers.

Source: Low Frankie on Facebook

They attracted more than 500 birdwatchers to the usually quiet locale, all trying to get good shots of the would-be lovers.

Mating birds seen at Pasir Ris Farmway 3 from 26-28 May

According to various posts on Facebook — including in the Singapore Wildlife Sightings and Bird Sightings groups — the birds were seen at Pasir Ris Farmway 3 from last Friday to Sunday (26-28 May).

They were also identified as Pin-Tailed Whydahs.

Source: Andy Chew on Facebook

The species has been observed regularly in the open grasslands of northeastern Singapore, according to a report by the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Mating ritual involves male bird dancing

The mating dance involved the male bird — identified by his long tail and bright red beak — fluttering up and down in the air in front of his female counterpart.

Source: Choo Shiu Ling on Facebook

As the male does this distinctive dance while singing and looking into the female’s eyes, his tail flicks up and down.

Source: Andrew Hunt on Facebook

Which damsel can resist such a display of raw desire?

Source: Kelvin Ow on Facebook via Singapore Wildlife Sightings

Unfortunately, the female may decide not to mate and fly away instead.

Source: Kelvin Ow on Facebook

If she does so, the male might follow her and dance again, or wait for her to return.

Pasir Ris crowd delighted to witness successful mating of birds

However, if the couple does mate, the male would jump on top of the female from behind.

Source: Cecilia Lee on Facebook

However, a photographer who saw them on Saturday (27 May) said the male was “a bit on the anxious side” and knocked the female off her perch.

Source: David Tan on Facebook

Guess he was trying too hard to literally sweep her off her feet.

Source: Kelvin Ow on Facebook via Singapore Wildlife Sightings

Anyway, one of the lucky photographers who witnessed the mating spectacle on Friday (26 May) said it happened at about 6pm “to the delight of everyone”.

Estimated 500 watchers over 3 days

Speaking of the intrusive gathering, one of the attendees described it as “very crowded” at Pasir Ris Farmway 3 over the weekend.

Source: Anders Tradit on Facebook

This is compared with how deserted the area usually is.

In his post, he estimated that there were about 300 birders there when he went on Saturday.

Over the entire three days of the weekend, 500 or more people would’ve turned up to watch the mating birds, he gauged.

The crowd on Saturday morning. Source: Chee Kiong Kang on Facebook

Pin-Tailed Whydahs native to Africa

While Pin-Tailed Whydahs have been spotted in Singapore over the years, they are not native to our island.

According to the NUS report titled Singapore Biodiversity Records, they originate from Africa.

Source: Julian Wong on Facebook

Those found in Singapore are believed to be most likely birds that were imported here by the pet trade and subsequently released or escaped.

They’ve apparently been recorded here since 1986.

Regardless of their origin, they did provide many people with a good show over the weekend, so we thank them.

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Featured image adapted from Choo Shiu Ling on Facebook and Cecilia Lee on Facebook.

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