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.
They attracted more than 500 birdwatchers to the usually quiet locale, all trying to get good shots of the would-be lovers.
They were also identified as Pin-Tailed Whydahs.
The species has been observed regularly in the open grasslands of northeastern Singapore, according to a report by the National University of Singapore (NUS).
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.
As the male does this distinctive dance while singing and looking into the female’s eyes, his tail flicks up and down.
Which damsel can resist such a display of raw desire?
Unfortunately, the female may decide not to mate and fly away instead.
If she does so, the male might follow her and dance again, or wait for her to return.
However, if the couple does mate, the male would jump on top of the female from behind.
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.
Guess he was trying too hard to literally sweep her off her feet.
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”.
Speaking of the intrusive gathering, one of the attendees described it as “very crowded” at Pasir Ris Farmway 3 over the weekend.
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.
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.
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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