What's a garden city without such sweet twitterings?

Straits Times Forum 7 Nov 12;

THE Asian Koel roosts in Bedok as well, where I live ("It's a big bird and a nuisance, but it's protected" by Mr Daniel Ng; last Saturday). Unlike Mr Ng, their distinct and piercing cries are music to my ears; this is what nature is about - the sound of birds in lush greenery.

If we wish Singapore to be a garden city, we cannot expect to hear no cries of birds and see butterflies fluttering quietly around in the "garden".

It is the cries of birds that make you feel that you are close to nature. Apart from Koels, there are also other big birds that give out various cries, some of which are very melodic.

Surely, one cannot ask the authorities to get rid of them.

If you live near the MRT tracks, as I do, you hear the trains start moving from about dawn, with their rumbling stopping only around midnight.

The din of traffic is also a constant.

Yet, residents must and can tolerate the noise because we want roads and transport facilities to be nearby for our convenience.

To balance such man-made cacophony, we ought to welcome the sweet music of nature.

Khairon Bibi Mastan (Madam)


It's a common bird, so why is it protected?
Straits Times Forum 7 Nov 12;

I EMPATHISE with Mr Daniel Ng ("It's a big bird and a nuisance, but it's protected"; last Saturday).

Like Mr Ng, I suffered too after the Asian Koel began roosting in the trees near my HDB unit in Jurong East more than a year ago.

It would screech loudly and incessantly for several hours every morning, usually starting at about 5am, and sometimes even as early as 4am.

The noise from this bird is as loud as having a car horn sounding just outside your window.

It is impossible to sleep once the bird starts its morning screeching.

Fortunately, the bird has moved a little further from my home in recent months, bringing my family a much needed reprieve.

Still, I always worry about the agony we would have to endure again should the bird move back near my home.

As the Asian Koel appears to be commonly found here and in Malaysia, why does the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) classify it as a protected species?

I have seen it in most parts of Singapore, such as Jurong West, Chinese Garden, Fort Canning Park, West Coast Park, Sungei Buloh, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Thomson Road and Maxwell Market.

When I travel to Malaysian towns like Kuching in Sarawak, Ipoh and Malacca, the Koel's distinct voices are commonly heard there as well.

I hope the AVA can consider removing this noisy bird from the protected list so that long-suffering residents like Mr Ng and myself can finally have some peace and decent shut-eye.

Sia Beng Choo (Ms)

Birds deserve protection
Straits Times Forum 7 Nov 12;

I EMPATHISE with Mr Daniel Ng ("It's a big bird and a nuisance, but it's protected"; last Saturday). I have encountered these Asian Koels in my estate too.

Yes, they were a nuisance, but I was glad that my estate was a suitable place for them to breed. These birds are seasonal and usually breed between March and August.

I have seen the brown and white spotted female and black male in my neighbourhood. In fact, one of the male birds crashed into my window once, and I nursed it until it was well enough to fly off.

Sadly, I do not see these birds, or the kingfishers or the woodpeckers, in my estate anymore due to the loss of habitat.

So, I count Mr Ng fortunate to be living amid natural greenery and to have seen these birds, as many Singaporeans have not.

Let us adapt and tolerate these protected birds.

Melinda Ann Michael (Ms)

Leave the birds alone
Straits Times Forum 7 Nov 12;

THE Asian Koel is a member of the cuckoo order of birds ("It's a big bird and a nuisance, but it's protected" by Mr Daniel Ng; last Saturday). I like the calls of these birds, especially early in the mornings and evenings.

To me, they signify the start and end of a day. It is nature's way of telling us the order of things.

To live near lush greenery amid such creatures is a blessing. Just as we, as humans, have a right to life, so too do these beautiful creatures.

Perhaps Mr Ng should take a moment to understand and explore the lush surroundings he lives in and appreciate the biodiversity.

I hope the authorities and the public can leave the birds alone and conserve that piece of lush greenery.

John Lim

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