Saturday, 15 June 2002

Bat Hawks of Ulu Langat

Observers: Lim A. T, Keith J. and Lucy T.
Sat 15th June, 2002:

At 9.50 am. Two adults were seen at a nest, sited 40-50 m above the ground. The smaller of the two was busy breaking twigs and dried branches from nearby tree branches. It flew straight at the branches and using the momentum of speed, snapped off dried branches between 12 to 15 inches long. It carried them, sometimes in its beak and at other times with its talons to the nest. During the observation period of 20mins, this raptor made no less than 7 attempts at twig snapping, only succeeding 3 times. In between flying sessions, the bird perched near its mate to rest and cool down by opening its wings and beak.

Compared to its mate, it was slightly smaller. Presumably, the larger one was the female. When we first arrived at the site, Keith noticed the larger bird attempt to snap off a twig without success. It gave up and the smaller one took over. This suggests that nest building is a shared task.

A juvenile was seen perched about 3 ft above the nest being constructed. It was about the same size as the larger one (female?). It had a pale yellow iris whereas the adult birds had bright yellow irises. It had a dusky plumage compared to the black/brown of the adults and was feeding on the remains of a prey we could not identify because only the remnants could be seen.
We saw another nest, higher on the other side of the same tree. We assumed this is last year's nest.
Lim Aun Tiah 15 June 2002

Posted by Kim Seng, 15 June 2002