Common Flamebacks' Dance
Several years ago now I was walking down the road from the top of Bukit Timah Hill in late morning. There was nobody about and as I approached the turning off to the Telecoms building I heard a commotion to my left. There was a large tree with a trunk about two feet in diameter almost at the edge of the road and on it about twelve feet up were two male Common Flamebacks one to the left some twelve inches above the other which was on the right. Each was in view of the other and appeared to be having an argument.
Both birds started to circle clockwise and to my surprise a third bird appeared far right, again about twelve inches lower down, and calling loudly. This continued and to my amazement a fourth bird appeared still lower.
All four birds continued to circle the trunk slowly. Moving gradually upwards, calling all the time but maintaining distance from each other and keeping the birds to left and right just in sight. They reached a height of over twenty five feet and then flew down nearly to ground level before starting the whole process again. I have no idea what was the purpose of this dance and as far as I can recall I saw no sign of a female in the vicinity.
Finally they all flew off in the same direction and I continued my walk.
Contributed by Richard Hale