Tale of a tame Crimson Sunbird
Tian Soo e-mailed from Neo Tiew Road to inform that for over two weeks a male Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja) was seen around the small classroom in his GreenCircle Eco-Farm. Twice a day it visited, staying for over an hour each time. It would sing in a rapid-fire, high-pitch, chit-chit-chew, hovered around the furniture and danced on the piano. (He did not say whether the bird tried to peck on the piano keys.)
The bird would allow him to approach to about an arm’s length without flying off. Tian Soo wants to know whether he encountered a rather stupid bird or was it normal behaviour.
From my limited experience (remember, I am a sometime bird watcher) I find that young birds, whether juveniles or recently fledged, have least fear of humans. These birds would allow me to approach to about a metre to photograph them. Such birds included sunbirds, Yellow-vented Bulbuls and Zebra Doves. My interpretation is that they have none or limited experience of the dangers humans can pose to them. With time, I suppose, they would be less shy and not allow anyone to come near.
Tian Soo believe that this sunbird was probably hatched from a nest found within his farm and had yet to learn to shy away from people, especially himself.
There may be other possible explanations. Let us have your views. Only by examining and discussing various inputs, however wild they may be, can we hope to understand why birds do what they do.
Thank you, Tian Soo, for sharing your experience.