Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Pot-hopping Oriental Magpie-Robin

The Oriental Magpie-Robin (Copsychus saularis) or Murai Kampung in Malay  is a small bird with distinctive black and white markings. As they perched or hopped around foraging for food, their tail is held upright. They carry a good tune and because of this are sometimes kept as cage birds.
 Perched high up on this thick Bougainvillea branch, this magpie surveyed my garden intently before ...


The bright orange Bougainvillea flowers with variegated leaves.

hopping down on to the ledge of a long planter box. 
 
From here it continued to survey the surroundings and when it thought the coast was clear, proceeded to ...

 take the plunge towards ...

 a pot nearby. 


It sat among the leaves of the Ruellia Elegans with eyes still intent.



It next hopped to a second flower pot containing a Dieffenbachia.


It cranied its neck all round to check out its new surroundings ...

 
before it takes a breather.

 
Then  very quickly, it flew to yet another pot containing  Portulaca grandiflora

and Alocasia macroorrhizos (Elephant Ears/Giant Taro) 

Among this more verdant surroundings it seems to have found its niche and settled down for quite a while, looking very serene.

A close-up of a deep pink Portulaca grandiflora.

A pleasing cascading effect is achieved by planting it inside the rim of a tall container. 



One day I spotted these feathers under a tree where the grass grew sparsely. There was strong evidence of violence. I do not know the fate of this unfortunate magpie. However, efforts at forensic investigation strongly  indicated that culpable homicide had taken place. 


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