Subang Jaya Becomes Migratory Birds Stopover during the MCO

THE Movement Control Order turned Subang Jaya into a stopover for many migratory birds, according to bird watching NGO.

With the lockdown and partial lockdown that ensued since March 18 2020, many migratory bird species stopped over in Subang Jaya to “rest and relax” because it was conducive with less human activities and disturbances.

Wild Bird Club of Malaysia president Andy Lee said the occurrence was very apparent with the appearance of many bird species which were never spotted over the years.

“In many parts of Subang Jaya, we have observed the appearance of huge flocks of the Asian Open Bill stork in urban locations. They have been seen at Subang Ria Park, SS12 and many parts of Putra Heights where there is a water body.”

“The flock is huge with almost 100 birds observed in Putra Heights. Because of minimum human disturbance, these birds have made the area their home to roost and feed,” he said.

Andy said this was a good indicator that urban areas with water bodies and greenery can attract and sustain local and migratory birds; as well as wildlife.

The Asian Open Bill stork is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. This distinctive stork is found mainly in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is greyish or white with glossy black wings and tail and the adults have a gap between the arched upper mandible and recurved lower mandible. Although resident within their range, they make long distance movements in response to weather and food availability.

“The Asian Open Bill is normally seen in rural areas previously especially in paddy fields outside cities but this time around, they seem to have found urban areas a good spot to stopover.”

“This new behaviour is encouraging and drives home the point that urban landscapes can attract and sustain flocks of visiting bird life,” he added.

He said the club was keen to work with local authorities to observe, record and recommend initiatives to continue making urban areas conducive for local birds as well as visiting migratory flocks.

According to Andy, other migratory birds which have been recorded stopping over in Subang Jaya include the Oriental Honey Buzzard, brown shrikes, Lesser Whistling Ducks, Blue-tailed Bee Eaters and Hooded Pitta to name a few.

“Bird watching enthusiasts are delighted with this new normal we have observed before and right after the MCO.”

“It means nature and Man can live side by side even in urban areas. All we have to do is make it conducive for bird life and wildlife to co-exist with us,” he said.

Wild Bird Club of Malaysia is a national birding community dedicated to sharing views and best practices for its members to carry out bird watching activities.