During our three weeks in Singapore we encountered many a family of Red Junglefowl-Gallus gallus in various locations. Often the rustling of leaves would lead us to Red Junglefowl, squirrels, water monitors or small lizards. Red Junglefowl are under threat in Singapore due to habitat loss and inter-breeding, but we observed them most days on our hiking trips around the island and also on Pulau Ubin. It appears that the Red Junglefowl had been breeding this year around February, because we encountered many a family of them rustling around in the leaves in March.
Most family groups of Red Junglefowl included around three young birds being fed by the female. The male Red Junglefowl was always close by, though. Despite the bright colours of the male Red Junglefowl they soon disappeared into the vegetation. The header photo above shows a male Red Junglefowl blending into the foliage. Out in the open the male Red Junglefowl is an obvious bird that even small children recognise as a “chicken”. The Red Junglefowl looks like the “chicken” from story books! It even sounds like the farmyard chicken! Often we would see children run towards Red Junglefowl with excitement due to their familiarity of the bird from story books.
Male Red Junglefowl
The female Red Junglefowl and her young were often observed in the leaf litter. The family group stayed close together feeding and were quite camouflaged with only the sound of the rustling leaves giving them away.
Female Red Junglefowl and three young feeding
We encountered 172 bird species in Singapore during the three weeks we spent birding there. There are many more bird species to share with you, but seeing as it is the Easter weekend I thought I should share a chicken! These are not the yellow fluffy chickens portrayed in advertising for Easter, but they are beautiful birds nevertheless.