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Seasons Come Seasons Go
Snake bite at Gunung Tahan
Sorry Gecko you are next on the line
Spam of Sg Jagong
Tarutao - Accidental Pilgrims
They Called It Wildboar Tick
Trip To Taman Negara
The Sting That Cures
We Were Accomplices
Year-end Message 2008

Airport Security and the Birds

© by Forest Ang ......Do you have a nest to spare?!....

starling on a palm tree
A Starling on a palm tree

chestnut munia balancing on a leaf
A Chestnut Munia balancing on a leaf

When I was in Tawau Airport (Sabah, Malaysia) recently, I was glad I was able to pass my time waiting – doing some bird watching!

In the airport? Yes, of course!

The show garden was inside a high security area and not a soul dares to venture into it. The birds must be smart. They knew nobody would disturb them. That could be the reason why common birds are common. They had better survival rates, knowing where to build their nests – at the highest security area in the airport – the terminal itself.

I don’t know which airport in the world started the tree planting concept inside the airport terminal itself. Apparently, this is a very interesting showcase of the local natural heritage. Any foreigner on transit through the airport would have a glimpse of our country’s avian fauna.

At Tawau Airport

Several pairs of Philippine Glossy Starlings, Chestnut Munias and Common Mynas were spotted building their nests on different trees. Among the popular nestling trees were the palm trees. The palms provide natural fibers for building nests. Outside the terminal, the mobile steps for passengers to disembark or for boarding the plane also did provide a nesting site for the common Yellow vented bulbul. I saw a pair of bulbul bringing in food for their chicks. Life for the birds must be terribly difficult. They have to improvise on any crevices to reproduce their young.

At Penang International Airport

Although there is no garden inside the terminal at Penang International Airport, there were some interesting bird lives on the runway. I spotted Richard Pipits, waders and egrets beside the Common Mynas on the open grassy runway. They were busy hunting for worms and insects. I couldn’t identify the waders and egrets as they were too far away. They could be building nest too. I saw a Richard Pipit with a straw of dried grass on its beak flying toward a small patch of taller grasses. Lives for them also hang in balance – anytime when the grass cutting machines come rolling – their chicks will be gone!

At KLIA, Sepang

I have been to KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) two years ago. I am not sure if the beautiful garden inside the terminal is covered or an opened garden. I didn’t see any birds then. If it is an opened garden, I believe there could be nesting birds inside too. Anyone would like to share his experience at Sepang?

I don’t know whether this interesting bird lives could be a problem for human in the future. Avian flu and bird sucking into the jet engines are possible future problems.

The birds wouldn’t care as they need to survive. We human should. We should have more forests and gardens in and around our towns and cities. If you want more security then you should give more security to the birds. At least the avian don’t have to build on every “lubang”(hole) they can find. Do you have a “lubang” to spare? (Of course for the bird!)

Forest Ang
11 Jun 2007

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