In May 2006 Angie Ng observed a Javan Myna anting at the carpark of the Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG). However, the myna she saw was an albino juvenile (left top).
As Angie recounts: “I think it was a myna; it was with another normal myna. Saw them playing under one of the trees in the upper carpark in SBG. They shied away when I approached them; then when I went closer, I saw the kerengga ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) and guessed they were anting.”
In the meantime Steven Chong sent in this account: “…I was at Nature’s Niche, SBG Saturday weekend 30.10.06 around 2.45 pm when I heard this commotion outside the bookshop…” He went outside to investigate and saw the albino myna grabbing a morsel from the 6-8 other normal mynas, to return to the same spot soon after, “standing behind the aircon compressors behind Nature’s Niche, as shown in the pix (left bottom), again by itself, but it had dropped the morsel. I didn’t think it ate anything, just gazing at what it fought so hard to get at….probably also just realising it couldn’t eat what looked hard and non edible. I showed the pix to Morten Strange who was in the bookstore and he commented that this was one of the two albino siblings that grew up around SBG and apparently doesn’t get along with the rest of its ‘family’.”
Images by Angie (top) and Steven (bottom).
NOTE: Accounts of anting posted between October 2005 and August 2008 have now been written up and published in the 2008 issue of the on-line journal, Nature in Singapore (Vol. 1, pp. 23-25). A PDF file of Anting in Singapore birds is available HERE.