“We have previously documented the globally near-threatened Asian Golden Weaver (Ploceus hypoxanthus) building nests and in courtship at Tampines Eco Green LINK. Although no juveniles were seen that time, a female fetching food back to her nest and leaving with faecal sac in her beak was obvious proof of live chicks in the nest. However, nobody seems to have seen juveniles outside of the nests.
“In full breeding plumage, the Asian Golden Weaver male is unmistakable in its bright yellow coat with a contrasting black face (above).
“The appearance of the female (above) is very similar to the locally common Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus) (below) and I find them near-impossible to separate.
“I would presume that juveniles of the Asian Golden Weaver to be similar in appearance to the Baya Weavers. Hence, juveniles seen may have been mistaken for the common Baya Weaver.
“On 30 May 2015, I managed to capture my first record shots of a male feeding a juvenile at Lorong Halus (above, below).
“Note that I have ruled out courtship feeding as there was a whitish oral flange present at the base of the beak of the bird receiving food; thus indicating it to be a juvenile. More observations of the pair were not possible as they disappeared further into the grassland which is inaccessible.
“Earlier that day, a juvenile Common Waxbill (Estrilda astrild) was also seen (above). Note the black bill and whitish oral flange at the base of the bill for the juvenile compared to the reddish bill of adult (below).
“It appears that alien birds have adapted well enough to breed in the local environment.”
Kwong Wai Chong
31st May 2015