Richard White documented a termite hatch on video on 28th October 2015 at Singapore Botanic Gardens’ Palm Valley. The following is his account…
“It was a late afternoon emergence of termites after some of the first decent rains for a while. I did not see the start of the emergence, so cannot put a timeframe on how long it took the birds to gather.
“At least 14 species of bird and more than one species of bat were seen around the abundance of food. A large number of dragonflies were also present, although it was hard to tell if they had also gathered or were already present (and may themselves have become prey although I did not see any taken).
“On the ground a couple of White-breasted Waterhens (Amaurornis phoenicurus) were pecking at the termites before they took flight. A number (c 20) of Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) was gathered on the ground; often catching flying termites in short jumps of less than a metre high. A few Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) were also present. Larger birds flying through the swarm from perches included several Greater Racket-tailed Drongo (Dicrurus paradiseus) (2+), and a White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis).
“Remaining mainly on the wing were several (3+) Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis) and a large number of Blue-tailed Bee-eaters (Merops philippinus) (30-40). One large cuckoo (Indian?) joined briefly. There were uncounted Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) and House (Pacific) Swallows (Hirundo tahitica) and a remarkable diversity of swifts – Grey-rumped Treeswifts (Hemiprocne longipennis), Asian Palm-swift (Cypsiurus balasiensis), Fork-tailed Swift (Apus pacificus), House Swift (Apus affinis) and unidentified swiftlets.
“The spectacle continued until it was dark…”