Friday, September 2, 2016

The Tiongs of Sarawak (Malaysia Day article #2)

A loving pair of 'Tiong' (Malay) or Hill Myna/Grackle - Gracula religiosa
Location : Licuala Hill
 They can be the loudest birds in the neighbourhood and sometimes broadcast the most shrilling whistle through the jungle air.  From below the thick canopy, I was able to take a picture of a loving couple of the Tiong bird today.  In Sarawak the Hill Myna bird is called 'Tiong' by the Malays.  They are kept as pets for their talkativeness.  They can imitate and repeat  all sorts of sounds and calls, some melodious  and others noisy and raucous.  When they come to the park, they put up at the penthouse level where a hole in the tree would be their preferred choice as a nesting place.  Photographing them over the years have been great fun and saw some very interesting moments and incidences.  Imagine a Prevost's Squirrel attempting to snatch them while they perch at the very tip of a tall tree.  Truly it happened and caught in camera but the attempt was unsuccessful.  Their continuous visits to the park and calling it home has given me tons of joy and satisfaction in the success of the park as a wildlife sanctuary. The Tiongs are always welcomed at the park, like any other large birds that are rarely seen by majority of Sarawakians freely in the urban areas of Sarawak.  Take care of nature and nature will take of us by beautifying our soul and enriching our lives.
Happy Malaysia Day Sarawak!

(Note: This is Article #2 in a series to celebrate Malaysia's national day (Malaysia Day) - 16 Sept  annually)
A favourite perch at the Licuala Hill
Kambatik Park, Bintulu.

The Tiongs seen at a distance perching and resting as the sunset sets in.
Taken today, 2 September'16.

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