Like a Tailorbird to Water

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These Ashy Tailorbirds (Orthotomus ruficeps) perplexed me on a recent trip to Sungei Buloh. Rarely, if ever, do you see such small, sunbird-like warblers so close to the water: an earlier sighting that remains ambiguous in terms of identification on the same trip was, if, identified correctly, of one taking a bath in the mangrove water itself! Their familiarity with the water is obviously a product of evolution; there being no other such species of birds in the mangrove biome, they’re merely filling an ecological niche, and have succeeded successfully, being exceedingly common in most mangroves in this region.

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