The Straits Times
Published on Nov 07, 2012

It's a common bird, so why is it protected?


I EMPATHISE with Mr Daniel Ng ("It's a big bird and a nuisance, but it's protected"; last Saturday).

Like Mr Ng, I suffered too after the Asian Koel began roosting in the trees near my HDB unit in Jurong East more than a year ago.

It would screech loudly and incessantly for several hours every morning, usually starting at about 5am, and sometimes even as early as 4am.

The noise from this bird is as loud as having a car horn sounding just outside your window.

It is impossible to sleep once the bird starts its morning screeching.

Fortunately, the bird has moved a little further from my home in recent months, bringing my family a much needed reprieve.

Still, I always worry about the agony we would have to endure again should the bird move back near my home.

As the Asian Koel appears to be commonly found here and in Malaysia, why does the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) classify it as a protected species?

I have seen it in most parts of Singapore, such as Jurong West, Chinese Garden, Fort Canning Park, West Coast Park, Sungei Buloh, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Thomson Road and Maxwell Market.

When I travel to Malaysian towns like Kuching in Sarawak, Ipoh and Malacca, the Koel's distinct voices are commonly heard there as well.

I hope the AVA can consider removing this noisy bird from the protected list so that long-suffering residents like Mr Ng and myself can finally have some peace and decent shut-eye.

Sia Beng Choo (Ms)