Koel population shows S'pore's success as garden city

I agree with Mr Lim Chye Hai that the Asian koel's call can be overly loud and jarring for some people ("Better solution for noisy birds?"; Dec 13).

I can attest to that as I live in Punggol, where the koel's call can be heard frequently on some early mornings and throughout the day.

However, that surely is a clear testament to Singapore's success as a garden city, where wild animals thrive among people in this urban setting.

We should welcome them to stay with us and view it with an open attitude, just as we tolerated the otters even after reports that the animals hunted and killed expensive koi fish reared by people as pets.

In addition, the Asian koel is a bird species like no other; tales, folklore and stories, especially from India, abound since ancient times, singing praises about the bird and its unique signature call.

Having learnt a little more about the bird, coupled with my love for nature, I do not find the koel's call a nuisance at all.

In fact, I look forward to hearing its cries from time to time, even if it wakes me up at 5am on occasions.

I suggest that we let the koels be, as one possible benefit they could bring is to check the population of the local crows by occupying their nests.

The koel is well known for laying eggs in the nests of other birds, especially the crow.

And once there are fewer crows' nests to raid, perhaps their numbers will thin out a little and spread out to other areas.

Lee Kay Yan (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 16, 2017, with the headline 'Koel population shows S'pore's success as garden city'. Print Edition | Subscribe