Malaysia host to Asian storks

Petaling Jaya (The Star/ANN) - An increasing number of visitors are flying into Malaysia, with their own wings. The country is now playing host to Asian openbill storks.

The local birdwatching fraternity is all abuzz over recent sightings of huge flocks of the stork, which is a large wader and is not commonly seen here. It is usually found in the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand.

Birdwatchers sighted some 300 birds in Kuala Gula, near Taiping, and about the same number in Penanti, Penang, on January 8.

The next day, some 240 birds were seen at the Batang Tiga paddy fields in Malacca.

Malaysia Nature Society Malacca/Negri Sembilan Bird Coordinator Ang Teck Hin considered the sighting the "most precious" Chinese New Year gift to the state in terms of drawing tourists.

"Birdwatchers and nature photographers from all over the country and Singapore are converging here to see the birds make their flights into Malacca," he said during an interview here yesterday.

The species, he added, had never stopped in the southern tip of peninsula Malaysia before during their migratory journeys.

Besides the stork, Ang said three species of eagles the Steppe, Imperial and the Greater Spotted from Siberia, Russia and China had also been reportedly sighted at the same site for the first time.

The Asian openbill stork, so called because of the gap in its bill which allows it to catch its preferred food, freshwater snails, was also beneficial to paddy farmers, said Ang.

"It feeds mainly on large molluscs and snails, considered to be annoying pests that destroy the crops," he said of the stork, which is a greyish white bird with glossy black wings and tail.

The openbill stork (Anastomus oscitans) is often mistaken for the milky and painted storks and was first sighted in Ulu Dedap, Perlis, in March 2008.

Although small numbers of not more than 10 had since been spotted sporadically in Penang and Perak, the latest sightings indicate that they are here in record numbers.

"The birds are the farmers' friend and should be protected," said MNS Bird Conservation Council member Dave Bakewell.

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

  • Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors 12 hours ago
    Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors

    Long after television grew to dominate American and British homes, newsreel producer British Pathé kept at it, documenting the news of the day until finally ceasing production of new short films in 1970 after 60 years of effort. Last week, all of British Pathé's 85,000 films were put online — including dozens of fascinating, rare and often weird car films that resemble nothing so much as a jet-age Top Gear.

  • Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete 13 hours ago
    Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete

    During this vile, never-ending winter, motorists had three options to keep their cars clean: Shell out on regular car washes; slave away in the cold, wind and snow washing it yourself, or screw it and just drive a dirty car. I, like many, chose the last option. But if only I'd been able to test Nissan's self-cleaning car, all my troubles would have washed away.

  • Popular hot yoga myths debunked 20 hours ago
    Popular hot yoga myths debunked

    What’s the hottest new workout taking the world by storm? That would be hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga. Conducted in a heated room with sweltering temperatures of about 40°C (or approximately 104° Fahrenheit) and 40 per cent humidity, … Continue reading →

  • Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern
    Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern

    A new picture of Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who is now 90 years old, has drawn concern from people on Singapore's internet space.

  • Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls
    Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls

    After being photographed at work in Jurong pooling used oil near coffee shops, 50-year-old Valerie Sim has been struggling to keep her family afloat. Web portals STOMP and The Real Singapore published pictures of her in February, triggering a witch hunt for others like her and comments from readers like “Who knows if they’ll use it as cooking oil?” Some readers also said they filed police reports against her and other people they believed were doing the same thing she was.

  • I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.
    I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.

    I have committed a taboo – I have tendered my resignation without securing the next job. The reactions to the announcement were varied but they all pretty much hint at a deep sense of disapproval. “Why did you do that?” It was as if I had renounced my faith. “What are you going to do from now on?” Almost as though a misfortune had incapacitated me. “What does your family have to say about it?” As if I had offered to cook for the next family dinner. I was, and still am, certain of my reasons and motivations for the resignation. However the response I received got me thinking about why people are so concerned about the gaps in their careers. The developed world evolved from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy to the service age, then to the knowledge economy in the late 1990s and 2000s marked by breakthroughs in technological innovations and competition for innovation with new products and processes that develop from the research community. According to The Work Foundation, the knowledge economy is driven by the demand for higher value added goods and services created by more sophisticated, more discerning, and better educated consumers and ... The post I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind. appeared first on Vulcan Post.