ever since the tipos, or northern wind, picked up, i have a new means of telling the time: a flock of a several hundred crested myna birds (acridotheres cristatellus, ba ge) fly from the south over the rooftops of my village. they arrive, punctually, at 6:05 every morning. only on two occasions have they been a bit later, both associated with particularly strong winds and rains. on one of the late days, i though that perhaps the inclement weather had kept them nested, but their tell tale squawk at 6:30 let me know that they were about their morning commute. on a few occasions, i have recorded them or watched them from my roof, on which many of them alight ever briefly before heading north

both the sudden flocking and their regular behavior was a bit of a surprise. i’ve seen ba ge about in smaller groups, but never such concentrated movements. for awhile, i thought that perhaps the ba ge would mark a kind of seasonal change to people around ‘atolan, but their movements do not seem all that marked. yes, they usually group like this in the autumn, but it doesn’t seem like a migration. after all, they remain here all year. interesting, as well, the ba ge are a recent arrival. we might call them an invasive species–but local farmers seem to like them

ba ge broadened their range to eastern taiwan only about fifteen years or so, according to farmers that i know. they are loud, aggressive birds that feed primarily on insects. but why they must arrive screeching at my rooftop at six every morning, i don’t know. maybe someone can let me know

birds arriving suddenly on my roof: 2014 november in ‘atolan. recorded on oade modded fostex with rode nt5 mics (rough field recording–ran up onto roof with mics)