Hougang woman, 68, manually notes down timings of neighbour's 4 parrots squawking

Chirp chirp chirp chirp.

Winnie Li | January 16, 2023, 05:43 PM

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Unhappy about the noisy squawks made by her neighbour's parrots, a 68-year-old Singaporean woman manually noted down using pen and paper the exact timings the birds were audible in her unit as evidence for future complaints.

This avian-related dispute in Hougang was reported by Shin Min Daily News.

The resident who was affected by the noise, surnamed Wang, also took note of the timings when her neighbour upstairs allegedly cursed at her.

This was after Wang claimed she tried to persuade the birds' owner to tone down the noise the pets make.

Shin Min reported that there were four birds kept as pets, but did not specify what species.

The photo published showed a pair of caiques.

Caique is a species of parrot.

"Birds chirp every morning": Wang

Speaking to Shin Min, Wang, who lives in an HDB flat in Hougang, shared that she has been neighbours with the birds' owner for more than 10 years.

Tensions only arose when her neighbour started to keep parrots as pets about a year ago.

She said she had attempted to negotiate with her neighbour multiple times previously, but the situation did not improve.

Eventually, she decided to bring her grievances to the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunals in October 2022.

The judge subsequently ordered the birds' owner to install a door on the balcony to block out the noise.

However, this ruling failed to put an end to the issue.

"While my neighbour has set up a door as ordered, they seldom close it. Isn't that the same as not having it? I can hear birds chirping every morning, and it's overbearing," Wang said.

To support her claims, she played for Shin Min a 10-minute audio recording in which the birds could be heard making sharp chirps intermittently.

As her neighbour has failed to mitigate the situation, Wang said she decided to record the timings when the parrots squawk in detail as evidence for future complaints.

For example, she wrote in her notebook: "The birds chirped from 11:50am till 12:10pm".

Also documented timings of quarrels with neighbour

Additionally, Wang also documented the timings she argued with her neighbour to the exact hour and minute.

She said since their relationship soured, her neighbour would always curse at her, sometimes even using lots of swear words.

She recalled one encounter in 2022:

"Last New Year, I asked my neighbour politely not to let their bird chirp too loudly. However, they accused me of cursing at them and started quarrelling with me".

Neighbour keeping the birds

Despite Wang's repeated objections, her 46-year-old neighbour, Ah Hua, said she has no intention of sending the parrots away because they are her daughter's pets and keeping them does not violate any rules.

Ah Hua also explained that her family kept four parrots in total, three of which were given to her as presents.

As her daughter entered her teenage phase a few years ago, but was often left alone at home, Ah Hua and her husband decided to rear the birds to keep their daughter company while the couple was at work.

Ah Hua told Shin Min she did not want to argue with her neighbour downstairs, so she tried her best to comply by moving the bird's cage from the balcony into her house after Wang's complaint.

Every night, she would also cover the cage with a black cloth.

She also said amongst the four parrots, only the two small ones would chirp.

The other two are very quiet.

The birds also do not chirp all the time, she said, as they only do so when they want to play with humans.

Birds' owner called police

However, Ah Hua claimed that the situation escalated when Wang started to burn kemenyan incense every day for half a month to smoke the parrots out.

Ah Hua told Shin Min that she has been tolerating Wang for a long time.

In September 2022, she could no longer hold back her anger and cursed at Wang in retaliation.

After the heated argument, Wang allegedly started to burn kemenyan incense every day and only stopped after Ah Hua called the police.

In response, Wang clarified that she had only burned kemenyan incense twice or thrice before.

But Wang admitted: "We have been worshipping deities at our home. At the time, the parrots were chirping loudly, so I used the burned incense to smoke them out because I was very angry."

However, Wang claimed she was not aware that her neighbour had called the police.

Instead, she told Shin Min she only stopped because she noticed the chirping continued as usual despite her efforts.

Top images via Shin Min Daily News