• Water(hen) in the (bird) brain

    Water(hen) in the (bird) brain

    “Our good web-master once posted an article of mine on this website about attracting kingfishers to urban gardens LINK. “As a follow-up to that, I decided to do this...

  • The Birds of Singapore – an online book

    The Birds of Singapore – an online book

    In May 1943, GC Madoc published “An Introduction to Malayan Birds.” He wrote his manuscript in Singapore’s Changi Prison where he was interned when the country fell into the...

  • Videocam: A powerful tool for studying birds

    Videocam: A powerful tool for studying birds

    1. Collecting birds: In the 19th century the equipment needed to study birds was the gun. Another skill necessary was a good stuffing technique in order to preserve the specimens....

  • Documenting bird calls and songs

    Documenting bird calls and songs

    Many local birdwatchers are able to recognise the birds behind the songs. However, interest in most cases ends there except for a few who make basic recordings. Erik Mobrand...

  • Should attempts be made to tame wild birds?

    Should attempts be made to tame wild birds?

    The first part of the series by aviculturist Lee Chiu San deals with whether birds can be tamed and whether they will remain tamed. The second part looks at whether it is...

  • Postings your observations and images

    Postings your observations and images

    Why should you post your observations and images? Southeast Asian birds are poorly studied in terms of behaviour and ecology. By posting your observations (and this include...

  • Nature Society: The struggle for Singapore’s nature areas

    Nature Society: The struggle for Singapore’s nature areas

    The above paper has just been published. Nature in Singapore is a peer-reviewed, online journal that publishes articles on the flora and fauna (e.g., biology, botany, zoology,...

Wood Sandpiper – with prey

31 Jan 2015   in Feeding-invertebrates 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato' Dr Amar-Singh HSS & Dr David Wells
Wood Sandpiper – with prey “Large number of Wood Sandpipers (Tringa gladiola) in these extensive padi fields that have just been planted. “Congregated in flocks of 25-30 all over the area. Sometime shard to spot in the green fields. “Prey during migration is poorly recorded. Spotted one bird taking a large prey from the mud. At first I thought it was small brown frog, but examination of images suggest 6 legs and more likely a large insect. “A short recording of calls made when... Read More

Southern Ground-hornbill of South Africa

30 Jan 2015   in Hornbills No Comments »
Contributed by CK Kim
Southern Ground-hornbill of South Africa “Want to share this rare sighting in South Africa. We were in the game reserve when we spotted this rare Souther Ground-hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri). Pretty huge bird, adult size can go up to 4ft long. “The unique part of this bird as we later understood from the rangers was, this hornbill is a triennial breeder. This means it would only lay eggs every 3 years only. And that is, if they ‘feel like it’ i.e. not all of them will breed every 3 yrs. But... Read More

Tui feeding on flower nectar of New Zealand flax

29 Jan 2015   in Feeding-plants, Videography, uncategorised No Comments »
Contributed by Teo Lee Wei, K & Johnny Wee
Tui feeding on flower nectar of New Zealand flax “Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) is a honeyeater endemic to New Zealand. It appears black with a characteristic white lace collar formed by white feathers. The black feathers appear iridescent when seen from different angles. A pair of white feathers at the throat gives away its identity even when viewed from an unfavourable light angle. “It is a rather noisy bird with varied vocalization. Like the lyre bird of Australian fame, it is capable of imitating... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 9. Taiwan Hwamei

28 Jan 2015   in Miscellaneous, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Birding in Taiwan: 9. Taiwan Hwamei “An endemic Laughingthrush that is a “secretive resident of scrub, tall grass and forest edge” (Brazil 2009), the Taiwan Hwamei (Garrulax taewanus) is usually found below an altitude of 300 meters but small numbers can extend to an altitude of 1,000 meters ASL (Avifauna of Taiwan, 2nd edition). “This species is classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN red list. It was common in the past but lowland habitat damage and pet bird trade as a singing bird dwindled... Read More

Bats and the two banana plants that were flowering: Part 2

27 Jan 2015   in Fauna, Feeding-plants, Plants No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Bats and the two banana plants that were flowering: Part 2 An early post showed that Cave Nectar Bats (Eonycteris spelaea) prefer male banana flowers that were found at the lower end of the inflorescence branch than the female flowers found at the upper portion LINK. Less than a week later, the older banana plant (Musa ‘Cavendish”) had begun putting forth only male flowering hands (above). The younger plant bearing the newly inflorescence branch had by then gone through a few hands of female flowers (below). Observations were... Read More

Octopus Stinkhorn fungus

26 Jan 2015   in Plants, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Teo Lee Wei & K
Octopus Stinkhorn fungus “The Octopus Stinkhorn Fungus a.k.a. Devil’s claws and Witches’ claws (Anthurus archeri formerly Clathrus archeri) is endemic to Australia and New Zealand. It has however spread to Europe and America since the first World War, possibly due to the spores riding on artillery machinery and grass bales for horse feeds. “We came across this population of stinkhorns when we thought that we were taking a closer look at some fallen flowers. On approaching... Read More

White-breasted Woodswallow in East Malaysia

25 Jan 2015   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
White-breasted Woodswallow in East Malaysia “White-breasted Woodswallows (Artamus leucorynchus leucorynchus) are common in East Malaysia (Borneo) but uncommon in West Malaysia. “They are often met soaring or hawking high up on tall trees. “As this was a flat, extensive padi field area with limited perches, this bird was using a sign board very low down to forage from. “It returned quite a number of times to the same perch, very much like some flycatchers, allowing me some closer images.” Dato’ Dr... Read More

Bats and the two banana plants that were flowering: Part 1

24 Jan 2015   in Fauna, Plants 2 Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee & Benjamin Lee
Bats and the two banana plants that were flowering: Part 1 Two of my banana plants (Musa ‘Cavendish’) were flowering on 2nd January 2015 (above). The inflorescence of the older plant had finished putting forth female flowers that were then developing into fruits. The inflorescence was in the process of exposing its first bunch of male flowers found towards the end, just above the inflorescence bud where only male flowers were left. This male bud would continue to produce male flowers for the next few weeks (below). The younger... Read More

Tui singing

23 Jan 2015   in Videography, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Teo Lee Wei, K & Dr Eric Tan
Tui singing “The Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) are honey-eaters (Family Meliphagidae) with a beautiful lacy collar made of white feathers. Two white feathers on the throat set off well against a black body that is iridescent when viewed from different angles. “The clips show two different tui birds, one from Auckland and the other from Wellington, singing their regional versions. They are good imitators and possess a wide repertoire of sounds. Individual birds from the... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 8. Taiwan Barwing

22 Jan 2015   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Birding in Taiwan: 8. Taiwan Barwing “This lovely medium sized babbler, Taiwan Barwing (Actinodura morrisoniana), is found at the higher mountain altitudes 1,700 to 2,800 meters ASL (Avifauna of Taiwan, 2nd edition). “There are some concerns with numbers and it may be vulnerable, but the recovery of the habitat argues well for the species. “Often in a small flock as part of a mix foraging party. “We saw it with White-whiskered Laughingthrushs (Garrulax morrisonianus) and Flamecrests (Regulus... Read More