• 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,...

Asian Glossy Starling caught a snail

26 May 2015   in Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng & Melinda Chan
Asian Glossy Starling caught a snail Chan Yoke Meng is among a small group of bird photographers and birdwatchers (who use cameras to document birds), to pay attention to the common species of birds. As long as a bird is doing something, he will keep an eye on it in the hope of documenting some behavior or other. He is the opposite of the “twitching” genre who are only interested in stationary, uncommon birds to capture near-perfect images or to add a tick to his/her checklist. Meng’s latest image... Read More

Nest of the Common Myna

25 May 2015   in Nesting 1 Comment »
Contributed by Francis Lim
Nest of the Common Myna “I recently (25th April 2015) found a myna nest in the cable connector box on the sixth floor of my block and managed to photograph the eggs. Very nice blue colour…” wrote Francis Lim, Singapore’s Snake Man and Mistletoe Hunter LINK. The nest was that of the Commn Myna (Acridotheres tristis) which was once common but now slowly being replaced by the more aggressive Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) LINK. The nest, high up on the sixth floor of a high-rise... Read More

Black-bellied Malkoha – less often seen and photographed

24 May 2015   in Morphology-Develop., Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Black-bellied Malkoha - less often seen and photographed “The Black-bellied Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus diardi diardi) (above, below) is said to be seen and photographed less often as it is more ”shy’ than the commonly seen Green-billed Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus tristis longicaudatus). These birds can, at a quick look, be mistaken for each other and their habitat overlap. “The key differentiating features are: 1. Tail length: The Black-bellied has a tail length about equal to the body while the Green-billed has a longer... Read More

Yellow Bittern gaping

23 May 2015   in Feathers-maintenance, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Kwong Wai Chong
Yellow Bittern gaping “I encountered a Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) that was in the open on top of an Ixora shrub at the end of last year. “This bittern seemed to be sunning and was preening before opening its bill and gaping oddly. “No sign of pellet being cast out but towards the end of the gaping, a tickle of feathers that was stuck on its upper mandible was dislodged and seemed to be blown away by the breath of the bird. “A short video was created using a series of... Read More

Javan Myna caught a Spotted House Gecko

22 May 2015   in Feeding-vertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng
Javan Myna caught a Spotted House Gecko Chan Yoke Meng’s image of a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) with a Spotted House Gecko (Gekko monarchus) shows a common bird with an “uncommon” prey – uncommon in the sense that very few people are interested in a myna catching a gecko. The myna has the head of the gecko tightly clamped between its mandibles. The gecko will no doubt be thoroughly thrashed before being swallowed, head first. The Javan Myna is omnivorous, taking animal food like arthropods and... Read More

White-tailed Robin – calls

21 May 2015   in Videography, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
White-tailed Robin – calls “I was made aware of this White-tailed Robin (Myiomela leucura leucura) when it began to sing on a branch just overhead (above). Too difficult to go back for my P900 and tripod, so this is a video taken handheld (I lay on the ground and used my knee for support) – see video below. “A sonogram and waveform is given below. “An amplified audio recording HERE” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 22nd April 2015 Location: 1,600m ASL, Cameron Highlands,... Read More

Oriental Magpie-robin bathing and an Eurasian Tree-sparrow with crooked leg…

20 May 2015   in Fauna, Feathers-maintenance, Kingfishers No Comments »
Contributed by Marcus Ng
Oriental Magpie-robin bathing and an Eurasian Tree-sparrow with crooked leg… “I was passing by the Eco-Lake at the Botanic Gardens this afternoon at about 2 pm. The lake seems to have filled up nicely after the drought earlier this year, and given recent heavy rains, the lake-bed is densely covered by aquatic plants (Alteranthera sp., Micrathemum sp., Rotala sp. etc). “The Lesser Whistling-ducks (Dendrocygna javanica) that frequent this lake, and are popular with visitors who photograph and feed them, were not seen though, but based on past... Read More

Red-whiskered Bulbul: 3. The egg hatched… then tragedy

19 May 2015   in Nesting-failed, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Red-whiskered Bulbul: 3. The egg hatched… then tragedy Nest building by the pair of Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) in the Belimbing (Averrhoa carambola) tree is posted HERE while an account of the incubation can be viewed HERE. After about 12 days of incubation, there were signs that an egg had hatched. On the evening of the 12th day, the arrivals and departures from the nest increased significantly, as compared to the incubation period. Setting up a video camera near the nest and leaving it there for two hours... Read More

Crimson-breasted and Yellow-breasted Flowerpeckers feeding on Melastoma malabathricum fruits

18 May 2015   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Crimson-breasted and Yellow-breasted Flowerpeckers feeding on Melastoma malabathricum fruits “Many flowerpecker came to feed on the Straits Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum), offering close views. “Top and above show a male Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker (Prionochilus percussus ignicapilla) feeding, while below is the female. “Another visitor to the Straits Rhododendron was the Yellow-breasted Flowerpecker (Prionochilus maculatus), a male (below). But more shy and much less often seen. Locally near threatened (Wells 2007).” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh... Read More

Where have our Common Mynas gone?

17 May 2015   in Species No Comments »
Contributed by Lee Chiu San & Dato' Dr Amar-Singh HSS
“The Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) has become decidedly uncommon in Singapore. I wonder if foreign talent has displaced local talent even in beachcombing. “Some years ago, our good webmaster raised the question of whether Common Mynas were decreasing. At that time I was still living in Serangoon Gardens and maintaining four aviaries plus another half-a-dozen breeding cages. Wild birds were always hanging around for scraps, and I used to feed my pet birds’... Read More