• 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,...

Plaintive Cuckoo: 1. Possible courtship behaviour

19 Dec 2014   in Intraspecific No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Plaintive Cuckoo: 1. Possible courtship behaviour “I heard two Plaintive Cuckoos (Cacomantis merulinus threnodies) calling today in what appeared to be a responsive manner. I thought this was the ‘usual’ territorial behaviour. I found one of the birds on a bush over-hanging an ex-mining pool and was surprised to find the other seated very close by (below). Due to terrain limitations, I could not approach any further but tried to observe from where I was, as social behaviour in these cuckoos is not well... Read More

New Zealand Bellbird singing at Tiritiri Matangi Island

18 Dec 2014   in Videography, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Teo Lee Wei, K & Dr Eric Tan
New Zealand Bellbird singing at Tiritiri Matangi Island The New Zealand Bellbird (Anthornis melanura) is a honeyeater well known for its clear, bell-like singing (above, image by Dr Eric Tan). Their tunes are as varied as dialects spoken around the world. Some of their songs could be mistaken for the tuis’, another honeyeater endemic to New Zealand. “This particular bird was spotted singing very vigorously for a long time. Due to the lighting conditions, the colour of the feathers is not fully discernible from below... Read More

White-rumped Munia – a closer look and calls

17 Dec 2014   in Morphology-Develop., Vocalisation 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
White-rumped Munia – a closer look and calls “Closer views of the White-rumped Munia (Lonchura striata subsquamicollis) (above). “The lower bluish-white lower mandible in contrast to the upper horn black mandible (above, below). Also the red-brown iris. “The white back that shows up as a white rump (below). “The under surface of the tail and vent (below). “An audio recording of the calls described as “pirrit” or “prrrit” (see Wells 2007). Calls are quite soft and the recording has... Read More

Pollination of Golden Penda flowers by insects

16 Dec 2014   in Fauna, Plants No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Pollination of Golden Penda flowers by insects A total of six species of birds have been documented visiting the Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) for its nectar LINK. Birds obviously are an important pollinating agent of this tree. In addition to the above, various bees, wasps and ants have been seen among the flowers. This post reports the presence of the Stingless Bee (Trigona sp.) and Fruit Fly (Drosophila melanogaster) visiting the flowers – the former for the pollen and the latter for the nectar. The... Read More

Pond Heron plunge-fishing

15 Dec 2014   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-vertebrates, Heron-Egret-Bittern 1 Comment »
Contributed by Kwong Wai Chong
Pond Heron plunge-fishing “The usual way pond-herons forage is by wading or staying still in shallow water and striking at preys that innocently wandered near. Most of us, including me, have not seen pond-herons plunge-diving for fish but I had that rare encounter recently. “Early on the morning of 30th Nov 2014, the tide was receding when a handful of pond-herons in non-breeding plumage had gathered on the banks of this small river. There were at least 5 pond-herons. “Instead of foraging... Read More

Less common views of the Long-tailed Shrike

14 Dec 2014   in Morphology-Develop. No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Less common views of the Long-tailed Shrike On the morning of 27th November 2014 Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS came across a Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach bentet) in a grassy area near a housing estate in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia (above, below). The previous night was raining and this shrike ended up thoroughly wet. As it took advantage of the morning sun to dry its plumage and preen, it exposed views of the bird that were not commonly seen by birders. The images above and below show evidence that its tail feathers... Read More

The Oriental Pied Hornbill and the Changeable Lizard

13 Dec 2014   in Feeding-vertebrates, Hornbills No Comments »
Contributed by Chan Boon Hong
The Oriental Pied Hornbill and the Changeable Lizard Chan Boon Hong earlier posted in “Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia” HERE an image of a male Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) with a Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicola) clamped tightly between his mandibles (above). The posting was well received and Boon Hong subsequently agreed to share the story behind the single image with a larger audience. Thus this post. The encounter was at Bidadari Park in early December 2014. The male hornbill had just... Read More

Grey-breasted Spiderhunter feeds on coconut flower nectar and calls

12 Dec 2014   in Feeding-plants, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Grey-breasted Spiderhunter feeds on coconut flower nectar and calls “I have often seen the Grey-breasted Spiderhunter (Arachnothera modesta modesta) feed on the nectar of coconut flowers LINK. This was an extended observation (above). “It seemed to pick certain flowers, possibly the ones that were open and with nectar. All sort of postures were used to gain access (above). “I once saw it appear to use the foot to gain access to a flower (above) but cannot be fully certain. “The classical calls can be heard HERE with a sonogram... Read More

POLLINATION OF SKYVINE BY CARPENTER BEES

11 Dec 2014   in Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
POLLINATION OF SKYVINE BY CARPENTER BEES “In early October 2014, I was admiring the pale, powdery purple inflorescence of the Skyvine (Thunbergia grandiflora, family Acanthaceae) along forest edge (above). As the delicate blossoms bathed in the gentle morning sun and swayed seductively in the balmy breeze, I could imagine how inviting the flowers must be if I were a bee. “Indeed, the open invitations of each and every flower in bloom were eagerly accepted by visiting Carpenter Bees (Xylocopa latipes). Every... Read More

A close look at the Spectacled Spiderhunter

10 Dec 2014   in Morphology-Develop. No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
A close look at the Spectacled Spiderhunter “An inexplicable encounter, where this Spectacled Spiderhunter (Arachnothera flavigaster) allowed very close observations. “The above is a close up the face and shows the black eyelid-rims, dark brown iris and reddish base of lower mandible (Wells 2007). Note the broad and uniform eye ring, said to be “primrose-yellow” (Wells 2007). Note the continuation of the mouth margin with a raised, but separate section of the eye ring. Close-up and in bright light the yellow... Read More