• 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,...

Birding in Taiwan: 15. Black Bulbul’s calls

04 Mar 2015   in Species, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Birding in Taiwan: 15. Black Bulbul's calls “The Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus nigerrimus) is a cheerful bulbul found in the plains and lower montane forest of Taiwan. The local endemic subspecies is all black, including the head and has a prominent pale blue-grey patch on the wings. “Although said to be ‘black’, in good light there is a metallic bluish sheen to the plumage. The bright orange beak and feet make for an interesting contrast. Has an erectile crown/crest that is often kept up.... Read More

Chan Yoke Meng: Photographer with a mission

03 Mar 2015   in Miscellaneous, Photography 6 Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Chan Yoke Meng: Photographer with a mission Chan Yoke Meng has a passion for birds. He is not a run-of-the-mill birdwatcher who keeps checklists to tally up the number of species seen. Nor does he maintain a portfolio of bird images in his iPad to show to whoever is interested. To him these are akin to stamp collecting LINK. Meng’s passion is photographing birds. He is not interested in taking portraits of different species. Rather, his focus is documenting bird behaviour. I distinctly remember way back in October... Read More

SCARLET PYGMY OVIPOSITING

02 Mar 2015   in Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Leong Tzi Ming
SCARLET PYGMY OVIPOSITING “The Scarlet Pygmy (Nannophya pygmaea, Libellulidae) is the smallest dragonfly in Singapore, with a total body length of up to only 17 mm. Despite its diminutive stature, the males are highly attractive, adorned with red hot chili colours (below). “Video clips of the male may be viewed here: “The female is less conspicuous but has bold bars of black, brown and white (below). “On the 17th October 2014, I was able to witness the brief mating of a pair along a gently... Read More

Greater Painted-snipe – male, crepuscular behaviour

01 Mar 2015   in Species, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Greater Painted-snipe  - male, crepuscular behaviour “I am always amazed at the birds that turn up in the city; perhaps a sign of the shrinking natural environment. “Have spotted Greater Painted-snipe (Rostratula benghalensis benghalensis) near our home before and saw another male just 300-400 yards from our house in an overgrown drain. “They are crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk) and I saw this bird at 8.20am. It was already settling down to sleep. It became alert due to my presence but then slowly slipped back... Read More

Happy Yellow-vented Bulbuls

28 Feb 2015   in Feathers-maintenance, Feeding-plants, Videography, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Teo Lee Wei & K
Happy Yellow-vented Bulbuls “The clips below capture the few enraptured moments that the Yellow-vented Bulbul(s) (Pycnonotus goiavier) enjoyed during the month of October 2014. The Curry Leaf Bush (Murraya koenigii) fruits were ripening in abundance and the bulbuls feasted and sang and danced in the rain. “The Curry Leaf Bush fruit was obviously huge and the bulbul manipulated the fruit until the seed dropped off. Then the whole fruit was flattened to shape and swallowed in one gulp (above). Yum... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 3. It’s a mouse!

27 Feb 2015   in Owls, Pellets, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Melinda Chan, Chan Yoke Meng, YC Wee & Wang Luan Keng
Pellets from Tuas: 3. It's a mouse! Of the pellets collected from an avenue at Tuas earlier by Melinda Chan LINK, one was prominently larger than the others (70x40mm) (above). It was also darker and more compact. Preparation of the pellet for harvesting of bone fragments followed the earlier protocol LINK. The number of bone fragments collected totaled 86. These included a skull, lower jaws, dislocated skull bones, ear capsules, shoulder blade, long bones, ribs, vertebrae, foot bones, toes, claws, etc.... Read More

Birding in Taiwan: 14. Plumbeous Water Redstart

26 Feb 2015   in Species, Videography, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Birding in Taiwan: 14. Plumbeous Water Redstart “A common resident in Taiwan and is found between 500 and 2,300m above sea level (Avifauna of Taiwan, 2nd edition) is the Plumbeous Water Redstart (Rhyacornis fuliginosa affinis). Brazil 2009 states ‘200-2,500 meters with some attitudinal migration’. Above shows the male and below the female. “The endemic subspecies in Taiwan R. f. affinis is said (Brazil 2009) to be ‘mid-grey with two faint white wingbars, grey underparts scaled white from chin to breast’. We... Read More

GRASSHOPPERS MATING

25 Feb 2015   in Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by Leong Tzi Ming
GRASSHOPPERS MATING “On the afternoon of 19th October 2014, I was admiring the fauna along a forest stream when I chanced upon a pair of grasshoppers (Oxya japonica) mating upon stream-side vegetation (below). “With the male’s abdomen intimately curled under the female’s, their embrace lasted at least ten minutes. Throughout the mating procedure, the hind legs of the female were trembling and twitching frequently, perhaps indications of delight derived from this prolonged process. “A... Read More

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha – back view of a female

24 Feb 2015   in Morphology-Develop. 2 Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha  - back view of a female “I was watching a pair of Chestnut-breasted Malkohas (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris singularis) foraging and trying to get flight images, as they glided from tree to tree. My best was a rear view of the female showing plumage in full sunlight.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 17th February 2015 Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia Habitat: A trail through primary jungle adjacent to a rushing... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 2. Bone fragments in the pellets

23 Feb 2015   in Feeding chicks, Feeding-vertebrates, Pellets, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Melinda Chan, Chan Yoke Meng & YC Wee
Pellets from Tuas: 2. Bone fragments in the pellets On18th January 2015 four pellets of varying sizes (400-450 x 20-30 mm) and shapes (roundish to oval) were collected by Melinda Chan from Tuas (above) LINK. They were not fresh, probably a number of days old. Each was covered with hairs. They were relatively soft in texture and easily dismantled. One clearly showed the presence of bleached bone fragments on the surface. The pellets were soaked in water for a few hours. A disinfectant (dettol) was added as a precaution... Read More