• 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,...

Yellow-rumped Flycatcher “vomited” wasp it swallowed earlier

31 Jul 2014   in Feeding strategy, Feeding-invertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by William Tan, Dr Leong Tzi Ming, Wang Laun Keng & Ng Bee Choo
Yellow-rumped Flycatcher “vomited” wasp it swallowed earlier William Tan was photographing a female Yellow-rumped Flycatcher (Ficedula zanthopygia) in Singapore’s Bidadari Park in September 2012 when the flycatcher suddenly caught a wasp. On swallowing the wasp, it ‘vomited’ a crushed specimen a few minutes later. Flycatchers generally feed on insects that include bees and wasps. Why this particular flycatcher was unable to retain the wasp after swallowing it can be because it failed to effectively remove the sting... Read More

Danainae butterflies – leaf scratching and withered plants

30 Jul 2014   in Fauna, Videography 2 Comments »
Contributed by Lena Chow
Danainae butterflies - leaf scratching and withered plants “Many plants contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids as a defense mechanism against insect herbivores. In turn there are many insects that consume the plants and build up the alkaloids in their bodies. “Danainae butterflies (Tigers and Crows) have long been recognised to be attracted to and ‘feed’ on plants of certain genera, both withered and living LINK. “Here’s a Common Tiger (Danaus genutia genutia) scratching and sucking at a living Rattleweed (Crotalaria... Read More

White-crowned Forktail’s calls

29 Jul 2014   in Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
White-crowned Forktail’s calls “
Have been seeing White-crowned Forktail (Enicurus leschenaultia frontalis
) intermittently but limited images. Locally it is vulnerable and is uncommon. “Saw two today – an adult and a juvenile. Image posted is of the juvenile.
 “The alarm calls are given HERE. The last part of the recording gives the ususal and contact calls.
 “A sonogram and waveform is provided above.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 15th July Location: Ulu... Read More

Juvenile Collared Kingfishers

28 Jul 2014   in Kingfishers, Morphology-Develop. 3 Comments »
Contributed by Kwong Wai Chong
Juvenile Collared Kingfishers “There was a nesting of the Collared Kingfisher (Actenoides concretus) at Pasir Ris Park where many photographers had their shots in April and May 2014 (above). “I did not monitor this nest but was pleasantly surprised on 28th June to see 4 juveniles perching in the same tree (above: showing a parent with 2 juveniles). So, there were 4 in this brood. The parents were not around. The next day, the parents (below) were with one of the juveniles. I did not manage to see... Read More

Glossy Swiftlet collects lichen as nesting material

27 Jul 2014   in Nesting, Swifts-Swallows No Comments »
Contributed by Samson Tan
Glossy Swiftlet collects lichen as nesting material Samson Tan photographed Glossy Swiftlets (Collocalia esculenta) flying around the garden of a resort when holidaying in Tomohon, Sulawesi, Indonesia in June 2014. Only when he uploaded the images onto his computer did he realise that the swiftlets were actively collecting lichens growing from the trunk of a palm. A swiftlet would slow down (above) and hovered about 50cm away from the palm (below). It then approached the trunk of the palm without making any physical contact... Read More

Rufous Piculet – Courtship behaviour 1

26 Jul 2014   in Courtship-Mating No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Rufous Piculet – Courtship behaviour 1 “The Rufous Piculets (Sasia abnormis abnormis) are difficult birds to observe due to their preference for the dense undergrowth of the lowland forest, small size and rapid speed. Hence their social behaviour is poorly documented. Short says it best: “Although Rufous Piculets are not uncommon… these birds are exceptionally fast-moving, difficult to detect, and exceedingly difficult to observe for more than a few seconds. Most glimpses of them occur when one or several... Read More

Common Flameback feeding on rambutan: Addendum

25 Jul 2014   in Feeding-plants 4 Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee
Common Flameback feeding on rambutan: Addendum The posting of the Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense) feeding on the ripe fruit of the rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) on 22nd July received queries on whether the bird was actually eating the fruit or picking up ants that usually are found on the surface of the fruit LINK. Since then, Johnny Wee has managed to send in more images just taken from his garden… These show the Common Flameback pecking into the skin of the rambutan and picking up a small glob of white... Read More

YELLOW-VENTED BULBUL PREENING and DEFAECATION

24 Jul 2014   in Comfort behaviour, Videography, Waste No Comments »
Contributed by Dr Leong Tzi Ming
YELLOW-VENTED BULBUL PREENING and DEFAECATION “On the afternoon of 26th June 2014, a Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) was perched high up a mature fig tree and fastidiously preening itself (above). From this vantage point, its sulphur-yellow vent feathers could be admired in all its splendour. “A video clip of this preening activity may be previewed above. “In between preening, there was a brief pause to answer nature’s call. This was preceded by the raising of its tail, lowering of its belly... Read More

Nesting of the Common Iora: 2. Incubation

23 Jul 2014   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Nesting of the Common Iora: 2. Incubation “I recently posted a pair of Common Ioras (Aegithina tiphia horizoptera) collecting spider web for their nest LINK. They are nesting in our immediate home environment and hence observations have become easy and frequent. “They laid eggs on 9th May and I have been keeping a close eye as incubation and fledging periods are unreported locally (Wells 2007). This is a preliminary report from 9-20th May. The minimum observations in a day are 8 and often observations are... Read More

Common Flameback feeding on rambutan

22 Jul 2014   in Feeding-plants 2 Comments »
Contributed by Johnny Wee
Common Flameback feeding on rambutan Johnny Wee photographed a Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense) pecking into the ripe fruit of the rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) in his garden in July 2014. Although woodpeckers eat mostly insects, they also, to a certain extent, eat fruits and flower nectar. Common Flameback has also been reported to feed on the fruit of chempedak (Artocarpus integer) LINK.... Read More