• 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,...

Orange-bellied Leafbird – nectar feeding

27 Mar 2015   in Feeding-plants 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Orange-bellied Leafbird – nectar feeding “There has been some uncertainty as to the role of nectar in the diet of leafbirds. 1. “Wikipedia LINK quoting Wells, David (2005), ‘Family Chloropseidae (Leafbirds)’, in del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew; Christie, David, Handbook of the Birds of the World states: ‘The extent to which the leafbirds consume nectar is a matter of some debate, records are more common in Southern Asia compared to South East Asia.’ 2. “Most descriptions of leafbirds mention... Read More

Plain Plushblue caterpillar and its attendant ant

26 Mar 2015   in Butterflies and Moths, Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Lena Chow
Plain Plushblue caterpillar and its attendant ant “The Plain Plushblue (Flos apidanus saturatus) (above) caterpillar has an attendant ant that feeds on the nectary fluid the former secretes, and seldom leaves its back (below left). The image below-right shows the pupa, almost ready to eclose, its brilliant blue uppersides showing through the translucent pupal case. “The sweet fluid is secreted through the caterpillar’s dorsal nectary organ near the end of its abdomen. Here’s a short video of it in... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 6. Nesting of Black-shouldered Kites

25 Mar 2015   in Nesting, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng & Melinda Chan
Pellets from Tuas: 6. Nesting of Black-shouldered Kites The nest of the Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) is loosely constructed of twigs placed around the forks of branches high up in the tree. The first chick was seen in the nest on 17th January 2015, the day observations started. Based on this and the reported incubation period of 30-33 days, the egg was most probably laid sometime in mid-December 2014. The second chick was seen the next day (above), the third three days later (below)… …and the fourth chick four... Read More

Birds bathing in the rain

24 Mar 2015   in Bee-eaters, Feathers-maintenance, Raptors 2 Comments »
Contributed by Wang Luan Keng
Birds bathing in the rain Normally when it rains birds take shelter, usually under the foliage LINK. However, Singapore recently experienced a period of drought. So when there were light showers during this period, birds took advantage of the rain to have a bath. Recently field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng was pleasantly delighted when she encountered birds perching in the open to enjoy the rain. There were a few Blue-tailed Bee-eaters (Merops philippinus) crouching low on the exposed ends of... Read More

Painted Jezebel’s post-eclosion behaviour

23 Mar 2015   in Butterflies and Moths, Fauna, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee & Khew Sin Khoon
Painted Jezebel’s post-eclosion behaviour I managed to save a pupa of the Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete metarete) attached to a detached leaf of the semi-parasitic mistletoe Dendrophthoe pentandra, its host plant. The leaf was placed in a plastic container and regularly monitored. Unfortunately I missed the moment of eclosion. The butterfly was then by its empty pupal case with its wings fully extended (above, image from another documentation). The wilted leaf to which the pupal case was attached to was... Read More

Chestnut-naped Forktail nesting: 3. Chicks and nest

22 Mar 2015   in Nesting 1 Comment »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Chestnut-naped Forktail nesting: 3. Chicks and nest Part 1 and 2 of the Chestnut-naped Forktail (Enicurus ruficapillus) can be viewed HERE and HERE. “Second disclosure: 
I allowed myself one opportunity to photograph the nest when the chicks were inside on the 11th October 2014. Although, as I mentioned, the nest was easily accessible by climbing down the slope of the stream, I choose to avoid doing this as I felt my proximity would alarm the parents. I waded out into the stream from about 20 meters distance and stopped... Read More

Chestnut-naped Forktail nesting: 2. Prey

21 Mar 2015   in Feeding chicks, Feeding-invertebrates, Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Chestnut-naped Forktail nesting: 2. Prey Part 1 of the post on the Chestnut-naped Forktails (Enicurus ruficapillus) can be viewed HERE. Observation on prey for nestlings: “The nesting pair often forage quite near to the nest once they are used to my presence. Prey is obtained on the ‘shore’ (sandy bits of the stream) as well as on the forest floor and bushes off the edge stream. A foraging Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) that foraged on rocks near the nest was not disturbed but another Chestnut-naped... Read More

Chestnut-naped Forktail nesting: 1. Introduction

20 Mar 2015   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Chestnut-naped Forktail nesting: 1. Introduction “I have held on to posting this to allow the young to fledge and move on. I had the privilege to observe a pair of Chestnut-naped Forktails (Enicurus ruficapillus) nesting. The nest was located 2.5-3km into the forest reserve, on the bank of a rushing stream alongside a jungle path. “As is my policy with nesting birds, I will start with a disclosure to be transparent and accountable about my disturbance to the nesting pair: “I visited the location on 6th, 11th, 14th,... Read More

SPINE-TUFTED SKIMMER MATING and OVIPOSITING

19 Mar 2015   in Dragonflies-Damselflies, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
SPINE-TUFTED SKIMMER MATING and OVIPOSITING “The Spine-tufted Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysis, family Libellulidae) is a relatively widespread dragonfly species that may inhabit a wide range of habitats from pools, ponds to streams in Singapore. The male has a ruby red ‘nose’ and a brilliant red abdomen (above). “A video clip of the attractive male may be viewed here: “The female may range from a light honey brown to deep reddish brown, depending on her age (below). “In October 2014, I was privileged to... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 5. Black-shouldered Kites and House Crows

18 Mar 2015   in Crows, Interspecific, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng & Melinda Chan
Pellets from Tuas: 5. Black-shouldered Kites and House Crows The pair of Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) nesting in Tuas was regularly harassed by the pair of House Crows (Corvus splendens) nesting a little down the road. The crows were obviously after the kites’ eggs and chicks. The presence of plentiful mice around the area kept the adults close to the nest. This meant that the adults could keep close watch on the marauding crows. To date, all four chicks were alive and well. One one occasion, an adult kite was... Read More