• 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,...

Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike – nesting

27 Apr 2015   in Nesting No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike - nesting “I was privileged to see two different pairs of Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrikes (Hemipus picatus intermedius) nesting on the same day. One had just completed their nest and were incubating. The other had one chick that they were feeding. Both were located on bare, dead trees 10-12 meters up. The nest is a small compact cup that barely accommodates the incubating adult or the growing chick. “The above image shows the male and that below the female incubating the egg/s.... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 9. Black-shouldered Kite removing entrails from mice

26 Apr 2015   in Feeding-vertebrates, Raptors No Comments »
Contributed by Chan Yoke Meng & Melinda Chan
Pellets from Tuas: 9. Black-shouldered Kite removing entrails from mice The series of images in this post show the adult Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) removing the entrails from decapitated mice and dumping the parts on to the ground. This was done before they started eating the mice or even flying them off to the nest to feed the chicks. We never saw any adults eating the entrails or even the head. The evidence from the many pellets found scattered on the ground below and around the nesting tree showed no intact skull except... Read More

Brown-throated Sunbird enjoys a leaf bath

25 Apr 2015   in Feathers-maintenance, Videography 1 Comment »
Contributed by Sun Chong Hong
“Here is one video which I have taken of a Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) enjoying a leaf bath shortly after I have watered the plants in my garden on 22nd Feb 2015, right in the midst of a prolonged dry spell. “The bird was soaking itself with water retained on the leaves of Money Plant (Epipremnum aureum Cultivar: Golden Queen), Philodendron ‘Golden Emarald’ and Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) before flying away to preen... Read More

Pygmy Wren-babbler – nest building

24 Apr 2015   in Nesting, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Pygmy Wren-babbler – nest building “Disclosure: I was privileged to watch a pair of Pygmy Wren-babblers (Pnoepyga pusilla) nest building. I watched them on three separate periods over 3 hours, for a total period of observation of 40 minutes. I broke up the observation to give them a break from my presence, although they seem to adjust to my being there. I used only handheld photography or videography, with no flash and positioned myself about 7-8 meters from the nest. “I came across them on a lonely... Read More

Javan Mynas foraging on seagrass meadow

23 Apr 2015   in Feeding-invertebrates 4 Comments »
Contributed by Ria Tan
Javan Mynas foraging on seagrass meadow “I noticed a flock of Common Mynas (Acridotheres tristis) Javan Mynahs (Acridotheres javanicus) foraging on the seagrass meadows near the water line while I was surveying Pasir Ris on 23rd March 2015 [Note: misidentification corrected]. Every now and then, the birds would peck at the ground. I’m sorry I didn’t manage to photograph what they picked up. “There were shorebirds and herons foraging on the water line further away from the beach, as... Read More

Plantain Squirrel’s call

22 Apr 2015   in Fauna, Videography, Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Plantain squirrel, also known as Common red-bellied squirrel (Callosciurus notatus singapurensis) is commonly seen in urban gardens (above). I have a pair in my garden LINK and regularly hear their characteristic call. On this particular morning I again heard its characteristic call – sounding like short bursts of machine gun fire. I located the squirrel resting on a horizontal branch of the nearby roadside Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus) tree. Each round of... Read More

Baya Weaver – more nectar feeding

21 Apr 2015   in Feeding-plants No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS & Dieter Oschadleus
Baya Weaver – more nectar feeding “I returned to this site today to do some follow up bird work. I again observed Baya Weaver (Ploceus philippinus infortunatus), possibly the same flock, feeding on nectar. I initially spotted them feeding on the nectar of the Water Jambu (Syzygium samarangense) and later again on the Callistemon sp. (Bottlebrush) trees. Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 12th April 2015 Location: Tambun Interior, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia Habitat: Secondary growth near limestone... Read More

Mutant Javan Myna

20 Apr 2015   in Morphology-Develop. 3 Comments »
Contributed by Bee Choo Strange
Mutant Javan Myna Bee Choo Strange came across this Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) recently at a bus stop opposite Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore. The myna had a disfigured bill and Bee Choo wondered how it survives and feed. Note: Deformed bills are not a rare phenomenon. We have earlier posted such bills in Javan Myna HERE, Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) HERE and Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) HERE. Birds with such a bill will definitely be at a disadvantage... Read More

Painted Jezebel: 3. Pre-pupation behaviour

19 Apr 2015   in Butterflies and Moths, Videography No Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee
Painted Jezebel: 3. Pre-pupation behaviour Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete metarete) caterpillars feed close together on leaves of their food plant for about 20 days (above). During this period they undergo five instars to grow to about 35mm x 4mm. The caterpillars then prepare to pupate. In an effort to observe the caterpillars and the subsequent pupae, the branches of the Malayan Mistletoe (Dendrophthoe pentandra) where the caterpillars were located were cut and placed in a vase of water (above). There, the... Read More

White-bellied Sea-eagle – fishing sequence

18 Apr 2015   in Feeding-vertebrates No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
White-bellied Sea-eagle – fishing sequence “Was watching this sub-adult White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) circling the ex-mining pool early in the morning (8.19am) so got ready for the ‘action’. A composite of the fishing sequence with one image (2nd) removed (very blur) taken at 5 fps, so about 1.2 seconds of activity. “Lost some of its grandeur in shrinking the image but still shows the fluid and precise ability to catch fish.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak,... Read More