• 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,...

Atypical nesting of the Zebra Dove

01 Nov 2014   in Nesting, Pigeon-Dove No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Atypical nesting of the Zebra Dove “I have seen Zebra Doves (Geopelia striata) nest in odd sites but never before in limestone hill openings. “Note that these are images and observations from a distance with no closer access but there is no doubt about the nesting behaviour. “I spotted an adult flying into a small hole in a large limestone stalactite. The hole is located 40-50 meters up a limestone outcropping (above). I saw three visits by the adult bringing nesting material with another adult within... Read More

FLYING DRAGONS – FLASHING FEMALES

31 Oct 2014   in Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
FLYING DRAGONS – FLASHING FEMALES “Most of us would be familiar with the diurnal displays of male Flying Dragons (Draco sumatranus) whenever they flash their yellow gular flaps from beneath their throats. However, we are probably less familiar with the displays by females of the same species, as they are infrequently observed or reported. “On the 28th September 2014, I had my eyes fixed on a particular female, as she was feasting on ants upon a tree. As she was doing so, she would flash her bluish gular... Read More

Kopi Luwak (civet coffee) anyone?

30 Oct 2014   in Fauna 10 Comments »
Contributed by Xu Weiting, Fung Tze Kwan, Pearlynn Sim & YC Wee
Kopi Luwak (civet coffee) anyone? The Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) is believed to seek out and eat the fruits of the Arabica Coffee (Coffea Arabica) at their optimum ripeness (above: flowers; below: fruits with Common Palm Civet insert). As these fruits, often termed cherry, pass through the civet’s digestive tract, the soft outer flesh is absorbed by the civet and the hard seeds passed out from the other end. The scat or poop, as it is commonly known, is easily recognised and eagerly... Read More

Crested Partridge – social behaviour

29 Oct 2014   in Miscellaneous No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Crested Partridge – social behaviour  “I met 7-8 Crested Partridges (Rollulus rouloul) today. I had walked in 2 km on a less used trail along primary jungle. I was watching some migratory flycatchers feed on fruit for quite some time and when I turned around, about 1.5-2 meters behind me, were 7-8 of these delightful partridges. There were 2 males, at least one immature and the rest appeared to be females or immature. “They were located behind a screen of foliage and ran about fast chuckling like hens.... Read More

Pink-necked Green-pigeon failed nesting

28 Oct 2014   in Nesting-failed 2 Comments »
Contributed by Sun Chong Hong
Pink-necked Green-pigeon failed nesting “There is a row of 8 pine trees planted in my condo 30 years ago when it was built (above). According to an arborist who visited us a few years back, this is a slow growing pine, the name of which I cannot remember. The tallest one is only about 3 – 4m height. There is no cone. When examined carefully, the needles can be found bundled mostly in fascicles of 2, and sometimes of 3. I have never seen any bird visiting the trees. “In the evening of 22 Jul... Read More

Common Palm Civet: Request for sightings, samples of poop, etc.

27 Oct 2014   in Fauna No Comments »
Contributed by Vilma D'Rozario, Fung Tze Kwan, Xu Weiting & YC Wee
Common Palm Civet: Request for sightings, samples of poop, etc. The Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) is a nocturnal cat-like creature that is more related to mongooses than to cats (above). It is more common in urban areas than realised, mainly because it only appears in the dark. This civet can be commonly seen in forested areas as well as around residential areas. In the latter case it can be found among vegetation (video above) and roof spaces of old houses (video below). The black mask across the eyes and nose gives... Read More

Large Woodshrike – juvenile’s call

26 Oct 2014   in Vocalisation No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Large Woodshrike – juvenile's call “A family of Large Woodshrikes (Tephrodornis gularis fretensis) was sighted, an adult pair (above) and two juveniles. The juveniles were old enough to forage on their own, although I saw episodes where they were expectant of being fed but were disappointed (above, below). “An edited audio recording HERE with waveform and sonogram of a less common adult call is given below. “Described by Madoc (see Wells 2007) as a warning-scolding ‘skatch-skatch’. The... Read More

Purple Swamphen eats Kyllinga polyphylla flowering stalks

25 Oct 2014   in Feeding-plants 1 Comment »
Contributed by Jeremiah Loei
Purple Swamphen eats Kyllinga polyphylla flowering stalks The Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) [now Grey-headed Swamphen (P. poliocephalus)] is primarily a vegetarian, taking any and all parts of aquatic and semi-aquatic plants. At the same time it takes animal food that includes various invertebrates like small crabs, snails LINK, insects and their larvae, fish, frogs, lizards, snakes and nestlings. Its large bill is used to dig and pull plants while its prominently long toes come in useful in gripping vegetation and... Read More

My introduction to the Common Palm Civet

24 Oct 2014   in Fauna 7 Comments »
Contributed by YC Wee, Dr Vilma D'Rozario, Fung Tze Kwan & Xu Weiting
My introduction to the Common Palm Civet “One morning way back in July 2012, I noticed a lump of animal poop on top of the common wall with my next-door neighbour (above). As it looked uncommon, I photographed it. And as it was right next to the front gate I reluctantly removed it. “With the image of the poop I asked around and was told that it could be that of the Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) (above). “In February the next year I came across pieces of the shell of the Giant... Read More

Little Egrets fishing

23 Oct 2014   in Feeding-vertebrates, Heron-Egret-Bittern No Comments »
Contributed by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Little Egrets fishing “I become quite used to seeing this mechanism of getting fish that is applied by many of the egrets and herons. A flock of 25-30 Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta garzetta) were hovering or skimming over the surface of a fish farm pond, with legs training in the water (above). “The majority was in breeding plumage with nice plumes (above). “Many were successful in diving in to obtain prey (above, below). “Other herons were also involved. One day the farmers might... Read More