• 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,...

Ashy Tailorbird feeding a large Plaintive Cuckoo fledgling

Ashy Tailorbird feeding a large Plaintive Cuckoo fledgling Johnny Wee documented a pair of adult Ashy Tailorbirds (Orthotomus ruficeps) feeding a recently fledged Plaintive Cuckoo (Cacomantis merulinus) at Singapore’s Pasir Ris Farmway1 in mid-July 2013. It must have been a strange sight to witness a pair of small tailorbirds feeding a larger cuckoo fledging that was more than twice their size. The tailorbirds must have worked extra hard looking for food to satisfy the hunger of this giant fledgling. With each feed, the... Read More

Little Bronze Cuckoo chick raised by Golden-bellied Gerygone

Little Bronze Cuckoo chick raised by Golden-bellied Gerygone “This is the second time this year, at around the same place at Pasir Ris Park, that a Golden-bellied Gerygone (Gerygone sulphurea) nest was hijacked, and the poor gerygone pair raised a Little Bronze Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx minutillus) chick… “The Little Bronze Cuckoo is a known brood parasite of the Golden-bellied Gerygone. It’s rather sad to watch, but I guess one can’t fight Mother Nature… “Here’s a pic of the gerygone in a... Read More

Less House Crows… more Asian Koels…

Less House Crows... more Asian Koels... The Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) is a brood parasite that sneaks into the nests of House Crow (Corvus splendens) to lay her eggs (above). The bird is a resident species but during the northern winter months, the local population is supplemented by migratory species. It has a sharp, shrill call LINK that some locals find irritating – especially when made during the early hours of the morning. The number of koels in Singapore has been increasing slowly through the... Read More

Adult Pied Fantail feeding a juvenile Rusty-breasted Cuckoo

in Brood parasitism  on Aug 28, 12 3 Comments »
Adult Pied Fantail feeding a juvenile Rusty-breasted Cuckoo Johnny Wee‘s documented an adult Pied Fantail (Rhipidura javanica) feeding a much larger juvenile Rusty-breasted Cuckoo (Cacomantis sepulcralis) at Singapore’s Lorong Halus Wetland on 24th August 2012. The Rusty-breasted Cuckoo, a brood parasite, is an uncommon resident. It parasitised the nests of a wide range of species LINK, most of which are small birds. Encountering an adult foster parent feeding a much large chick can be a comical sight. But to the... Read More

Golden-bellied Gerygone – Failed Nesting

“The Golden-bellied Gerygone (Gerygone sulphurea) (above) has been previously documented hosting chicks of the Little Bronze Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx minutillus), which is its known brood parasite. In two previous cases known to me, the gerygone nests were both taken over by cuckoo chicks. Hence, when another active nesting of the Golden-Bellied Gerygone was discovered in mid May 2012, I was naturally eager to find out whether this time round, the gerygone would be... Read More

The Calls of the Asian Koel

 The Calls of the Asian Koel “While I have no particular liking for the Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea), I am always fascinated by their behaviour. Being a brood parasite and by selecting the House Crow (Corvus splendens) as the host – which even attack human being when they perceive their nests or young to be in danger – they risk their lives while attempting to lay eggs in the crow nests. “They are many of them around my area. In spite of the crow population being drastically... Read More

©A New Photographic Record: Jv. Malaysian Honeyguide in Borneo

in Brood parasitism  on Dec 25, 11 3 Comments »
©A New Photographic Record: Jv. Malaysian Honeyguide in Borneo “The Malaysian Honeyguide (Indicator arachipelagicus) is a rare little known, rather overlooked resident and near-threatened species of mainly lowland plains forest edge habitat. Being one of the 15 species of honeyguides found in the world, a recent find in Borneo is thus of much interest to the local and international bird community. Its habitat puts this species at greater risk to extinction. “A short list of Borneo’s isolated sightings, mainly adults may be... Read More

Golden-bellied Gerygone feeding Little Bronze Cuckoo chick

Golden-bellied Gerygone feeding Little Bronze Cuckoo chick Cheong Weng Chun from Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia, located the nest of the Golden-bellied Gerygone (Gerygone sulphurea) high up in a tree in Taman Wetland Putrajaya in July 2005. The nest is a pear-shaped purse with a lateral entrance and a long tail (above left). Inside the nest was a chick of the Little Bronze Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx minutillus). The Gloden-bellied Greygone is the only proven brood-host of Little Bronze Cuckoo (Wells, 2007). Both foster parents fed the... Read More

Observations on House Crow-Asian Koel interactions

Prakash Garde of Pune, India, documented the activities of a pair of House Crow (Corvus splendens) building their nest within a short period of seven days. The female then laid a clutch of eggs that subsequently turned bad when the temperature rose above 42º C in the shade on two consecutive days. The crows then built another nest in a nearby tree that yielded three Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) chicks. Prakash reported how a group of eight Asian Koels living within... Read More

Video of Common Iora feeding Banded-bay Cuckoo fledgling

Video of Common Iora feeding Banded-bay Cuckoo fledgling Our earlier post by Francis Yap documented a Banded-bay Cuckoo (Cacomantis sonneratii) fledgling being fed by an adult Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) in photographs LINK. Francis has now documented a video of a similar feeding (above). Taken at the same location but about a month apart, this is a different Banded-bay Cuckoo that “looked a bit younger at the time of the video capture compared to the previous cuckoo that was photographed. This was based on it’s... Read More