• 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,...


PADDYFIELD PIPIT PREENING “It was a scorching hot afternoon on the 13th October 2014 and I wasn’t the only one seeking shade while spending time outdoors. Two Paddyfield Pipits (Anthus rufulus) had also sought relief from the midday sun and were chilling out beneath a leafy tree (above). “As the pipits were cooling off, it was also an opportune time for some routine feather maintenance (above). “Part of the preening process included scratching, as well as stretching... Read More


in Comfort behaviour  on Nov 05, 14 2 Comments »
© INSIGHTS TO AVIAN BATHERS “From early sightings and articles of the ubiquitous Lineated Barbet (Megalaima lineata) in ‘A Japy-Romano’s Avian Bath’ LINK to uncommon sightings of ‘Communal Baths by Golden Babblers’ LINK, there had been many more feather maintenances’ situations observed, as I took thereafter to roads less travelled; doing it solo to various regions in South East Asia, behind the Wallacea Line to Down Under regions to look and observe what birds did. “From the many... Read More

White-browed Crake preening and its odd oral movements

White-browed Crake preening and its odd oral movements “When these shy White-browed Crake (Porzana cinerea) offer opportunities, I am grateful to receive them. Four of the six birds were very accommodating. I had extended observations, including many preening episodes. “A video of 3 separate birds preening is given belowabove “Note that there are odd oral movements as part of the preening – see the first one third of the video and the images above and below. “They were very reminiscent of the snipe I posted much... Read More


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


BLACK-BACKED GULL FEEDING on bivalves “On 23rd December 2012, I was having a leisurely stroll along Sumner Beach (South Island, New Zealand) when the feeding antics of Black-backed Gulls (Larus dominicanus, Maori name: Karoro) caught my eye. They were patrolling the sandy beach and keeping a keen eye out for live bivalves exposed by the waves (above). “Whenever one was detected, the gull would extract it from the sand and fly up to a height of 20–30 metres, then let it drop straight down to the... Read More

Common Kingfisher: Comfort and feeding behaviour

Common Kingfisher: Comfort and feeding behaviour These images of the Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) was taken by KM Sim on 29th December 2012 at the Japanese Garden in Jurong. Note that the kingfisher is in its comfort mode, first scratching its head directly by raising its right foot from under its wing. This method of scratching is typical of terrestrial birds – mainly to preen its head feathers. Usually preening is done with the bill. See HERE in the case of the Red-breasted Parakeet (Psittacula alexandri).... Read More

Purple Heron – Comfort Behaviour

“The migratory winter visitors are back in Bishan Ang Mo Kio Park. The Little Egret, in white, is the most easily spotted among the visitors. I was looking at one in the distant through my camera viewfinder, when a Purple Heron was seen moving across the bank to higher ground in its slow and deliberate steps. “Having spotted the heron, I moved closer to have a better view. It is the nature of herons to remain in frozen posture for long periods. However, if you... Read More

Java Sparrow – courtship behaviour

Java Sparrow – courtship behaviour On 29th July 2012, Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS came across a few Java Sparrows (Lonchura oryzivora) feeding along the road when he and his wife were out cycling at around 7.30 in the morning. They returned on the morning of 11th August and encountered four feeding on grass seeds (above). “Then there was conflict which was not easy to understand. One adult would feed another as in courtship feeding (above and video below). And then there would be a squabble between them.... Read More


in Comfort behaviour  on Jul 18, 12 9 Comments »
© AN ENCOUNTER WITH COMMON HILL-MYNAS Part 1 “Selected lowland primary and secondary forests and along its foothills, are possible locations to hear distinctively loud and noisy calls of Common Hill-mynas (Gracula religiosa). Malay villagers know them well for their ringing ‘tiong… tiong…’ calls known to them best as, Burong Tiong Besar. “These birds often socialise in pairs and small communal flocks. They live mainly on high tree canopies, rarely build own nests but preferred disused nesting... Read More

Video of Eagle-owl yawning and stretching

in Comfort behaviour, Owls  on Mar 12, 12 No Comments »
Allan Teo contributed this video clip showing a juvenile Eagle-owl (Bubo sp.) yawning and stretching. Birds yawn to get rid of excess... Read More