• 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,...

Nesting behaviour of the Spotted Dove

Nesting behaviour of the Spotted Dove Courtship For the more than a few mornings in May 2013, a pair of Spotted Doves (Streptopelia chinensis) was heard duetting while hidden among a leafy branch of the Blue Mahang (Macaranga hyeni) tree that was covered with the scrambling Luffa plant (Luffa aegyptica) (above). The duetting started as early as 0730 hours and lasted from 5-10 minutes to as long as 40 minutes. When disturbed from their perches, they fly off to continue somewhere else. During evenings they were... Read More

Sex and the Birds: 11. Sex-role reversal and Greater Painted-snipe

in Courtship-Mating, Sex  on Jan 05, 14 No Comments »
Sex and the Birds: 11. Sex-role reversal and Greater Painted-snipe The Greater Painted-snipe (Rostratula benghalensis) has developed a unique mating system where the female (above) is larger and more brightly coloured than the male (below). As such, she actively courts the male. This involves allopreening the male and adopting a “spread-wing display” where both wings are fully extended and arched forward with the tail fanned and raised. She also circles the male at the same time calling softly. Once copulation is completed, the pair... Read More

Mating Black-winged Kites

Mating Black-winged Kites “Formerly known as the Black-shouldered Kite, the Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus vociferus) is now considered to be a distinct species. I have not seen the Black-winged Kite for quite some time before this encounter. Happy to share images of this pair mating. It happened very unexpectedly. I was fortunate to be at the right place at the right time. “Passing by this area, I always scrutinise this barren tree, which have yielded some avian friends on many... Read More

Mating of a pair of Collared Kingfishers

in Courtship-Mating  on Nov 29, 13 3 Comments »
Mating of a pair of Collared Kingfishers “Wildlife is finally returning to Singapore’s Holland Village about 2 years after the end of the construction of the Mass Rapid Transit lines and I was delighted when this pair of Collared Kingfishers (Todiramphus chloris) moved in 2-3 months ago along with other birds commonly found in Singapore. “They have accidentally flew into my house twice since they’ve moved in. I don’t think they are very well adapted to urban settings (like mynahs and... Read More

Large-tailed Nightjar’s social/mating behaviour.

Large-tailed Nightjar's social/mating behaviour. “I have mentioned before that some of the most significant observations have no images to support them. My wife and I often see very interesting behaviour in the early morning (pre-dawn) as we sit on the flat part of our roof (have permanent ladder up) for breakfast and solitude; almost every day for past 7-8 years. [The above image of the Large-tailed Nightjar was photographed at a different location} “We are often accompanied on the roof by our resident... Read More

Sex and the Birds: 1. Copulation

in Courtship-Mating, Sex  on Oct 21, 13 No Comments »
Sex and the Birds: 1. Copulation In birds fertilisation is internal, meaning that the sperm needs to be inserted into the body of the female by the male. However, only a handful of species have a penis to insert into the female’s cloaca during copulation. The cloaca is a chamber in the lower part of the gut where the digestive, urinary and reproductive tracts end. Almost all other birds do not possess a penis. Now why is this so? Copulation involves the male balancing on the female’s back to pass on... Read More

© MY ODYSSEY WITH BLUE-WINGED PITTAS: PART 6. BREEDING MODE

in Courtship-Mating  on Oct 18, 13 No Comments »
© MY ODYSSEY WITH BLUE-WINGED PITTAS: PART 6. BREEDING MODE “A better chance of sighting visiting Blue-winged Pittas (Pitta moluccensis) in Peninsular Malaysia is sometime between April and August – during their breeding season, when they are most vocal. As common winter visitor and passage migrant, the 18-20.5cm bird takes on an annual, night flying exodus, ranging from its breeding grounds of SW China to most South East Asian countries. Once a while, documented vagrants do show up heading towards the northern continent... Read More

A posturing pair of Asian Koels

A posturing pair of Asian Koels Wonder what’s going on with this pair of Asian Koels (Eudynamys scolopacea)? They were facing each other and twitching for at least 10 minutes with intermittent short calls from the female (below). Clearly some form of communication going on, does anybody know what? Lena Chow Singapore 23rd September... Read More

Long-tailed Parakeet copulating

Long-tailed Parakeet copulating In November 2012 Jeremiah Loei documented a pair of Long-tailed Parakeets (Psittacula longicauda) copulating at Neo Tiew Lane 2, Singapore. The female was crouching low on the branch and the male was mounted on her back. For more than a minute the male was indulging in a series of “cloacal kisses”. This involved wrapping his tail under hers in an effort to align his cloaca or vent with hers. Once contact was made, the male no doubt ejaculated and deposited his sperms... Read More

Oriental Pied Hornbill mating

Oriental Pied Hornbill mating The above image shows a pair of Oriental Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris convexus) just before they mated. Below shows the excitement of the act with the female raising her hackles. The images were captured by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS at a small rural town of Malim Nawar in the Malaysian state of Perak on 1st September 2013. Above shows the actual mating event while below is a composite of the face of the female to show her excitement and under normal... Read More