• 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,...

Oriental Pied Hornbill – courtship feeding, Morinda citrifolia fruit

Oriental Pied Hornbill - courtship feeding, Morinda citrifolia fruit “I was out testing a news lens I had loaned, the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 VC. I choose to test it in the ‘worst’ possible setting – 7.30am on a gloom post rain morning, under some trees. I was trying to see if it could match the Nikon AF-S 80-400mm ED VR I have using recently. “I came across a pair of Oriental Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris convexus) feeding on the fruit of the Morinda citrifolia (Great Morinda, Indian Mulberry, Noni, Mengkudu in... Read More

© Courting Behaviours of Black-and-Red Broadbill Pair

in Courtship-Mating  on Oct 19, 14 No Comments »
© Courting Behaviours of Black-and-Red Broadbill Pair “Being one of 14 species worldwide, Black-and-red Broadbills (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos) remain one of tropical lowland forests, enigmatic birds we know so little about; and dwindling in sighting opportunities largely due to habitat loss. “They have striking deep, red-maroonish plumages and are blessed with cicada like quaky calls- probably their saviour from songsters’ trappers. “Having a huge, upper mandible of turquoise blue contrasting with ... Read More

© Insights To Blue-winged Pittas Part 4

© Insights To Blue-winged Pittas Part 4 Feeding Behaviours: Breeding Pittas “My follow-up observations at Itam Dalam Forest Reserve (IDFR) concluded those regular sightings of Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis) pair were no other than Pitta2 and Pitta3. “Sometimes the pair foraged together. At other times, they fed independently but within ear-shot of each other. Identification was made easier by a boar tick studded behind male Pitta2’s left eye. I name Pitta2 ‘Ticky’ (above left). Female... Read More

Rufous Piculet – Courtship behaviour 1

in Courtship-Mating  on Jul 26, 14 No Comments »
Rufous Piculet – Courtship behaviour 1 “The Rufous Piculets (Sasia abnormis abnormis) are difficult birds to observe due to their preference for the dense undergrowth of the lowland forest, small size and rapid speed. Hence their social behaviour is poorly documented. Short says it best: “Although Rufous Piculets are not uncommon… these birds are exceptionally fast-moving, difficult to detect, and exceedingly difficult to observe for more than a few seconds. Most glimpses of them occur when one or several... Read More

Courtship dance of the Musk Duck

Courtship dance of the Musk Duck “Musk Duck (Bizura lobata) is the only living member of its genus. It possesses stiff-tailed duck (Oxyura sp.) characteristics and is easily identified by its body floating very low in the water. The ducks are huge in size, ~50cm to 73 cm. The legs are set far back on the body for swimming. “Males and females look alike except for the conspicuous lobe of skin under the bill of a breeding drake. The males emit a musk odour and the lobe of skin under the bill increases... Read More

Little Grebe – whinny trill calls, courtship?

Little Grebe – whinny trill calls, courtship? “Little Grebes (Tachybaptus ruficollis) have colonised the peninsular since the 1950s and locally retain their ‘breeding’ plumage right through the year (above). There are large numbers at Malim Nawar Wetlands. “I had an opportunity to watch what appeared to be courtship behaviour. Three adults, in good plumage, were ‘horsing around’; most appropriate term I can think of. They were frolicking in the water, with one occasionally ‘taking off’ in flight just... Read More

Oriental Pied Hornbill locking bills/horns

Oriental Pied Hornbill locking bills/horns “I was travelling to this town to do a training session child rights and decided to bring my camera along. Just as I was coming into town, I spotted a flock of Oriental Pied Hornbills (Anthracoceros albirostris convexus). There were at least 15 of them. It was still a bit dark (before 8am) as the sun had not come over the hills yet but the birds were magnificent. “They were self-preening, allopreening as well as ‘locking bills’. This behaviour occurred between two... Read More

Yes, the Short-tailed Babblers were courting

Ong Ei Leen downloaded her video clip on YouTube in March 2014 showing what she claimed to be a pair of Short-tailed Babblers (Malacocincla malaccensis) in a courtship dance. There were some doubts on whether it was courtship or aggression as there were no clear views due to the vegetation around. Wildlife Consultant Subaraj Rajathurai has this to say: “…I cannot say for certain as I have not had the pleasure of seeing this behaviour personally but considering that most... Read More

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