• 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,...

Rock Pigeon “kissing”

Rock Pigeon “kissing” Chew Yen Fook’s image of a Rock Pigeon’s so-called “kissing” (Columba livia) intrigued him. It shows one bird thrusting its bill deep into the gape of another (above). This phenomenon is usually seen when adult pigeons and doves feed their chicks crop milk in the nest LINK. It has also been reported between chicks and recently fledged juveniles LINK. What is unusual in Yen Fook’s observation is that immediately after “kissing” one bird mounted the other and... Read More

Oriental Pied Hornbill’s reluctant courtship feeding

On the evening of 4th February 2015 I sighted a pair of Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) perching on the television antenna of my neighbour’s house. The pair remained quietly for a few minutes before flying off to land on the crown of my Ceram Palm (Rhopaloblaste ceramica). The pair landed on the back of a frond axis. The male hornbill had a morsel clamped between the tips of his mandibles that could possibly be a lizard. He waved it in front of the... Read More

Greater Coucal mating

in Courtship-Mating  on Dec 25, 14 1 Comment »
Greater Coucal mating “I had arrived early to try and spot a migrant and just as I stopped the car saw a pair of Greater Coucals (Centropus sinensis bubutus) engaging in mating. No time to get near or organise for a video, just tried my luck with distant images (above, below). “Took a number of sequential images in a burst and put them together for a video, see below. “At one point the female tuned back to the male. I thought it might be a feeding episode as part of the mating but did... Read More

Plaintive Cuckoo: 2. Possible courtship behaviour

Please refer to Part 1 at this LINK. “Based on comments received, Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS wrote: ”Both sexes have loud advertising calls; the breeding season is not accurately documented and even now is in ‘full’ bloom; and the location I saw them at was overhanging a pool and backed by a wall, thus no food access in the immediate area. “After reading Connie’s opinion and talking to her about past observations, I think there are possibly two... Read More

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