• 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,...

Pellets from Tuas: 5. Black-shouldered Kites and House Crows

in Crows, Interspecific, Raptors  on Mar 18, 15 No Comments »
Pellets from Tuas: 5. Black-shouldered Kites and House Crows The pair of Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) nesting in Tuas was regularly harassed by the pair of House Crows (Corvus splendens) nesting a little down the road. The crows were obviously after the kites’ eggs and chicks. The presence of plentiful mice around the area kept the adults close to the nest. This meant that the adults could keep close watch on the marauding crows. To date, all four chicks were alive and well. One one occasion, an adult kite was... Read More

Brahminy Kite mobbed by a House Crow

in Crows, Interspecific, Raptors  on May 15, 13 No Comments »
Brahminy Kite mobbed by a House Crow Humant Kumar from Andhra Pradesh, India shares his image of the Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) being mobbed by a House Crow (Corvus splendens) while flying and not at all threatening to the latter. The smaller crow has the advantage as it has better maneuverability than the larger kite. House Crows are fearless and aggressive, targeting raptors larger than themselves, even when the latter is not of any threat. They have been known to attack dogs, cats and even bats. When... Read More

House Crow’s novel way of mobbing Peregrine Falcon

in Crows, Raptors  on Feb 03, 13 2 Comments »
House Crow’s novel way of mobbing Peregrine Falcon The location was Singapore’s Chinese Garden. The date was 1st January 2013. Samson Tan and friend… LINK noticed a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) perching on a branch of a casuarina tree (Casuarina equisetifolia). There were many crows in the garden and Samson expected them to mob the falcon, as is usually the case. True enough, after about 10 minutes, the mobbing started. One by one the House Crows (Corvus splendens) flew by, diving near to where the falcon was... 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

Crows harassing Black Kites

in Crows, Interspecific, Raptors  on Dec 31, 12 2 Comments »
Crows harassing Black Kites “From far, we saw a flock of black birds on a huge tree. From our earlier trekking trip near the Annapurna trails (Nepal), we saw crows gliding like raptors. So naturally, we thought they were crows. But we were wrong as we approached the tree. There were more birds at the river below the tree. This river called Bagmati River is one of the rivers that flow through Kathmandu. It was heavily polluted, smelly and not a living fish could be seen. “As we came... Read More

Large-billed Crow – sex differentiation

in Crows, Morphology-Develop.  on Nov 16, 12 1 Comment »
Large-billed Crow – sex differentiation “The common crow in the country is the House Crow (Corvus splendens) but it is not native. It was brought over from India in the early 1900s to deal with pests in Selangor (caterpillars in the coffee plantations). From there they discovered the nearby town (Klang), which since has been ‘crow capital’. It has progressively spread through some of the major cities of the west coast of the peninsula. [The images above and below show the presumed male. Notice the... Read More

Crow anting in an anthill

Crow anting in an anthill Through regular visits to a park in Amsterdam, Levina de Ruijter manages to bond with a resident crow. Whenever she arrives, the crow would come to greet her, following her around, sometimes coming close. Recently when Levina was photographing some young coots, the crow suddenly landed close by with a juvenile in tow. The juvenile suddenly ran towards a patch of grass and dived in, with wings spread and began to what appeared to be preening (above). Note that the eye is... Read More

An extremely tame House Crow

An extremely tame House Crow “My colleague, Patrick Chua, took a video of this adult house crow (Corvus splendens) at his Housing and Development Board residence. When he informed me of this unusual phenomenon, I requested to see the video. I couldn’t believe what I saw next. “This is a full grown crow that not only takes food from the hand but also allows a complete stranger to scratch its head. “Patrick Chua told me that he has not kept the bird and sees it roosting on a low hedge... Read More

Crows and oil palm fruits: A call for more observations

in Crows, Feeding-plants  on Sep 04, 11 1 Comment »
Crows and oil palm fruits: A call for more observations Photographers and birdwatchers have made many documentations on parrots feeding on the fruits of oil palms (Elaeis guineensis) – Red-breasted Parakeets (Psittacula alexandri) LINK, Long-tailed Parakeets (Psittacula longicauda), Rose-ringed Parakeets (P. krameri) and Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot (Loriculus galgulus) LINK, and the latest, also on Long-tailed Parakeets and other non-parrots LINK. These parakeets and parrots generally eat the fruits in or around 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