• 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,...

Brown-throated Sunbird enjoys a leaf bath

“Here is one video which I have taken of a Brown-throated Sunbird (Anthreptes malacensis) enjoying a leaf bath shortly after I have watered the plants in my garden on 22nd Feb 2015, right in the midst of a prolonged dry spell. “The bird was soaking itself with water retained on the leaves of Money Plant (Epipremnum aureum Cultivar: Golden Queen), Philodendron ‘Golden Emarald’ and Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) before flying away to preen... Read More


WHITE-CRESTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH – ANTING “On the morning of 12th November 2014, I was taking a stroll along forest edge when I encountered a small flock of White-crested Laughingthrushes (Garrulax leucolophus). Some were approaching the base of a lamp post and expressed interest in an aggregation of Weaver Ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) on the grass and concrete (above). “Then without much hesitation, the birds picked up the ants one at a time and applied them onto their feathers repeatedly (images 2 &... Read More

Birds bathing in the rain

Birds bathing in the rain Normally when it rains birds take shelter, usually under the foliage LINK. However, Singapore recently experienced a period of drought. So when there were light showers during this period, birds took advantage of the rain to have a bath. Recently field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng was pleasantly delighted when she encountered birds perching in the open to enjoy the rain. There were a few Blue-tailed Bee-eaters (Merops philippinus) crouching low on the exposed ends of... Read More

Juvenile Asian Glossy Starlings bathing then preening…

Juvenile Asian Glossy Starlings bathing then preening... During most hot evenings numerous Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) will gather in the Pink Mempat (Cratoxylum formosum) tree fronting my house. Most of them are juveniles and they arrive at around 1830 hours. They are attracted to the small water fountain in my neighbour’s house. If the water fountain is turned on, the birds will perch on top of the glass partition to wait their turns at the cool water. After the bath they fly back to the nearby Pink Mempat... Read More

Happy Yellow-vented Bulbuls

Happy Yellow-vented Bulbuls “The clips below capture the few enraptured moments that the Yellow-vented Bulbul(s) (Pycnonotus goiavier) enjoyed during the month of October 2014. The Curry Leaf Bush (Murraya koenigii) fruits were ripening in abundance and the bulbuls feasted and sang and danced in the rain. “The Curry Leaf Bush fruit was obviously huge and the bulbul manipulated the fruit until the seed dropped off. Then the whole fruit was flattened to shape and swallowed in one gulp (above). Yum... Read More


GASP! THE GREY HERON! “One of the easiest places to watch birds in Singapore is the Promenade Deck of the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Yishun. This deck is located right next to the well-equipped Cafeteria, and beside the Medicinal Garden inspired by the good webmaster of our site, Dr Wee Yeow Chin. All these areas are open to the public. “The management of KTPH have made a deliberate attempt to attract wildlife to their premises. Fruiting trees have been planted, native fish have been stocked... Read More

Observation of Anting by Vinous-breasted Starling

Observation of Anting by Vinous-breasted Starling “On December 31st, 2014, I came across the Vinous-breasted Starling (Acridotheres burmannicus) that has been present at the Pasir Ris Park over the past few months. The status of this bird is uncertain but should not be immediately dismissed as a mere escapee. “The starling was up in a tree and seemed to be picking things off the branch it was on. It then kept sticking his head below his wings or to the side of its body. I immediately realised that it was ‘anting’... Read More


WATERHEN PREENING AND SUNNING “On the 18th September 2014, I was able to creep up cautiously and observe the prolonged preening activity of White-breasted Waterhens (Amaurornis phoenicurus) at a local lotus pond (above). “As they preened themselves, the waterhens would regularly bob their stumpy tails up in a comical fashion. Even without a mirror, they seemed somewhat conscious of their own appearance. Perhaps they were preparing for a date with a fellow waterhen and paying particular... Read More

Long-tailed Parakeet in comfort behaviour

Long-tailed Parakeet in comfort behaviour “I came across a flock of 40 to 50 Long-tailed Parakeet (Psittacula longicauda) on 3rd September 2014 at about 4.40pm. They were perching on the branches of a tree near the entrance to the Lower Peirce Reservoir engaging in comfort behaviour after a shower. By the time I took out my camera, some of them had already left the scene (above). A female(?) was seen exercising her jaw while moving down a bare branch Sun Chong Hong Singapore 2nd October... Read More

Striated Swallow – calls and preening

Striated Swallow – calls and preening “Had an opportunity to watch Striated Swallows (Hirundo striolata badia) up close, preening with many calls (above, below). [Please note: This species is now known as Rufous-bellied Swallow (Cecropis badia), an endemic to the Thai-Malay Peninsula - see comment by Subaraj Rajathurai below.] “Calls were predominantly the tremulous “schwirrrr” HERE and waveforms/sonograms below. “…and a sharp “cheenk” or “tweep” HERE and waveforms/sonograms... Read More