• 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,...

Javan Mynas Anting With Millipedes

in Feathers-maintenance  on Jul 26, 15 4 Comments »
Javan Mynas Anting With Millipedes “From Wikipedia, anting is a self-nointing behaviour during which birds rub insects, usually ants, on their feathers and skin. The bird may pick up the insects in their bill and rub them on the body, or the bird may lie in an area of high density of the insects and perform dust bathing-like movements. The insects secrete liquids containing chemicals such as formic acid, which can act as an insecticide, miticide, fungicide, or bactericide. Thus, anting is way of reducing... Read More

Peregrine Falcon having a dust-bath in a high-rise apartment

Peregrine Falcon having a dust-bath in a high-rise apartment In July 2015 Wong Weng Fai photographed a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) having a dust-bath on the balcony floor of a yet to be completed apartment in a high-rise building. Many birds keep their feathers in good condition by taking dust-bath LINK. They lie on the dusty ground and moves vigorously about to get the dirt particles onto their feathers. This helps to get rid of ectoparasites as well as stale secretions from their oil glands. In the case of this falcon, it... Read More

WHITE-CRESTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH – PREENING

WHITE-CRESTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH – PREENING “On the morning of 14th December 2014, I was strolling beside a pond in a public park when a small flock of White-crested Laughingthrushes (Garrulax leucolophus) caught my attention. They were passing through and paused briefly to preen themselves, while perched on branches overhead (above). “One individual landed beside another and voluntarily offered its services in some hard to reach places, such as the neck region (above). Unfortunately, there seemed to be... Read More

Eurasian Tree-sparrow: A juicy bite, then a bath

Eurasian Tree-sparrow: A juicy bite, then a bath “One of my favourite birds is the Eurasian Tree-sparrow (Passer montanus malaccensis). “Here seen having a juicy bite (above) and then a nice bath (below).” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 8th July 2015 Location: 1600m ASL, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia Habitat: Public road in the... Read More

Yellow Bittern gaping

Yellow Bittern gaping “I encountered a Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) that was in the open on top of an Ixora shrub at the end of last year. “This bittern seemed to be sunning and was preening before opening its bill and gaping oddly. “No sign of pellet being cast out but towards the end of the gaping, a tickle of feathers that was stuck on its upper mandible was dislodged and seemed to be blown away by the breath of the bird. “A short video was created using a series of... Read More

Oriental Magpie-robin bathing and an Eurasian Tree-sparrow with crooked leg…

Oriental Magpie-robin bathing and an Eurasian Tree-sparrow with crooked leg… “I was passing by the Eco-Lake at the Botanic Gardens this afternoon at about 2 pm. The lake seems to have filled up nicely after the drought earlier this year, and given recent heavy rains, the lake-bed is densely covered by aquatic plants (Alteranthera sp., Micrathemum sp., Rotala sp. etc). “The Lesser Whistling-ducks (Dendrocygna javanica) that frequent this lake, and are popular with visitors who photograph and feed them, were not seen though, but based on past... Read More

WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN BATHING

WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN BATHING “On 19th November 2014, I discretely documented a private moment in the life of a White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) from a quiet, concealed corner at a local pond. “Under the notion that no one was watching it, the Waterhen let its guard down and waded into the inviting water till waist-deep (above). “It then began the routine of flapping its wings vigorously onto the water surface (above, below), as well as dipping its head... Read More

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

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