• 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,...


DUSKY BROADBILL PREENING “The Dusky Broadbill (Corydon sumatranus) has previously been described as having an ‘ungainly appearance’ (Lekagul & Round, 1991: 220 – bird no. 428). Such an impression would most certainly have stemmed from the bird’s seemingly oversized beak. Indeed, this bird truly looks comical yet adorable, especially when admired face to face (above). “On the sunny afternoon of 22nd March 2014, we had the opportunity to observe a pair at Fraser’s Hill,... Read More

van Hasselt’s Sunbird feeding on Saraca flowers

van Hasselt's Sunbird feeding on Saraca flowers Jeremiah Loei’s video study of the van Hasselt’s Sunbird (Leptcoma brasiliana), also known as Purple-throated Sunbird, shows a pair feeding on the nectar of the Saraca flowers (Saraca sp.). The female, more interested in preening herself than feeding on the nectar, is conspicuous in her orange throat patch (below). According to nature consultant Subaraj Rajathurai, this patch is only seen during the breeding period. Check out our earlier posts HERE and... Read More

Red Junglefowl In Feather Maintenance

Red Junglefowl In Feather Maintenance “It was a bright morning at about 8.45 am 3 days ago when I saw Lao Si (no. 4) (above) taken 2 weeks ago) enjoying himself under the warm sunlight in front of some Wild Tree plants Acalypha siamensis (below). It has been raining heavily everyday in the afternoon or at night for the past few days. The fine weather must have brought some cheers from the chickens here. “Lao Si as an immature – featured 5 months ago in LINK – is the son of Lao Da the... Read More

Common Tailorbird having a bath on a Colocasia esculanta leaf

Common Tailorbird having a bath on a Colocasia esculanta leaf “I have previously posted the Common Tailorbirds (Orthotomus sutorius maculicollis) in our garden bathing. I have been trying a video but the chaps are very sensitive and will disappear in a flash. In addition they come rather later for the bath, usually around 7 pm. “I did manage one video but had misplaced it on a separate sd card. Found it recently (below). This was taken on a bright evening at 6.59pm with me hiding in the house. “Their favourite leaf... Read More


© MY ODYSSEY WITH BLUE-WINGED PITTAS PART: 4. PREEN-N-POO BEHAVIOUR “Being such shy and elusive birds, there had been few good opportunities to observe Blue-winged Pittas’ (Pitta moluccensis) behaviour behind the ‘smoke screen’. “A double whammy opportunity was had the same day, same bird following the magical leaves flying cum foraging incident (below left). “The 18-20.5cm probably male was observed to be grooming while perched on edge of decayed crater oil palm stump. The stylist was unaware of an onlooker…or so... Read More

Little Heron and its uropygial or preen glands

Little Heron and its uropygial or preen glands The image above by Johnny Wee shows the Little Heron (Butorides striatus) exposing its pair of preen glands located on its rump at the base of the tail. These glands, also known as uropygial glands, exude a viscous liquid of fatty acids, waxes and fats. They are found in most birds except Ostrich (Struthio camelus), emus, crassowaries and some pigeons, parrots and woodpeckers. This is a rare image where the glands are totally exposed. Usually when a bird is preening, it... Read More

Oriental Magpie-robin anting

in Feathers-maintenance  on Sep 28, 13 1 Comment »
Oriental Magpie-robin anting “So far, the anting behaviour that I have observed have been confined to the Javan Mynas (Acridotheres javanicus). My first observation with photographs captured was in mid July 2010 LINK. More than 3 years later, in late Aug 2013, I have another observation of anting behaviour. This time, a female Oriental Magpie-robin (Copsychus saularis) was observed in anting behaviour. “This female magpie-robin first caught my attention while it was perching on a stem with... Read More

Pin-striped Tit-babblers in a public bath house

in Feathers-maintenance  on Sep 23, 13 2 Comments »
Tony Tham’s video clip was documented at Singapore’s Venus Loop. It shows a pair of Pin-striped Tit-babblers (Macronous gularis) enjoying a bath in a tree-hole filled with water. The feathers of both birds are thoroughly fluffed and will need plenty of preening after the bath to get the barbs and barbuls properly aligned. Birds’ feathers need to be properly maintained to keep them in perfect condition. Otherwise there would be problems in flying, especially in... Read More

Crimson-rumped Waxbills having a bath

“Since my encounter with a whole family of these escapees [Crimson-rumped Waxbill (Estrilda rhodopyga)] in my own garden about 2 years ago LINK, I have not seen this exotic species again in my neighbourhood. “From postings time and again on the net, I believe they have adopted Halus Wetlands as their second home now, and are regularly spotted there. I decided to go exotics-spotting this weekend at Halus, and aside from a Golden-backed (or Jackson’s)... Read More

Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker preening and territorial call

On the morning of 7th July 2013, Jeremiah Loei documented a male Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker (Dendrocopos moluccensis) perching on a bare branch vigorously preening himself. At the same time he was belting out his territorial call of a sharp series of kikikikikikikikikikikiki. The location was the Singapore Garden by the Bay.... Read More