• 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,...

Lesser Yellownape feeding on ants associated with Dischidia astephana

Lesser Yellownape feeding on ants associated with Dischidia astephana “My wife and I saw this lovely adult male Lesser Yellownape (Picus chlorolophus) for an extended period (above). “One curious behaviour was pecking at and licking these ‘fleshy growths’ on the trunk of a tree (above, below). It spent quite some time with them. I was considering some form of fruit feeding as I had just seen it feed on fruit (more on this later). “But after a discussion with Dr YC Wee of BESG (a botanist) who identified the plant as... Read More

WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN FORAGING IN THE RAIN

WHITE-BREASTED WATERHEN FORAGING IN THE RAIN “On the afternoon of 3rd September 2014, I was suddenly stranded in a shelter in a public park due to heavy rain. Despite the downpour, a White-breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus) was undeterred and intently searching for food on the soggy ground (above). “As the soil became saturated with rainwater, many soil-dwelling invertebrates, such as worms and insects may be forced to the surface, offering a bounty of food items for the waterhen to feast on. In between... Read More

Black-and-yellow Broadbill: male, female and juveniles

Black-and-yellow Broadbill: male, female and juveniles “I was driving on this road through this primary forest today when I heard the characteristic mews of this broadbill Black-and-yellow Broadbill (Eurylaimus ochromalus ochromalus) – above is a male, below is a female. “I pulled the car over to try and identify the bird’s location and spotted two adults with prey, possibly for juveniles. All were animal prey. Prey under-described in my region (Wells 2007). “I could not spot the nest but after some search... Read More

Oriental Reed-warbler and its prey

in Feeding-invertebrates  on Sep 02, 14 1 Comment »
Oriental Reed-warbler and its prey “I was pleasantly surprised that this Oriental Reed-warbler (Acrocephalus orientalis) allowed close observation of its foraging behaviour for an extended period; the first time in my life I left a Reed-warbler rather than the other way around. “During the migration period, prey has been documented to be taken by aerial sallying (uncommon) and predominantly by gleaning from foliage and stems of plants. Details on prey taken using the latter method is... Read More

Asian Openbill – other prey consumed

Asian Openbill – other prey consumed “The Asian Openbills (Anastomus oscitans) feed mainly on large molluscs, especially the freshwater Golden Apple Snail Pomacea canaliculata LINK. “At this site (Malim Nawar Wetlands, Perak, Malaysia; Habitat: Extensive ex-tin mining area with pond/lakes, wetlands, fish farming), their primary feeding pond has recently been drained and now covered with grass and muddy patches. “They continue to feed in large numbers (130-150) at the site. Although they feed on... Read More

Blue-throated Bee-eater caught a bee

Blue-throated Bee-eater caught a bee Johnny Wee’s image of a Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis) with a bee clamped between its bill is as refreshing as that of a spiderhunter catching a spider LINK. Because of what they are commonly called, people expect them to live up to their names. But then bee-eaters take other insects most of the time and photographers love to display them with a dragonfly LINK – more eye-catching than with a smaller bee, I suppose. In the case of spiderhunters, they are more... Read More

Yellow-rumped Flycatcher “vomited” wasp it swallowed earlier

Yellow-rumped Flycatcher “vomited” wasp it swallowed earlier William Tan was photographing a female Yellow-rumped Flycatcher (Ficedula zanthopygia) in Singapore’s Bidadari Park in September 2012 when the flycatcher suddenly caught a wasp. On swallowing the wasp, it ‘vomited’ a crushed specimen a few minutes later. Flycatchers generally feed on insects that include bees and wasps. Why this particular flycatcher was unable to retain the wasp after swallowing it can be because it failed to effectively remove the sting... Read More

Grey-breasted Spiderhunter – spider prey

Grey-breasted Spiderhunter - spider prey “I often feel then name ‘spiderhunter’ is inapt, as I have seldom seen spiderhunters take spiders as prey. The diet is more often fruits and nectar from a variety of flowers LINK. Of course, being used to that name for almost 40 years, I cannot think of them as any other name! “Saw this Grey-breasted Spiderhunter (Arachnothera modesta modesta), high in the canopy, stop to feed on spiders. It was part of a large mixed foraging party comprising a variety of... Read More

The Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)

The Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis) Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis) is a member of the Roller family Coraciidae. Members of this family are so-named because of their rolling courtship flight display. The common name Dollarbird comes from the prominent pale blue coin-shaped spots towards the tips of the wings against a background of dark blue (above). These spots are thought to resemble the American silver dollar coin. Dollarbirds are often seen perched on a bare branch high in a tree (above). This gives... Read More

Zebra Ducks foraging for food by vortexing

Zebra Ducks foraging for food by vortexing “The photo above shows a few Zebra Ducks or pink eared ducks (Malachorhynchus membranaceus) with a pied stilt (Himantopus himantopus). The pink ear is clearly visible in a few of the ducks. “The video above shows a pair of zebra ducks concentrating plankton by creating a water vortex. The typical head to tail position can be seen here. “The square tip of the spatula shaped bill is also clearly visible. The ducks take in plankton-rich water through the... Read More