• 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,...

Wood Sandpiper – with prey

in Feeding-invertebrates  on Jan 31, 15 1 Comment »
Wood Sandpiper – with prey “Large number of Wood Sandpipers (Tringa gladiola) in these extensive padi fields that have just been planted. “Congregated in flocks of 25-30 all over the area. Sometime shard to spot in the green fields. “Prey during migration is poorly recorded. Spotted one bird taking a large prey from the mud. At first I thought it was small brown frog, but examination of images suggest 6 legs and more likely a large insect. “A short recording of calls made when... Read More

Oriental Pied Hornbill feeding on pupa

Oriental Pied Hornbill feeding on pupa Ria Tan of Wild Singapore LINK came across an Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) in Pulau Ubin in early January 2015 LINK. With the tips of its mandibles, the hornbill meticulously ripped off a pupa attached to a branch of a Perepat tree (Sonneratia alba) (top, above). It then hopped off to a bigger branch where it swiped it against the branch to remove the tough silky cover (below). Only then could it get at the succulent meal inside. Apparently it was a... Read More

Violet Cuckoo feasting on caterpillars

Violet Cuckoo feasting on caterpillars Jeremiah Looei’s two videos show the Violet Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx xanthorhynchus) feasting on caterpillars. Insects are its favourite food, especially caterpillars. The hairy ones are carefully prepared by swiping on the branch before swallowing LINK 1 and LINK 2. According to Khew Sin Khoon of Butterfly Circle LINK, the caterpillars are most probably those of a moth. “The urticaceous hairs and the smaller caterpillar heads also strongly suggest that these are moth... Read More

© RUDDY KINGFISHER EATS ESCARGOT

© RUDDY KINGFISHER EATS ESCARGOT “A sequential to © ‘Ruddy Kingfisher Eats 1-legged Crab’ posted on September 2009 HERE, readers have now another opportunity to revisit same location. There, a foraging pair of Ruddy Kingfishers (Halcyon coromanda) may be found, during their several months’ annual vacation in Northern Peninsular Malaysia (below left). “In addition to sighting of an adult pair, I was delighted to encounter a sub-adult this 2014 (above right). “Their growing presence strongly... Read More

WHITE-CRESTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH TACKLES HAIRY CATERPILLAR

WHITE-CRESTED LAUGHINGTHRUSH TACKLES HAIRY CATERPILLAR “On the 22nd September 2014, I was observing a small group of White-crested Laughingthrushes (Garrulax leucolophus) foraging at a local park when a particular individual caught my eye. It had just found a feisty moth caterpillar which was covered in irritant hairs and stinging spines. My curiosity was aroused and I wondered how this bird would surmount the walls of self defense put up by the wriggly and spiky caterpillar. “Firstly, the laughingthrush used the tip of its... Read More

Curlew Sandpiper – feeding behaviour

Curlew Sandpiper - feeding behaviour “Eight to ten Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferrugine) present at this site, solitary or in pairs mixing with other waders. “Actively feeding as can be seen in the video below. “The feeding as been described as ‘probing in an incessant “stitching” motion’ LINK. “The above is a composite of posture changes. “Waders are a hard group for me to ID but fortunately Curlew Sandpipers are one of the easier ones.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh,... Read More

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