• 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,...

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


GREATER YELLOWNAPE FEEDING “On the evening of 11th May 2014, a Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha) had parked itself at the entrance of a narrow treehole at Fraser’s Hill, Peninsular Malaysia (above). “With a steady perch, it began to chisel away at what appeared to be an ant’s nest from a distance. For at least five minutes, it repeatedly chipped away at the nest and the adjacent bark. Such an intrusion must have sent the ants scampering about frantically, with quite a... Read More

Bird feeding frenzy on Alate Termites

Bird feeding frenzy on Alate Termites “Was out cycling with my wife when we spotted a feeding frenzy of birds on alate termites. This is not an uncommon occurrence and I have seen numerous episodes. [See video of a termite hatch HERE.] “Despite the limited lighting we decided to try and document the behaviour with some images; I always carry a smaller lens with me. “The birds seen feeding today include: Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) (top); Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis)... Read More

Yellow-vented Bulbul – food for juveniles

Yellow-vented Bulbul – food for juveniles “The Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier analis) is a common bird and a delight to watch. Been seeing numerous nests in recent weeks and occasionally had an opportunity to watch feeding behaviour. “The images above and below show an adult collecting Papaya (Carica papaya) fruit to feed juveniles. “Although I have seen adults enjoy the fruit, this is the first time I have seen them feed it to the young. I have seen them bring berries to the juveniles in the... Read More


WHIMBRELS FEEDING “On the late morning of 27th March 2014, I was exploring a river mouth in Singapore when I chanced upon a solitary Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) taking a leisurely stroll along the sandy shore (above). “As more of the shore was exposed with the receding tide, this Whimbrel became increasingly successful at picking out a number of polychaete worms, which ranged in size from extra short to extra long (above, below). All worms were slurped up... Read More

Sunbird, Bee And the Drumstick Tree

Sunbird, Bee And the Drumstick Tree “There is a Drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera) in my condo. Other than a hanging-parrot which was suspected to be a Blue-crowned Hanging-parrot (Loriculus galgulus) seen about two years ago, I have not noticed any other bird being attracted to this tree. “About a month ago, however, I observed that the tree was in full bloom, with wilted flowers scattered all over the ground below the tree. While spending time to examine the intricate structure of the immature seedpods, I... Read More

Watercock – with prey

Watercock - with prey “The diet of the Watercock (Gallicrex cinerea) is poorly known locally, here with a freshwater mollusc (above, below). “The vegetation in the background, Kangkong (Ipomoea aquatica), is now a national infamous symbol.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 2nd February 2013 Location: Ulu Dedap, Perak, Malaysia Habitat: Extensive rice farming area, wetlands with nearby... Read More

Asian Openbill – feeding technique

Asian Openbill – feeding technique “Large numbers of migrants Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans) again this year (see last year’s visit HERE and HERE. “I saw in excess of 110 in a single flock. Managed to get close to watch the feeding behaviour, see the composite image (above). They are very adept at getting at the soft body of the freshwater Golden Apple Snail (Pomacea canaliculata) without damaging the shell. “I believe this was first described by Kahl M.P. 1971. Food and feeding behavior of... Read More