• 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,...

Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo eating caterpillar

Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo eating caterpillar Chan Yoke Meng’s images of the Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx basalis) manipulating a caterpillar were photographed at Punggol Barat. This rare winter visitor flies in from Australia during the southern winter months of May to August. Caterpillars are a favourite food for birds LINK. However, there is a need to prepare the caterpillars before swallowing, especially those covered with hairs. This involves rubbing it against a branch or moving it along... Read More

Purple-backed Starlings at a termite hatch

Purple-backed Starlings at a termite hatch “Saw a flock of 35-40 of these migratory Purple-backed Starling (Sturnus sturninus) with a few 1st winter birds. (Above shows an adult male, below adult male at left and adult female at right.) “They were aerial foraging for swarming termites in the early morning with Blue-tailed Bee-eaters (Merops philippinus), mynas, a pair of Pied Trillers (Lalage nigra), a White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), etc. (The image above shows 1st winter starling and below,... Read More

Asian Glossy Starling caught a snail

Asian Glossy Starling caught a snail Chan Yoke Meng is among a small group of bird photographers and birdwatchers (who use cameras to document birds), to pay attention to the common species of birds. As long as a bird is doing something, he will keep an eye on it in the hope of documenting some behavior or other. He is the opposite of the “twitching” genre who are only interested in stationary, uncommon birds to capture near-perfect images or to add a tick to his/her checklist. Meng’s latest image... Read More

Everett’s White-eye feeding on nectar and ants

Everett's White-eye feeding on nectar and ants “The Everett’s White-eye (Zosterops everetti tahanensis) have a large diet, with much still undocumented. “I was watching a small flock take insects when they stopped to feed on the nectar of the Callistemon sp. (Bottlebrushe) trees by the road side (above). “When feeding on insects, they were predominantly taking ants, which was a bit of a surprise to me (above). The ants were eaten and not used for ‘anting’” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak,... Read More

Javan Mynas foraging on seagrass meadow

Javan Mynas foraging on seagrass meadow “I noticed a flock of Common Mynas (Acridotheres tristis) Javan Mynahs (Acridotheres javanicus) foraging on the seagrass meadows near the water line while I was surveying Pasir Ris on 23rd March 2015 [Note: misidentification corrected]. Every now and then, the birds would peck at the ground. I’m sorry I didn’t manage to photograph what they picked up. “There were shorebirds and herons foraging on the water line further away from the beach, as... Read More

Chestnut-naped Forktail nesting: 2. Prey

Chestnut-naped Forktail nesting: 2. Prey Part 1 of the post on the Chestnut-naped Forktails (Enicurus ruficapillus) can be viewed HERE. Observation on prey for nestlings: “The nesting pair often forage quite near to the nest once they are used to my presence. Prey is obtained on the ‘shore’ (sandy bits of the stream) as well as on the forest floor and bushes off the edge stream. A foraging Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava) that foraged on rocks near the nest was not disturbed but another Chestnut-naped... Read More

Wood Sandpiper – with prey

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