• 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,...

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

Blue-winged Leafbird foraging in a bird wave

Blue-winged Leafbird foraging in a bird wave “One of the joys of jungle bird watching is have a bird ‘wave’ (mixed foraging party) ‘wash’ over you. All you need to do is stop and just watch (naked eye) as they feed all around. Some Blue-winged Leafbirds (Chloropsis cochinchinensis moluccensis) were very kind to allow close up images of foraging. “Their classical style for animal prey is to check out every curled or folded leaf (above, below). “The image below is of an adult... Read More

Lesser Sand-plover foraging

Lesser Sand-plover (Charadrius mongolus), previously known as Mongolian Plover, is a common winter visitor and passage migrant to Singapore. It arrives in early July and leaves towards the end of June. Jeremiah Loei’s video clip of three Lesser Sand-plovers was documented at Pasir Ris on 11th August 2012. The plovers, one non-breeding and two breeding adults, were foraging in the intertidal zone. Moving along the sandy beach, they pecked on the surface sand to pick up... Read More

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater – conflict (social behaviour)

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater – conflict (social behaviour) “I was drawn to a pair of Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti) who were calling loudly and seem agitated (above). They then progressed to have an altercation (conflict) with each other. I observed 3 consecutive episodes. What was odd was that each time they would amicably return to the same perch. They appeared to be family or mates but the conflict in mid air (below) was hard to explain. “There were a few other Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters around but... Read More

Barn Swallow Foraging Aquatic Prey

Barn Swallow Foraging Aquatic Prey “The Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) is the most widespread species of swallow in the world. Barn Swallows feed mostly on their wings; manoeuvring with ease to catch flying insects in the air. They will also forage at low height; even within just a metre or two above ground (above) as well as over water bodies. “When flying over water, Barn Swallows are often seen skimming just above the water surface; bills dipped in the water very briefly. Some of us may have... Read More

Oriental Honey-buzzard attacking bees’ nest

Oriental Honey-buzzard attacking bees' nest In the heartland of Singapore’s Tiong Bahru district, Rosemary Tan observed an Oriental Honey-buzzard (Pernis ptilorhyncus) landing on the crown of a Yellow Penda tree (Xanthostemon chrysanthus). This is a popular roadside tree with attractive yellow flowers originating from Australia LINK On closer look she realised that the bird was attacking a honeybees’ nest. This honey-buzzard is a specialist feeder, feeding on the larvae of bees LINK and wasps LINK. They... Read More

Slaty-breasted Rail feeding on a crab

Slaty-breasted Rail feeding on a crab “Was up north near the Thai border to present a paper at a national conference. On the way back out of town, my regular taxi driver Chin Yoon Loi made sure I took in some bird watching. It was already around 11 am and I was not optimistic. But Chin, who has been driving me to meetings for years (occasionally with my camera), has developed a flair for bird watching as well (he has even bought my book on local birds). “This region up north is a rice farming area. We got... Read More

Slaty-backed Forktail with prey

Slaty-backed Forktail with prey “These are the easiest of the forktails to watch but they are still relatively shy. A pair of Slaty-backed Forktail (Enicurus schistaceus) was foraging and allowed some feeding episodes to be observed. “The diet is not well known locally (see Wells 2007). “The two prey we saw were mollusc, one a small snail. Foraging was in the shallow parts of the rushing stream.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 21st December 2013 Location: 1,700m... Read More