• 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,...

Asian Glossy Starlings eating Alexandra Palm fruits

Asian Glossy Starlings eating Alexandra Palm fruits It was around 1900 hours when the mostly juvenile Asian Glossy Starlings (Aplonis panayensis) were gathering around my Ceram Palms (Rhopaloblaste ceramica) before they fly off to roost in some large roadside trees nearby. The noise from their combined calls was loud and this would go on from about 20 minutes or so. At the same time the starlings were also gathering in the shorter trees along the road. At this time one of my Alexandra palms (Archontophoenix alexandrae) was... Read More

Orange-bellied Leafbird – nectar feeding

in Feeding-plants  on Mar 27, 15 2 Comments »
Orange-bellied Leafbird – nectar feeding “There has been some uncertainty as to the role of nectar in the diet of leafbirds. 1. “Wikipedia LINK quoting Wells, David (2005), ‘Family Chloropseidae (Leafbirds)’, in del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew; Christie, David, Handbook of the Birds of the World states: ‘The extent to which the leafbirds consume nectar is a matter of some debate, records are more common in Southern Asia compared to South East Asia.’ 2. “Most descriptions of leafbirds mention... Read More

Happy Yellow-vented Bulbuls

Happy Yellow-vented Bulbuls “The clips below capture the few enraptured moments that the Yellow-vented Bulbul(s) (Pycnonotus goiavier) enjoyed during the month of October 2014. The Curry Leaf Bush (Murraya koenigii) fruits were ripening in abundance and the bulbuls feasted and sang and danced in the rain. “The Curry Leaf Bush fruit was obviously huge and the bulbul manipulated the fruit until the seed dropped off. Then the whole fruit was flattened to shape and swallowed in one gulp (above). Yum... Read More

Tui feeding on flower nectar of New Zealand flax

Tui feeding on flower nectar of New Zealand flax “Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae) is a honeyeater endemic to New Zealand. It appears black with a characteristic white lace collar formed by white feathers. The black feathers appear iridescent when seen from different angles. A pair of white feathers at the throat gives away its identity even when viewed from an unfavourable light angle. “It is a rather noisy bird with varied vocalization. Like the lyre bird of Australian fame, it is capable of imitating... Read More

Bats and the two banana plants that were flowering: Part 2

in Fauna, Feeding-plants, Plants  on Jan 27, 15 No Comments »
Bats and the two banana plants that were flowering: Part 2 An early post showed that Cave Nectar Bats (Eonycteris spelaea) prefer male banana flowers that were found at the lower end of the inflorescence branch than the female flowers found at the upper portion LINK. Less than a week later, the older banana plant (Musa ‘Cavendish”) had begun putting forth only male flowering hands (above). The younger plant bearing the newly inflorescence branch had by then gone through a few hands of female flowers (below). Observations were... Read More

Asian Koel Swallows and Regurgitates Ceram Palm Fruit

in Feeding-plants  on Jan 20, 15 1 Comment »
Asian Koel Swallows and Regurgitates Ceram Palm Fruit “About a year ago I posted my observations of a male Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopacea) swallowing the ripe fruit of Ceram Palm (Rhopaloblaste ceramica) LINK. “Recently the same palms in my condo were fruiting again. This time round a female Asian Koel was a regular visitor in the morning. It usually announced its arrival with the signature shrieking kwik-kwik-kwik call, similar to the one as recorded @14″ of the video titled “Female Asian Koel Sings”... Read More

Purple-backed Starling feasting on salam fruits

“When the Salam tree (Syzygium polyanthum) bears fruits, mixed flocks of frugivorous birds like Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis), mynahs, bulbuls and Asian Glossy Starling (Aplonis panayensis) gorge themselves and create a din for a whole week. “In October 2014, a small flock of about 40 migrant Purple-backed Starling, also known as Daurian Starling (Sturnus sturninus), appeared and joined in the feast. “We managed to obtain a few clips of hungry birds... Read More

North Island Kokako feeding on leaves

North Island Kokako feeding on leaves The North Island Kokato (Callaeas wilsoni) is of ancient lineage with very few surviving close relatives (above). Its closest cousin is the saddleback (Philesturnus spp.). “The video clip below was taken on Tiritiri Matangi Island, New Zealand. The island has been kept free of pests like rats, stoats and possums so that endemic bird species, which are mostly poor flyers, have a chance to re-establish their numbers. “The tagged bird was seen on a branch at almost eye... Read More

New Zealand Pigeon (kereru)

New Zealand Pigeon (kereru) “The New Zealand Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) is a rather large bird, ~ 50 cm long, often sighted sitting quietly on tree branches. Its distinctive white underparts enable the birdwatchers on the ground to spot it easily (above, image by Johnny Wee). “This endemic bird is frugivorous and feeds on leaves and flower petals as well. “This bird was seen feeding on yellow flower petals at Zeelandia, Wellington. The wonderful, clear commentaries were made by the... Read More

Grey-breasted Spiderhunter feeds on coconut flower nectar and calls

Grey-breasted Spiderhunter feeds on coconut flower nectar and calls “I have often seen the Grey-breasted Spiderhunter (Arachnothera modesta modesta) feed on the nectar of coconut flowers LINK. This was an extended observation (above). “It seemed to pick certain flowers, possibly the ones that were open and with nectar. All sort of postures were used to gain access (above). “I once saw it appear to use the foot to gain access to a flower (above) but cannot be fully certain. “The classical calls can be heard HERE with a sonogram... Read More