• 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,...

Magpie-lark foraging for food

“The female Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) was seen foraging for insects and grubs amongst the dry leaf litter by shuffling her feet in circles. “The above video was documented in a leafy suburb in Perth, Australia.” Teo Lee Wei & K Singapore 2nd July... Read More

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

Javan Myna foraging around human activity

in Feeding strategy  on Jun 19, 14 No Comments »
Javan Myna foraging around human activity For months on end workers had been widening the drains along the road in my housing estate – an exercise to ensure no puddling occurs after a heavy rain. A few weeks ago was the final phase after the widened drains were covered with concrete slabs that became a pleasant walkway. Between this walkway and the road proper is a strip of exposed earth where the roadside trees grow. Workers were covering the bare earth between trees with slabs of turf. There were piles of... Read More

Pink-necked Green-pigeon Expels Indigestable Seed

Pink-necked Green-pigeon Expels Indigestable Seed “A Pink-necked Green-pigeon (Treron vernans) that landed in a Yellow Saraca (Saraca thaipingensis) attracted my attention. It is a normal behaviour of such pigeon to remain in the same perch for long periods without much apparent activities. After locating it in the viewfinder of my camera, I had the luxury of time to move around to get the best view. In the end I settled for a back side view of the bird instead of a side view as it would require me to stand right in the... Read More

White-breasted Woodswallow – feeding behaviour

in Feeding strategy  on May 11, 14 No Comments »
White-breasted Woodswallow – feeding behaviour “I missed posting this interesting observation on feeding by the White-breasted Woodswallows (Artamus leucorynchus leucorynchus). It was 7.20am near the beach and I saw a flock of up to 25 birds hovering over a large bush. Other birds were also feeding in the same bush. Instead of their usual swooping from a pole or wire perch to catch a butterfly or dragonfly, here they were hovering over the bush and searching intently. I was not able to identify the prey but I am sure... Read More


GREY HERONS FISHING – AMATEUR VS PROFESSIONAL “On 26th March 2014, I was admiring the diversity and behaviour of shorebirds along a mudflat in Singapore. These avifauna included Whimbrels (Numenius phaeopus), Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta) and Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea), all anticipating the retreat of the tide (above). “A few juvenile Grey Herons were wading aimlessly and sheepishly along the shallow waters and one was repeatedly striking at a propagule of a mangrove tree (Rhizophora sp.) (above). It... Read More

Slaty Flowerpiercer’s feeding strategy to steal flower nectar

Slaty Flowerpiercer's feeding strategy to steal flower nectar “It was with great luck and amazement that I was able to observe the feeding strategy that was being practiced half a world away in Costa Rica. My first encounter of this was in Singapore along my balcony when an Olive Backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) pierced the base of the Episcia cupreata ‘Acajou’ flower to get at the nectar LINK. “In Costa Rica’s Valley of San Gerardo de Dota, specifically at the Sevegre Lodge, the same phenomenon unfolded before me.... 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