• 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,...

Tiger Shrike’s feeding behaviour

Tiger Shrike's feeding behaviour “From Wikipedia, the Tiger Shrike (Lanius tigrinus), also known as Thick-billed Shrike, is a small passerine bird which belongs to the genus Lanius in the shrike family, Laniidae. As Lanius is derived from the Latin word for butcher, shrikes are also known as ‘butcher birds’. A recent visit to Bidadari LINK offers some insight into the feeding behaviour of a Tiger Shrike and how shrikes got known as ‘butcher birds’. “I first saw this Tiger Shrike perching on a... Read More

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo feeding on Bottle Brush seeds

The Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynus latirostris) is endemic to Western Australia and highly endangered. A recent report found that it may disappear from the Perth region within 15 years LINK. “The cockatoo is a seed-eater, feeding mainly on the kernels of proteaceous plants like Grevellea, Dryandra and Banksia. The cockatoo bites and tears open the thick woody capsule and cones that enclose the seed. “The video above shows the cockatoo handling the fruiting... Read More

Asian Openbill – other prey consumed

Asian Openbill – other prey consumed “The Asian Openbills (Anastomus oscitans) feed mainly on large molluscs, especially the freshwater Golden Apple Snail Pomacea canaliculata LINK. “At this site (Malim Nawar Wetlands, Perak, Malaysia; Habitat: Extensive ex-tin mining area with pond/lakes, wetlands, fish farming), their primary feeding pond has recently been drained and now covered with grass and muddy patches. “They continue to feed in large numbers (130-150) at the site. Although they feed on... Read More

© Insights To Blue-winged Pittas Part 4

© Insights To Blue-winged Pittas Part 4 Feeding Behaviours: Breeding Pittas “My follow-up observations at Itam Dalam Forest Reserve (IDFR) concluded those regular sightings of Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis) pair were no other than Pitta2 and Pitta3. “Sometimes the pair foraged together. At other times, they fed independently but within ear-shot of each other. Identification was made easier by a boar tick studded behind male Pitta2’s left eye. I name Pitta2 ‘Ticky’ (above left). Female... Read More

© Insights To Blue-winged Pittas Part3

in Feeding strategy  on Aug 17, 14 No Comments »
© Insights To Blue-winged Pittas Part3 “While Blue-winged Pittas (Pitta moluccensis) of IDFR spent most times foraging on ground, there were times they took to tree perch when felt intruded or when calling/looking for their mates (below left). From its perch and whenever safe opportunities arose, feather maintenance and bill swiping were carried out frequently especially after substantial feeds. “The following images speak a thousand words (above right,... Read More

Yellow-rumped Flycatcher “vomited” wasp it swallowed earlier

Yellow-rumped Flycatcher “vomited” wasp it swallowed earlier William Tan was photographing a female Yellow-rumped Flycatcher (Ficedula zanthopygia) in Singapore’s Bidadari Park in September 2012 when the flycatcher suddenly caught a wasp. On swallowing the wasp, it ‘vomited’ a crushed specimen a few minutes later. Flycatchers generally feed on insects that include bees and wasps. Why this particular flycatcher was unable to retain the wasp after swallowing it can be because it failed to effectively remove the sting... Read More

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