• 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,...

Pond Heron plunge-fishing

Pond Heron plunge-fishing “The usual way pond-herons forage is by wading or staying still in shallow water and striking at preys that innocently wandered near. Most of us, including me, have not seen pond-herons plunge-diving for fish but I had that rare encounter recently. “Early on the morning of 30th Nov 2014, the tide was receding when a handful of pond-herons in non-breeding plumage had gathered on the banks of this small river. There were at least 5 pond-herons. “Instead of foraging... Read More

The Oriental Pied Hornbill and the Changeable Lizard

The Oriental Pied Hornbill and the Changeable Lizard Chan Boon Hong earlier posted in “Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia” HERE an image of a male Oriental Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) with a Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicola) clamped tightly between his mandibles (above). The posting was well received and Boon Hong subsequently agreed to share the story behind the single image with a larger audience. Thus this post. The encounter was at Bidadari Park in early December 2014. The male hornbill had just... Read More

Chestnut-breasted Malkoha – male with frog prey

in Feeding-vertebrates  on Dec 04, 14 1 Comment »
Chestnut-breasted Malkoha – male with frog prey “Had an opportunity to see this male Chestnut-breasted Malkoha (Phaenicophaeus curvirostris) feed on a frog prey. I spotted it through some foliage. “Although it was aware of my presence, it allowed me to watch and take quite a few images of feeding. A few posted here. “It took some time & care to reposition the large frog head first before swallowing it whole. The hind legs took some time to go down. At the end, the beak was well cleaned (below).... Read More

Little Egrets fishing

Little Egrets fishing “I become quite used to seeing this mechanism of getting fish that is applied by many of the egrets and herons. A flock of 25-30 Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta garzetta) were hovering or skimming over the surface of a fish farm pond, with legs training in the water (above). “The majority was in breeding plumage with nice plumes (above). “Many were successful in diving in to obtain prey (above, below). “Other herons were also involved. One day the farmers might... Read More

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

GREY HERONS FISHING – AMATEUR VS PROFESSIONAL

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

Cattle Egret – rat prey

Cattle Egret - rat prey “With the padi fields being cut or ploughed, egrets, herons, raptors, swifts, swallows and others had turned up in large numbers to feed on rodents or insects. I understand from the farmers that rats in the fields are poisoned and one farmer said this could account for the reduction of raptors they have noticed. I am uncertain of the nature of the poison and if it can affect the raptors and other birds feeding on the rats. “This particular Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis... Read More

White-Throated Kingfishers and their prey

White-Throated Kingfishers and their prey “I was rushing back home when I saw this breeding pair of White-throated Kingfishers (Halcyon smyrnensis) robbing a chick from the nest of a Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius). “The tailorbirds were making very loud noises and that caught my full attention. So I stopped my car and quickly got down to get my gear ready. But before I could get out from my car the kingfisher had already caught hold of one chick. I could hear the chick calling. Of course the... Read More

Black Vulture feeding on Rainbow Trout in Costa Rica

Black Vulture feeding on Rainbow Trout in Costa Rica “This Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) feeding on an dead Rainbow Trout was found at the lower level of the Valley of San Derado de Dota at the Savegre Lodge area in Costa Rica. This place has a number of fresh water ponds fed by fresh running water, that was breeding or farming Rainbow Trouts for the market or the lodges in the area. “The pond usually has one or two dead fish floating on the surface and when they drift close to the banks the vultures would... Read More

Mangrove Pitta swallows a gecko

in Feeding-vertebrates  on Mar 09, 14 2 Comments »
Mangrove Pitta swallows a gecko Zhi Yong’s images posted on Facebook LINK showing a Mangrove Pitta (Pitta megarhyncha) swallowing a gecko adds a new dimension to the food record of this species – even if the gecko was offered as a bait. The above image (left) shows the pitta with the gecko clamped between its mandibles. Note that the tail has been detached, most possibly a result of the pitta bashing it until it is lifeless – assuming that it had caught it alive. The right image shows the... Read More