• 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,...

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

LITTLE EGRET DEFAECATION

in Feeding-vertebrates  on Jan 29, 14 No Comments »
LITTLE EGRET DEFAECATION “On the morning of 8th January 2014, a solitary Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) was patrolling the shallow waters of Siglap Canal, intent on finding fish to satisfy its hunger (above). “Periodically, the egret would have to answer nature’s call, but deliberately moved away from the flowing waters before excusing itself. During defaecation, it would adopt a half-squat posture and elevate its belly feathers before squirting out a jet of milky paste... Read More

Black-shouldered Kite caught a Garden Supple Skink

Black-shouldered Kite caught a Garden Supple Skink Johnny Wee’s images of a Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) were photographed at Singapore’s Lorong Halus Wetland on 20th November 2013. Subaraj Rajathurai examined the images of the kite with its prey and concluded that the latter is probably a Garden Supple Skink (Lygosoma bowringii). This kite usually hunts from a perch. It keeps a close watch on any prey appearing below. Once the prey is sighted, the raptor lunges down, snatch the prey with its powerful... Read More

Milky Stork show opportunistic feeding behaviour

Milky Stork show opportunistic feeding behaviour Samson Tan was at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve last month when he encountered Milky Storks (Mycteria cinerea) showing opportunistic feeding behaviour LINK. A Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) moved to the shallow part of the pond after catching a large fish (above). As it was about to eat the fish, a Milky Stork approached. The stork moved away with its catch (below). Two other storks also noticed the otter with the fish and approached the latter... Read More

Arrival of the Jerdon’s Bazas – November 2013

“The Jerdon’s Baza (Aviceda jerdoni) is rarely seen in Singapore and considered to be a rare passage migrant. I must be very fortunate to encounter a few Jerdon’s Bazas at Pasir Ris Park recently (above). “During the first encounter on 23rd November 2013, five little specks were first noticed high overhead. Yes, five Jerdon’s Bazas were in the sky! Only managed to capture four of them together in one photo. A short while later, at least three... Read More

Javan Myna takes a gecko

in Feeding-vertebrates  on Dec 06, 13 4 Comments »
Javan Myna takes a gecko “I did a quick search and mynahs eating geckos have not been documented on BESG. Hence I’m sending you some pictures I took of the event. Unfortunately I did not witness the Javan Mynah (Acridotheres javanicus) actually hunting the gecko, but the damage to the head and the missing tail of the gecko suggests it might have been killed by a predator. “I thought it was interesting to see interaction between creatures that live so close to us (with reference... Read More

Javan Myna caught by a Plantain Squirrel

Javan Myna caught by a Plantain Squirrel Eddy Swan was at the Japanese Garden on 21st November 2013 photographing kingfishers. Suddenly he heard the alarm call of a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus). A Plantain Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus singapurensis) had a Javan Myna chick firmly clamped between its jaws (below). The adult mynas around were trying to rescue the chick by attacking the squirrel. Even a Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris) joined in the attack. In trying to protect itself from the... Read More