• 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,...

Black-winged Stilt feeding on molluscs and fish

Black-winged Stilt feeding on molluscs and fish The local information on the prey of the Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) is limited. On 2nd March 2013, Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS noticed a family unit of three taking many snails in a short period of observation at the Malim Nawar Wetlands in Perak, Malaysia (above, below). This is an extensive ex-tin mining area covered with pond, lakes, wetlands and fish farming units. The snails are foraged in ‘knee deep’ water and swallowed whole. On 28th... Read More

Brahminy Kite feeding on fish

Brahminy Kite feeding on fish “An adult Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) feeding on a fish from the nearby fish farms. “The bird was intermittently disturbed by another Brahminy Kite (not in image or video), so looked up periodically. “One of my friends says the fish is a Tinfoil Barb (Barbonymus schwanenfeldii). Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 5th April 2015 Location: Tambun Interior, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia Habitat: Secondary growth near limestone hills, vegetable and fish... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 10. Black-shouldered Kite’s prey and bone fragments in the pellets

Pellets from Tuas: 10. Black-shouldered Kite’s prey and bone fragments in the pellets On 12th February 2015, Melinda Chan collected two pellets from Tuas, around the area where the pair of Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) was nesting LINK. One pellet was larger than the other: 55x30x25mm (above) as compared to 21x20x15mm (below). The larger was oval and very tightly packed in hairs. The smaller was disk-shaped, 21x20x15mm, also covered with hairs bur not as tightly packed. The larger pellet was somewhat smaller than an earlier one that contained a... Read More

Von Schrenck’s Bittern’s Breakfast: Dog-faced Water Snake

Von Schrenck's Bittern's Breakfast: Dog-faced Water Snake “The Von Schrenck’s Bittern, also known as Schrenck’s Bittern (Ixobrychus eurhythmus), is a small bittern that is difficult to spot due to its skulking nature (above, below) “Back in April/May 2013, a female Schrenck’s Bittern was spotted in the mangrove swamp at Pasir Ris Park. It created much excitement and attracted many birders and photographers. Many of us will remember how challenging it was to spot this usually motionless bittern that was well... Read More

Javan Myna caught a Spotted House Gecko

in Feeding-vertebrates  on May 22, 15 No Comments »
Javan Myna caught a Spotted House Gecko Chan Yoke Meng’s image of a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) with a Spotted House Gecko (Gekko monarchus) shows a common bird with an “uncommon” prey – uncommon in the sense that very few people are interested in a myna catching a gecko. The myna has the head of the gecko tightly clamped between its mandibles. The gecko will no doubt be thoroughly thrashed before being swallowed, head first. The Javan Myna is omnivorous, taking animal food like arthropods and... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 9. Black-shouldered Kite removing entrails from mice

Pellets from Tuas: 9. Black-shouldered Kite removing entrails from mice The series of images in this post show the adult Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) removing the entrails from decapitated mice and dumping the parts on to the ground. This was done before they started eating the mice or even flying them off to the nest to feed the chicks. We never saw any adults eating the entrails or even the head. The evidence from the many pellets found scattered on the ground below and around the nesting tree showed no intact skull except... Read More

White-bellied Sea-eagle – fishing sequence

in Feeding-vertebrates  on Apr 18, 15 No Comments »
White-bellied Sea-eagle – fishing sequence “Was watching this sub-adult White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) circling the ex-mining pool early in the morning (8.19am) so got ready for the ‘action’. A composite of the fishing sequence with one image (2nd) removed (very blur) taken at 5 fps, so about 1.2 seconds of activity. “Lost some of its grandeur in shrinking the image but still shows the fluid and precise ability to catch fish.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak,... Read More

Purple Heron’s Eel Catch

in Feeding-vertebrates  on Apr 14, 15 4 Comments »
Purple Heron's Eel Catch “I managed to observe a Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) in action after about an hour of waiting. Correct me if I’m wrong – the prey seems to be an eel. [Note: Marcus Ng a.k.a. budak - see comment below - has identified the eel as Oriental Swamp Eel or Monopterus albus.] “This Purple Heron was observed standing in shallow water next to reeds on the bank of a pond in Lorong Halus. It was very patient and stayed in the same position with minimal... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 8. Black-shouldered Kite feeding chicks

Pellets from Tuas: 8. Black-shouldered Kite feeding chicks The ground below the nest of the Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) is often littered with carcases of mice and numerous pellets. The image above shows a headless mice found below the nest. An intact mouse was also found below the nest (below) We believe they fell from the nest when brought in by an adult. We had observed that within minutes on the ground the dead mice would be covered with ants. Thus returning it to the nest would introduce ants and pathogens.... Read More

Black-shouldered Kite eats a Javan Myna

Black-shouldered Kite eats a Javan Myna Field ornithologist Wang Luan Keng came across a the Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) tearing a dead Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) apart on a high perch recently, as shown in the video clip above. On the ground below were remnants of earlier meals – feathers and parched bones of a Javan Myna (above) as well as a few pellets (below). The pellets were collected and the bone fragments extracted (below: numbers correspond to those of pellets; scale in mm).... Read More