• 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,...

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

Pellets from Tuas: 7. Black-shouldered Kite hunting mice

Pellets from Tuas: 7. Black-shouldered Kite hunting mice Mice appear to be the major diet of the pair of Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) nesting in Tuas. The adult kites were regularly seen hunting mice from their favourite perch. From a high point a kite would patiently wait until a prey was spotted. It then dived down to disappear into the undergrowth for a short time. It would then appear, flying back to its original perch or to the nest. This was done in the early morning or at dusk. As with raptors, the prey was... Read More

Crested Goshawk feasting on a Common Palm Civet

Crested Goshawk feasting on a Common Palm Civet The series of images by GaoJian LiuJia of a Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus) and its prey was photographed at Paisr Ris Park in early March 2015 at about noon. Discussions on the identity of the prey centered around civet cat or possible squirrel. Jeremiah Loei took the initiative to contact BESG. The images were then sent to civet researchers Xu Weiting and Fung Tze Kwan from the National University of Singapore’s Department of Biological Sciences. Weiting... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 4. Analysis of 14 pellets

Pellets from Tuas: 4. Analysis of 14 pellets Melinda Chan made extensive collections of pellets from a tree-lined avenue in Tuas in January 2015. All pellets were covered with short grey hairs, most probably those of mice. One of these was larger than the rest, from which a near-complete skeleton of a mouse was extracted LINK. This was the only pellet that had an intact skull, all others had bone fragments and numerous loose teeth but no skull. This large pellet was thought to have come from a Barn Owl (Tyto alba).... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 2. Bone fragments in the pellets

Pellets from Tuas: 2. Bone fragments in the pellets On18th January 2015 four pellets of varying sizes (400-450 x 20-30 mm) and shapes (roundish to oval) were collected by Melinda Chan from Tuas (above) LINK. They were not fresh, probably a number of days old. Each was covered with hairs. They were relatively soft in texture and easily dismantled. One clearly showed the presence of bleached bone fragments on the surface. The pellets were soaked in water for a few hours. A disinfectant (dettol) was added as a precaution... Read More