• 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,...

The St. Andrew’s Cross Spiders and birds

in Fauna, Interspecific  on Mar 31, 14 1 Comment »
The St. Andrew’s Cross Spiders and birds If you are walking along the forest edge, you may encounter a spider’s web with a prominent pure white “X” in the centre. Take a closer look. The entire web may not be very visible, but the central cross is. The cross-shaped structure is made up of zigzag bands of shiny pure white silk. Resting on this cross is the spider, head pointing downwards, legs paired and outstretched to align with the cross (above). Thus the common name, St. Andrew’s Cross (Argiope... Read More

Von Schrenck’s Bittern confronts a mudskipper

Von Schrenck’s Bittern confronts a mudskipper The Von Schrenck’s Bittern (Ixobrychus eurhythmus) is an uncommon winter visitor to Singapore, arriving from October to December. Some birds that are passage migrants continue to fly south after refueling, to return around March. These join up with the winter visitors to fly back north to their breeding grounds in SE Siberia, Manchuria, China and Japan. The video above by Jeremiah Loei was recorded at the Pasir Ris mangrove at around 1830 hours when it was rather... Read More

Blue-winged Pitta and the Changeable Lizard

Jeremiah Loei was at Singapore’s Bididari LINK in October 2013 to observe the Blue-winged Pitta (Pitta moluccensis). This attractively coloured bird is an uncommon winter visitor and passage migrant that arrives around October to leave in the early part of April. The Blue-winged Pitta was lurking in the undergrowth when it suddenly flew into the open, landing close to a resting Changeable Lizard (Calotes versicolor). The lizard made a grab at the pitta, missing it by... Read More

Little (=Striated) Herons and crocodile

in Fauna, Interspecific  on Dec 26, 13 No Comments »
Little (=Striated) Herons and crocodile “An estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) was observed at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve on 7th December 2013, about 9.30 am, on the old prawn pond that feeds the sluice gate a little left of the hide at the end of the main bridge. The crocodile, an individual often nicknamed ‘Broken Tail’, had been basking when I arrived at the scene, with its jaws agape; after a few minutes, it closed its jaws and made a few steps forward before slumping on the mud once... 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

Migratory birds arrive in an Ipoh neighbourhood

Migratory birds arrive in an Ipoh neighbourhood “The migratory season is in ‘full bloom’ and our highlight this year has been a Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) in the neighbourhood. “Shrikes are having a good year again and the Powder Puff bush (Calliandra emarginata) adjacent to our ‘magic’ kitchen window has been commandeered by a noisy first winter Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) (above). It sits there to preen and feed. The sad result is that our smaller birds (tailorbird, sunbirds, ioras) now give the... 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

Blue-winged Leafbirds, the dominant species in bird waves

Blue-winged Leafbirds, the dominant species in bird waves “This is from the family unit or foraging group of Blue-winged Leafbirds (Chloropsis cochinchinensis moluccensis). I followed this group of 6-7 during and after the bird wave/mixed foraging party. I was trying to identify the composition of the group – mixture of adult male, adult female, moulting female, immature. “This is an adult female who allowed close observation while she was foraging for insect prey. Notice the turquoise malar stripe that is usually harder to... Read More

Juvenile White-bellied Sea-Eagle in flight

in Interspecific, Raptors  on Nov 06, 13 No Comments »
Juvenile White-bellied Sea-Eagle in flight “I have taken to bringing my equipment in my backpack when we go out cycling. These were taken at 7.30am when light was still low. My wife and I had stopped to watch some egrets feeding in a large fish breeding pond when we spotted this eagle coming in (above, below). “There are two locations in the city, both limestone hills with ex-mining pools used for fish farming, where White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) breed. This bird had come in for the fish the... Read More

White-bellied Sea-eagle: Grey Heron interaction

White-bellied Sea-eagle: Grey Heron interaction “This scene was played out yesterday afternoon at about 1530 hrs (above). This juvenile White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) perched itself on the crown of the mangrove tree, scanning the area for potential prey. It is about 40m from the bridge across Sungei Tempines where the current Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) heronry is, spanning both banks of the river. “Ten minutes later, the sea-eagle decided to take it’s chance on the nestling just a... Read More