• 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,...

Nesting bulbul: 1. A nest outside my bedroom window

in Interspecific, Nesting  on Jul 13, 15 No Comments »
Nesting bulbul: 1. A nest outside my bedroom window There is an active Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) nest less than a metre from my bedroom window (above, arrow). The pair of bulbuls had been busy bringing materials for some time and patiently weaving them into a cup-shaped nest. They must have been active for weeks but we were totally unaware of this until 22nd May 2015 when my helper Estela Acierto spotted the nest. As she was walking past the potted Surinam Cherry (Eugenia uniflora) bush, a bulbul flew off.... Read More

Brahminy Kite mobbed by Mynas

in Interspecific  on Jun 25, 15 No Comments »
Brahminy Kite mobbed by Mynas “I was surprised to see another raptor chased by Mynas – this time a juvenile Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus). It already had prey but was pursued by six Mynas until it left their location. I managed to catch up later with it for some images (above, below). “Hans Peeters was kind enough to pen a comment after the last post: ‘The term ‘social interaction’ is used intraspecifically in animal (and human) behavior. The word for your situation is ‘mobbing’,... Read More

Snakes in my garden…

Snakes in my garden… More than a decade ago I was introduced to an Oriental Whip Snake (Ahaetulla prasina) in my garden (above). This is a slender green snake whose pupil is horizontally elongated. I knew that it was not dangerous, although it was mildly venomous. Not sure what happened to it… probably crawled into the neighbour’s garden. My next encounter was in January 2015. It was not a snake but its skin – a beautiful piece discarded by a snake that grew too big for its skin... Read More

Grey-headed Fish-eagle vs White-bellied Sea-eagle

in Interspecific, Raptors  on Jun 19, 15 1 Comment »
Grey-headed Fish-eagle vs White-bellied Sea-eagle “Watched an altercation between a nesting Grey-headed Fish-eagle (Icthyophaga ichthyaetus) and a ‘trespassing’ White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster). “The conflict lasted 8 minutes with both birds ‘dive booming’ each other (predominantly the Grey-headed Fish-eagle) and mid-air physical interactions. The series of images attempt to show the ‘action’ with a composite below. “The Grey-headed Fish-eagle would stretch out the feet/claws to impact... Read More

Yellow-vented Bulbul chasing a Plantain Squirrel

in Fauna, Interspecific  on Jun 03, 15 No Comments »
I witnessed a Plantain Squirrel, also known as Common Red-bellied Squirrel (Callosciurus notatus singapurensis) scrambling through a grove of palms, followed by the sound of a bird flying through the vegetation. Then I saw a Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) chasing the squirrel until the latter left the scene altogether. I suspect that there must be a nesting pair of Yellow-vented Bulbuls around, otherwise it would not be that aggressive.... Read More

Banded Bay Cuckoo – conflict with Common Iora

Banded Bay Cuckoo – conflict with Common Iora “I was engrossed, watching the Baya Weavers nectar feeding, when abruptly a Banded Bay Cuckoo (Cacomantis sonneratii sonneratii) flew into the tree overhead (above, below). In retrospect I realised it was following a pair of Common Ioras (Aegithina tiphia) that had been making their way past me. “It was just a few meters overhead but fearless of me, so intent was it on finding the Iora’s nest. I observed it searching all the branches in the tree I was under and it... Read More

Pellets from Tuas: 5. Black-shouldered Kites and House Crows

in Crows, Interspecific, Raptors  on Mar 18, 15 No Comments »
Pellets from Tuas: 5. Black-shouldered Kites and House Crows The pair of Black-shouldered Kites (Elanus caeruleus) nesting in Tuas was regularly harassed by the pair of House Crows (Corvus splendens) nesting a little down the road. The crows were obviously after the kites’ eggs and chicks. The presence of plentiful mice around the area kept the adults close to the nest. This meant that the adults could keep close watch on the marauding crows. To date, all four chicks were alive and well. One one occasion, an adult kite was... Read More

Juvenile Rufous-bellied Eagle mobbed

in Interspecific, Raptors  on Oct 05, 14 No Comments »
Juvenile Rufous-bellied Eagle mobbed “I have occasional seen mynas group together and the flock chases off a raptor. Seen this happen with a White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), a Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) in my neighbourhood and other raptors. Today saw 20-25 Jungle Mynas (Acridotheres fuscus) (below) mobbed a juvenile Rufous-bellied Eagle (Hieraaetus kienerii) for quite some distance (above and bottom). “I am uncertain if this is the local Hieraaetus kienerii formosus or a... Read More

Banded Kingfisher injured female

Banded Kingfisher injured female “I was trailing a raptor (Crested Goshawk) in primary forest adjacent to a stream when I almost stepped on this adult female Banded Kingfisher (Lacedo pulchella pulchella). “She appeared dazed and was extensively covered in ants. I did not bother much with images (so images here are taken later when I had some time) and enabled her to move further on the rocky riverside surface, away from the mass of ants. “The above image shows the bird with ants and nictitating... Read More

Common Flameback confrontations

Common Flameback confrontations “I was tracking a pair of Common Flamebacks (Dinopium javanense) this morning (26th June 2014) and was fortunate enough to observe three episodes of their behaviour; one of which was interspecies and the other two within the species. (Image above shows the pair, photographed some time ago in the same locality.) Interspecies Aggression: “The female was foraging when she encountered a plantain squirrel (Callosciurus notatus). A standoff ensued. It was unclear if... Read More