• 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,...

Conflict between Yellow-vented Bulbul and Lesser Coucal

in Intraspecific  on Aug 14, 15 No Comments »
Conflict between Yellow-vented Bulbul and Lesser Coucal “The Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) nests in a variety of environments, including over water, on Water Hyacinths and in reeds. I observed a pair ‘defending’ their nest from a variety of birds that reside in the same habitat. “A Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) accidently came too close and one of the Yellow-vented Bulbuls swooped in, and landed hard on its back to chase it away. I missed the opportunity to document an image. “A more prolonged... Read More

Glossy Swiftlet – nesting conflict

in Intraspecific, Nesting  on Apr 12, 15 No Comments »
Glossy Swiftlet – nesting conflict “We noticed a small flock (10-12) of nesting Glossy Swiftlets (Collocalia esculenta cyanoptila) starting to build nests on the under surface of the balconies of an apartment building. Usually these swiftlets choose darker environments like car parks or large drainage tunnels, etc, so this was a bit unusual. “However the main observation was the conflict between the nesting birds. One pair had managed to find a good nesting site and was clinging on to that corner surface... Read More

Plaintive Cuckoo: 2. Possible courtship behaviour

Please refer to Part 1 at this LINK. “Based on comments received, Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS wrote: ”Both sexes have loud advertising calls; the breeding season is not accurately documented and even now is in ‘full’ bloom; and the location I saw them at was overhanging a pool and backed by a wall, thus no food access in the immediate area. “After reading Connie’s opinion and talking to her about past observations, I think there are possibly two... Read More

Plaintive Cuckoo: 1. Possible courtship behaviour

in Intraspecific  on Dec 19, 14 No Comments »
Plaintive Cuckoo: 1. Possible courtship behaviour “I heard two Plaintive Cuckoos (Cacomantis merulinus threnodies) calling today in what appeared to be a responsive manner. I thought this was the ‘usual’ territorial behaviour. I found one of the birds on a bush over-hanging an ex-mining pool and was surprised to find the other seated very close by (below). Due to terrain limitations, I could not approach any further but tried to observe from where I was, as social behaviour in these cuckoos is not well... 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

Little Grebes’ Chasing Display

in Intraspecific  on May 15, 14 No Comments »
Little Grebes' Chasing Display “After missing the Little Grebes (Tachybaptus ruficollis) during my last few visits to their well known hideout at Lorong Halus, I was back in luck in the last week of April 2014. A family of five was spotted, and I was treated to spectacular displays of them chasing each other. “At first, all seemed peaceful as they foraged in two groups in different parts of the pond (above). Then, in a short spell lasting about four minutes, the serenity of the place was broken.... Read More

Territorial fight of Libellago lineata, the Golden Gem damselfly

Some male dragonflies and damselflies are very attached to their territories, so much so that they respond aggressively to intruding males of the same species. This is shown in Tang Hung Bun’s video clips of the damselfly, the Golden Gem (Libellago lineata). Two males are in a territorial flight, to be subsequently joined by a third. Such fights usually occur during the late morning and can last for over an hour. These are beautiful damselflies. Unfortunately they are... Read More

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater – conflict (social behaviour)

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater – conflict (social behaviour) “I was drawn to a pair of Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti) who were calling loudly and seem agitated (above). They then progressed to have an altercation (conflict) with each other. I observed 3 consecutive episodes. What was odd was that each time they would amicably return to the same perch. They appeared to be family or mates but the conflict in mid air (below) was hard to explain. “There were a few other Chestnut-headed Bee-eaters around but... Read More

Plantain Squirrel and the Reticulated Python

sleeping python, frightened squirrel @ sungei buloh – 21Dec2013 from SgBeachBum on Vimeo. “Was on the way out from the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve when another visitor pointed out a coiled up Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus) sitting snugly on a limb of a tree beside the main path into the reserve. This was my first time seeing a python in the reserve but I have heard that the reserve has seen this and other pythons before including an assortment of other... Read More

Little Egrets in combat

Little Egrets in combat “In September 2012, during the beginning of the migratory season last year, I was fortunate to witness territorial fights between some Common Sandpipers (Actitis hypoleucos). This year, in mid October, I was fortunate to have another encounter. This time, it was two Little Egrets in combat. “It all started with an unusual sighting of an Eastern Cattle Egret (Bubulcus coromandus). Unusual – because the Cattle Egret was in water in a small river. A Little... Read More