• 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,...

Asian Openbill – feeding technique

Asian Openbill – feeding technique “Large numbers of migrants Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans) again this year (see last year’s visit HERE and HERE. “I saw in excess of 110 in a single flock. Managed to get close to watch the feeding behaviour, see the composite image (above). They are very adept at getting at the soft body of the freshwater Golden Apple Snail (Pomacea canaliculata) without damaging the shell. “I believe this was first described by Kahl M.P. 1971. Food and feeding behavior of... Read More

Second sighting of the Band-bellied Crake in Singapore

Second sighting of the Band-bellied Crake in Singapore On 28th February 2014, a Band-bellied Crake (Porzana paykullii) was sighted at Singapore’s Chinese Garden. This rare winter visitor comes from the Russian Far East (its breeding grounds), NE China and Korea (Taylor, 1966). In winters it migrates to Southeast Asia – Central Thailand, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, North Sumatra, Java and North Borneo – now, Singapore. Jeremiah Loei’s two images above and Lena Chow’s video clip below show the second sighting of... Read More

Lesser Sand-plover foraging

Lesser Sand-plover (Charadrius mongolus), previously known as Mongolian Plover, is a common winter visitor and passage migrant to Singapore. It arrives in early July and leaves towards the end of June. Jeremiah Loei’s video clip of three Lesser Sand-plovers was documented at Pasir Ris on 11th August 2012. The plovers, one non-breeding and two breeding adults, were foraging in the intertidal zone. Moving along the sandy beach, they pecked on the surface sand to pick up... 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

Arrival of the Jerdon’s Bazas – November 2013

“The Jerdon’s Baza (Aviceda jerdoni) is rarely seen in Singapore and considered to be a rare passage migrant. I must be very fortunate to encounter a few Jerdon’s Bazas at Pasir Ris Park recently (above). “During the first encounter on 23rd November 2013, five little specks were first noticed high overhead. Yes, five Jerdon’s Bazas were in the sky! Only managed to capture four of them together in one photo. A short while later, at least three... 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

Pacific Golden Plover feeding

Pacific Golden Plover feeding “In their wintering area, the Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) is quoted as feeding primarily on bivalves and other molluscs. “Saw this bird primarily feeds on insects and other animal matter in the fields at Malim Nawar Wetlands, Perak, Malaysia (above, below). Known to feed on terrestrial invertebrates, berries, leaves and seeds at the breeding grounds. “Some views of the non-breeding adult Pacific Golden Plover. Can look quite different in different... Read More

Red-footed Booby photographed at Lim Chu Kang

in Migration-Migrants  on Nov 05, 13 2 Comments »
Red-footed Booby photographed at Lim Chu Kang Chan Yoke Meng and Melinda Chan belatedly submitted these two images of the Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) that they photographed on 9th February 2011 at the former Muslim Cemetery in Lim Chu Kang. The orangey legs and yellowish bill tipped black point to an immature or a juvenile Red-footed Booby. This species is highly polymorphic, with white, brown and intermediates morphs that exist irrespective of subspecies. According to Carboneras (1992), the Red-footed Booby is... Read More

Bar-tailed Godwit @ Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Bar-tailed Godwit @ Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve “Spotted this uncommon winter visitor, [the Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)] on 11th September 2013 at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, with its distinctive bi-coloured and slightly upturned bill (above: foreground). It was in the company of Whimbrels (Numenius phaeopus) as is characteristic of this species (above: background). “While this Godwit may prefer Whimbrel company, the converse is not always true, this video shows the Godwit being chased off a few... Read More

Little Cormorant – an uncommon migrant

in Migration-Migrants  on Sep 18, 13 2 Comments »
Little Cormorant – an uncommon migrant “My wife was kind enough to accompany me today on a search for Great Egret (Casmerodius albus) nesting sites (nesting not seen locally for >35 years). We covered 150km of dirt roads and villages in the south-east of the region we live in. We were not successful but had some other good observations. “The Little Cormorant (Phalacrocorax niger) is common in some of the countries that OBI bird watchers belong to but is a rare migrant locally (above, below). The... Read More