• 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,...

Grey Crowned Crane courtship dance

Grey Crowned Crane courtship dance “A pair of African Grey Crowned Cranes (Balearica regulorum), believed to have been released from a pet farm in the Seletar area a year or two ago, has been attracting attention from birders and non-birders alike for some time now, since these big magnificent birds were first spotted at open fields near Seletar airbase. “Since the beginning of this year, they have been appearing regularly at the golf course at Seletar Country Club, and I managed to capture one of them... Read More

River Lapwing crouching when threatened

in Miscellaneous  on Jun 07, 14 No Comments »
River Lapwing crouching when threatened Frank Chiew’s images of a River Lapwing (Vanellus duvaucelii) were photographed in Paro, Bhutan in May 2014. The image above shows the bird standing upright on a large stone in a river. With its pair of long legs, this posture makes it conspicuous. The image below shows it “kneeling”, making itself less visible as it felt threatened. At the same time this kneeling posture gives it an advantage should it need to suddenly spring up and fly off. Generally, plovers react... Read More

Swiftlet breeding in Malaysia

Swiftlet breeding in Malaysia “Swiflet Breeding has grown out of control locally in recent years. The growth of the ‘industry’ in my city and region (Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia) has been phenomenal. They are scattered all over the city, in the heart of the city, in shops near residential areas; any abandoned building will do. These buildings are called ‘Swiftlet Hotels’ (or house-farm buildings, see Lord Cranbrook LINK and LINK). “When I was in Borneo recently (Kuching) I even saw purpose built... Read More

Oriental Pied Hornbill sighted in Sin Ming Avenue, Singapore

in Miscellaneous  on May 13, 14 1 Comment »
Oriental Pied Hornbill sighted in Sin Ming Avenue, Singapore “Saw a pair of big, low flying birds that ended their flights on top of a street lamp post along Sin Ming Ave at about 8.30 am yesterday (above). “They were about 100m away. Before I could get nearer, they had already left. Later on, while I was away from home, one (presumably one of the pair sighted) appeared outside my bedroom at about 10 am (above, photo taken by my son). “Residents around this area should expect to see this pair once in a... Read More

Chinese Pond-heron – odd behaviour

in Miscellaneous  on Apr 26, 14 No Comments »
Chinese Pond-heron – odd behaviour “There were many Chinese Pond-herons (Ardeola bacchus) at this site in non-breeding plumage. This particular bird’s behaviour was puzzling. It picked up and held a torn rag. I watched for 20 minutes and it was largely motionless. When I approached it raise its hackles, almost as if to say ‘this rag is mine, go fine your own’. “I considered a number of possibilities for the odd behaviour: 1. The rag was somehow embedded (stuck) in the beak – however I had seen... Read More

Spotted Wood-owl and gular fluttering

Spotted Wood-owl and gular fluttering “The behaviour of gular fluttering in Savannah Nightjar (Caprimulgus affinis) LINK and Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) LINK were most interesting reads. “Recently, I was delighted to see for myself a Spotted Wood-owl (Strix seloputo) gular fluttering in the midday heat to cool down Lena Chow Singapore 11th April... Read More

Flocks of Oriental Pratincole

in Miscellaneous  on Apr 13, 14 No Comments »
Flocks of Oriental Pratincole Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS encountered a flock of Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum) at his last visit to the Malim Nawar Wetlands in Perak, Malaysia on an earlier visit from quite a distance. Initially he mistook the birds for terns. The habitat consists of extensive ex-tin mining areas made up of many pond and lakes, wetlands and fish farming areas. “Today (1st September 2013) he saw them closer and the flock size has grown,” noted Amar. “I saw flocks a... Read More

White-winged Tern – odd behaviour

in Miscellaneous  on Apr 01, 14 No Comments »
White-winged Tern - odd behaviour “Saw this odd behaviour of one White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) that lay down on a partially dried up lake bed. Remained immobile for about a minute and then saw me and stood up. It is not injured. I wonder if the extremely hot weather and prolonged dry spell has made this tern try and cool off.” Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia 28th February 2014 Location: Malim Nawar Wetlands, Perak, Malaysia Habitat: Extensive ex-tin mining area with... Read More


GREY HERONS - PANTING and PREENING “On a scorching Saturday afternoon of 15th March 2014, I was monitoring a small colony of Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea) at a river mouth in Singapore (above). “As the sun was bearing down on them, I wondered how they were coping with the oppressive heat. Despite the occasional sea breeze, a number of herons were observed to be actively panting (gular fluttering) with their beaks parted (above). “A caring and panting parent heron even faced its back to the sun to... Read More

Red Junglefowl eggs

in Miscellaneous  on Jan 26, 14 No Comments »
Red Junglefowl eggs “Discovered a clutch of 5 Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus) eggs 2 days ago following a tip off from my estate manager (below left). “I don’t have the habit of actively looking out for nests as I don’t wish to disturb the birds. But since he suspected that the nests had been abandoned with 2 broken eggs, I decided to look for them. They were hidden in a patch of Sphagneticola trilobata planted as ground cover, located at one corner of the parking lots (above... Read More